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with thanks to
Catholic Education Office Townsville

As the 2021 school year draws to an end, some teachers and school staff may feel like they are hurtling towards the finish line while others may feel like they are crawling! As schools are integral in assisting children and young people to transition into the next phase of their learning and teaching journeys, it is a good time to think about teacher and staff wellbeing and how teachers and staff might use the summer break to recharge their batteries.

These last months of the year can be very hectic, with reports to be written, end of year events to plan and attend, sometimes staff career or life transitions to navigate – moving to new roles or new schools, preparing for 2022 so teachers and other staff can hit the ground running… and that’s just work! Often the personal lives of school staff are equally hectic at this time. Somewhere among all of this activity, so often focused on meeting the needs of others, it is important that school staff try to find time to attend to their own needs and self-care.

Self-care is understanding how to enhance personal health and wellbeing and manage stress. This includes learning to identify activities and practices that support wellbeing as a professional and help to sustain positive self-care in the long-term.

Looking after mental health is crucial in enabling us to live our lives in positive and meaningful ways, and to cope with life’s changes and challenges.

Headspace Australia recommend the best tips for school staff recharging their batteries and getting back some balance include:

  • Sleep is the key: Find a consistent and healthy sleep pattern. Reduce light stimulus, use of screens before bed, and have a cool sleeping room temperature. Sleep is one of the most critical elements to maintain good mental health.
  • Get into nature: Oxygen, moving, fresh air, and activity are all perfect ways to regain your balance and improve your mood.
  • Connect: Being with other people, being a part of a club, or connecting with others just to check in improves our sense of belonging and connectedness and can help maintain positive moods or help shift lower or flat moods.
  • Consider what goes in your mouth: Sometimes when we have a flat mood we can make less healthy choices about what we consume. Getting a balanced diet and having an alcohol free day can help with finding balance over the Christmas and New Year festive period.
  • Switch off: The holidays are a great time to get away from screens, emails, social media, and switch off all devices.
    Be conscious of how much time you are using your devices and take a break to enjoy other things in life.

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