3 Steps to Avoid the Summer Holiday Slump
When you break up for the summer, you are initially full of hope.
You’ve got 6 weeks ahead of you with no school required.
You can get up whenever you fancy it (or at least have a mini lie in compared to school days…).
Yet, inside you feel rubbish. You have zero motivation and feel completely exhausted.
It puts a complete downer on your summer holiday, which all of a sudden drags out in front of you like a never ending pit of emptiness and dread.
Suddenly, a tiny part of you admits that you miss the structure and purpose that school offers.
How can you overcome the funk and get back to enjoying your summer holidays? Follow these three steps to get your summer holidays back on track.
1) You’re exhausted. Accept it.
Yep, you’ve got it. Accept the funk.
You’ve been working at 100mph all year. It’s hardly surprising that you are lacking motivation and feeling exhausted. Your body and mind are responding to the sudden release of pressure and expectation.
So roll with it.
Grab your favourite hot drink, sink into the sofa and lose yourself in your guilty pleasure of choice, whether that is your favourite chick-lit (Marian Keyes anyone?) or Netflix boxset (can I recommend Umbrella Academy; literally can’t get enough of it) and relax.
Giving yourself permission to rest and relax lifts that feeling of guilt that is lingering in the pit of your stomach.
It’s okay. It’s your holiday. You can let go.
2) Set a deadline for your funk
Lazy days are all well and good but they eventually begin to drag on your mental wellbeing.
According to Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier, human beings are happy when they enjoy a combination of purpose and pleasure in their lives. Lazy days serve your pleasure-drive but they will not satisfy your need for purpose in your days.
Having said that, lazy days are restorative and give you much needed rest. So, to avoid the mental wellbeing slump, set yourself a deadline for when the lazy days come to an end. When this is is up to you; I know I begin to feel low if I have more than a couple of lazy days in a row so my deadline may be earlier than yours. And that’s fine.
Setting a deadline helps you to see an end to your slump. This achieves two things. First, it gives you permission to enjoy your lazy days to the max. Second, it enables you to see that having a lazy time does not make you a lazy person (a terrible accusation for any teacher to experience) and so there is purpose again on the horizon for you.
3) Create a summer bucket list
Once you have reached your lazy days deadline, now is the time to reinsert a bit of your mojo back into your days. To achieve this, create a list of activities you’d like to enjoy. Think of it as your summer holiday bucket list.
- What are my intentions for my summer holiday?
- At the end of my holiday, what would I like to look back on and value?
- What is the best way that I can spend my time off?
These questions will help you to decipher the purpose you’d like to have behind your summer holiday.
Now, purpose is not the same as productivity. The purpose of your summer holiday may be to top up your quota of vitamin D in the garden with a stack of books that you’ve been wanting to read all year. Your purpose may be to get out into nature or exercise more. Purpose can incorporate relaxation. It doesn’t have to be a to-do list.
By following these three steps, you can enjoy your summer holiday slump guilt-free whilst also making the most of your summer holiday.
Remember: you are not on duty right now. No work is expected of you. You have my permission (if you need it!) to chill and do whatever you fancy. So, let go of the guilt, slip into your comfiest clothes and relax. You’ve earned it.
Gemma Drinkall is an educational wellbeing coach, helping middle leaders in education to switch off from teaching so that they can switch on in their lives. If you would like help achieving a life outside of teaching guilt-free, book a call with her today: calendly.com/headsphere/bookacallwithgemma