top of page

Last Minute R&R Tips for Teachers - 5 Quick Tricks!

As the summer winds to a close for many of us, we’re hopefully rested and relaxed, ready to charge renewed into a new school year. What many of us relapse into during the school year is the stressful grind; this year, let’s stress the importance of nurturing our own mental health and making time for all of those R&R perks we tend to save for summer.

It’s an integral part of educator mental health, especially in the 21st century. We must prioritize our own rest, relaxation, and mindfulness to truly give the best of ourselves to our students and our fellow faculty.

Here are some quick and easy ways to start R&R habits now that will carry into your school year:

#1 - Moments of Mindfulness

It’s a giant pause, a hesitation, a breath in your day. Train yourself to look for those moments that light you up on the inside, reminding you of why you wanted to be an educator in the first place. Appreciate them in the moment, or take a mental snapshot and tuck them away for reflection later.

#2 - Top-of-the-Hour Deep Breathing

Set your watch to buzz every hour on the hour and take 1 minute to focus on deep breathing. Also known by the tiny humans as “belly breathing” or “rainbow breathing,” this technique involves inhaling slowly as you watch your stomach (belly) expand like a balloon. You’ll be able to find your own rhythm based on your lung capacity, but a count of 5-10 should work. When you hit the number, pause and hold, thinking positively about one thing.

Then slowly exhale, pulling your belly in from an invisible string hooked to your belly button to the same cadence. Pause at the bottom, and give thanks or recite a positive affirmation. Repeat this for 60 seconds!

#3 - Prioritize & Train for Sleep

Summer is a great time to stay up late and enjoy every precious second, but sleep should be a top priority, especially during the school year. As mentioned in How Much Sleep Do I Really Need?, your body knows what it needs, so figure out your ideal sleep time and then make yourself a promise to stick to it. You’ll need to start training your body ahead of time to go to bed at that time and start waking up when your alarm chimes.

#4 - Let the Sun Shine!

Sunshine brings much-needed vitamin D into our bodies, but most adults and kids don’t get enough. Give yourself a nice daily dose of at least 10 minutes in the sunshine. Take a walk at lunchtime, sit by a window and read, or park at the back of the school lot and walk in slowly.

How can you know if you need more vitamin D? You’ll be fatigued, restless, not sleeping well, depressed, and maybe even have aching bones or hair loss. You don’t need any of that in your classroom. (Most kids and teens are deficient as well, so consider a brief walk outside with your class, too!)

#5 - Quick Unwind Playlist

Whether you need to headbang out aggression or slip into a soothing melody, prepping a playlist on your way to school and on the way home can help you rewind while you jam. You may even want some tunes that put you in a good mood for your free periods at school as well. Now’s the time to flex that digital collection and set yourself up with great playlists.

This is a great icebreaker for students, too. Ask them what one song they identify with most or what song they would want to be played as they enter a stadium. Or have them create a playlist that most identifies who they are. They’ll love you for it!

Five tricks to keep you rested and relaxed throughout your entire school year. Don’t neglect your own mental health. Your schools need the best you have to offer, which begins with prioritizing your own self-care.



bottom of page