Self-care over the holidays

Dec 17, 2018

For educators, it’s especially important to switch off and recuperate over the holidays.

For many people, this is a time to connect with others and celebrate the new term. But for others, the end of term can be a stressful time. It can be busy, preparing for celebrations, and sometimes daunting with the changes of the new term. 

Below are five management strategies to help you deal with the holiday season so you can feel truly rested for the year ahead. 

1. Fully switch off: It’s crucial to keep work off of your holiday schedule, so switch off your email and settle into a holiday routine. Enjoy the time that you have with your family and friends, and do the things you find relaxing.

2. Reflect and set goals: Take the opportunity to look back on your journey and celebrate your achievements – regardless of how small they may seem. 

3. Stay in the present: Being mindful can be an effective way to switch off and to cope with holiday stress. Mindfulness is a proven technique used to reduce stress and help people cope with tough times. 

4. Get support: If you’re feeling alone or lonely, it’s important to reach out and talk to someone. The mental health professionals at Beyond Blue Support Service are available over the holiday period 24/7 via 1300 22 4636, online chat (3pm-12am AEDT) or email (responses within 24 hours). There are also other services to contact for support during this time if you need someone to talk to.

5. Plan ahead: Before you go back to work in the new term, take time to think about how you’ll look after yourself for the remainder of 2019.

Below are some steps to consider:

  • Identify what’s important to you, and what you want to change or do.
  • Find a mentor to offer support, guidance, reassurance and accountability.
  • Try to set realistic expectations for what you can achieve personally and professionally.
  • Look for professional development that inspires and refreshes you.
  • Think about eating well, sleeping well, saying no to unhelpful temptations, practising and developing skills, learning from mistakes, celebrating wins and having outside hobbies or interests. 

Above all, remember that your wellbeing matters. While you're putting your energy into creating a positive mental health environment for children and young people, it’s important to focus on your wellbeing.

Enjoy the break, and happy holidays from the team at Be You! 

For more information on your wellbeing, read the Be You Fact Sheet on Staff Wellbeing.