The article ‘It's official, teachers must relax over Christmas to avoid burnout’, discusses this prevalent issue. It gives some advice on how to make the most of the Christmas break to recuperate from the anxiety and stress that has accumulated throughout the term.
Overall, this article is stating that to be a teacher is to be stressed, which I am sure many teachers can relate to.
Several tips in the article were:
- As well as having the festive break, teachers need to take regular holidays, albeit a day off here and there or a long weekend, as this is an essential part of teacher well-being, so that they can ‘recover from the considerable demands of the job’. Although it is true that having regular breaks will help with stress, couldn’t there be another way to address this problem while teachers are at work?
- Disconnecting from work emails whilst being on holiday is beneficial. Is it possible to take this a step further to lessen anxiety during term time as well? For example, by disconnecting from work emails and lesson preparation an hour or so before going to bed, provides time to wind down in the evening, giving our minds and bodies a chance to stop whirling around.
- Finding time for yourself during the holiday is a good way to help avoid burnout. Isn’t this another great practice that could be incorporated into daily life instead of waiting for the holidays? Just having ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, during day or evening of putting oneself first, could be another tool to improve the tiredness we feel from work demands.
- Practicing techniques that support us to keep our mind with what our bodies are doing during the holidays is another way to help us recover from the burden of stress. However, we could also make an effort to be more present whilst we are teaching and interacting with students and colleagues, reducing the potential for burnout.
There seems to be a general acceptance of anxiety and burnout being part of life as a teacher. What if it was possible to be in this profession without having a desperate need for a holiday every time the end of term came around?
By incorporating self-care into their daily living, teachers could get back to enjoying their job instead of counting the days to the next holiday. Holidays could then be spent more enjoyably, doing interesting things rather than just recovering from the stresses of work.