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Post-Christmas blues: 8 teacher wellbeing tips

Teacher laughing with child overcoming post-Christmas blues

There is never a better time to get to grips with some great teacher wellbeing tips. It’s the most difficult time of the year for many of us; particularly after a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends. Our bank balances (for those of us who have dared to look) are bleak, the nights are dark and after some well-deserved time off work, the 6:30am alarm and 40-hour working week is looming over us.

So, if you’re looking for a teacher January blues pick-me-up, take a look at our .. teacher wellbeing tips designed to help you kick-start the new term with some zest!

Marie Kondo your classroom

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organising expert. Her method of clearing out spaces is to decide whether items bring joy to your life. If they don’t, get rid. Have a go at bringing that to your classroom. If a maths textbook you haven’t used for five years is hiding in the back of the cupboard, get rid. It hasn’t brought you joy for the past five years!  

Classroom event countdown

Bring the fun of advent to all fun events throughout the year! Valentine’s discos, Chinese New Year and Mother’s Day class assemblies are just a few of the events you and your class have to look forward to this term. Create a calendar that the children can see/work towards. Everyone needs something to look forward to after all.

Get together with your teacher friends

We appreciate that all you want to do at the end of a teaching day, when you’re covered in PVA glue and scratching your head in nit paranoia, is dive under your duvet and watch Netflix. But sharing your joys and woes throughout January could be the key to improving your mood and motivation. Your teaching friends/colleagues are the perfect pals to call upon. Organise a trip to the cinema or go out for a coffee to unwind and enjoy some like-minded company.

Write thank you cards with your class

Let’s focus on the good stuff – the lovely watch, smellies, and vouchers you got for Christmas. Have you said thank you? Writing thank you cards is cathartic at this time of year. Not only this, but what a perfect literacy/arts and crafts lesson to ease your pupils back into the school term. Learning what your pupils got for Christmas and showing gratitude for what you received is a perfect close to the Christmas period; guaranteed to lift that mood and blast the winter blues!

Treat yourself to a new diary

In a world that is often filled with deadlines and lists as long as your leg, a diary can calm a busy mind. Take back control and transfer all the rotas, dates and tasks you have stored in your mind (dangerous!) into a new diary. It will help you organise your commitments and ensure that your brain is free to think about other things. Plus, what teacher doesn’t love new stationery? Heck, why not get a new pen, too.

 Set goals with your class

Setting goals to work towards with your class is a great way to forget about what has gone before (mulled wine, Love Actually, presents) and focus on the future. It could be anything from remembering to tidy the reading corner, to all pupils aiming to fill their sticker chart by half term.  This way, if you are having a particularly bad day, you have something positive to focus on and work towards with your class.

Take a healthy lunch… and eat it!

Good nutrition is essential for our mental health. Practising what you preach when it comes to healthy eating is hard especially at this time of year, but it’s important! Get organised and make yourself a healthy lunch for the working week. We know it’s a miracle if you can grab five minutes for lunch, but if, on the rare occasion you do, make sure it’s healthy. Take a look at our blog by food blogger, Helen Graves, that gives you 5 quick and healthy lunch ideas.

Look through your past to-do lists

Looking back on what you have achieved previously is a huge confidence booster. Teachers commonly achieve a huge amount in their day-to-day jobs. Just have a quick scan of what you did before Christmas and show yourself what you can achieve. After all, if you’re not going to blow your own trumpet, who will?

We can’t promise a miraculous recovery from festive blues, and we know these things take time – but be patient. It will get better! When you pause your chaperoning for a quick groove on the dance floor at the Year 6 Valentine’s disco and are blubbing at the KS1 Mother’s Day assembly – we will be satisfied that our work is done!

<a href="" target="_self">Talitha McLachlan</a>

Talitha McLachlan

Hope Education writer

Talitha worked as a primary and secondary teacher for 9 years before turning her hand to writing. She is passionate about effective education of children and supporting teachers to do this. In her free time, Talitha enjoys sewing, films, and spending time with her two cats.

19 May 2020

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