I cannot tell you how ready I am for summer.
The past few weeks have been rough. Our district is going through a lot of changes right now, and because of this transition period, many of us have been under a lot of strain. Because of this, the end of the year just cannot come fast enough. At this point, I don’t know who is more excited for the break…me or my seniors.
As I prepare for the summer months ahead, there are two things on my mind. One is all of the books I’m going to be able to read. And the other is just having time to spend with my kiddo and take care of myself.
For me, self care is one of the first things that goes out the window when I’m stressed. Why? Because for some reason, I’ve decided I’m the lowest priority on my list. Which I recognize is unhealthy. I also recognize I’m not the only one that does this. Educators, and women especially, tend to throw their all into what the people around them need, and by the time we get to ourselves, we just don’t have the energy to do anything other than zone out in front of the television, binge watching Game of Thrones while shoveling popcorn into our faces.
So, I’m sharing my list of a few things I plan on implementing this summer that I hope will become habits by the time next year starts. That way, self care is embedded in my routine, and will no longer feel like something extra that is taking time away from my obligations. By setting these habits up during the summer, when I have the time to devote attention to them, I am giving myself the space to see what works and what doesn’t, and how I can incorporate them into a busy schedule.
You know the old saying, “You are what you eat?” Well, friends, when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. And, with the convenience of fast food and a lack of time in the morning (because of that always enticing snooze button), I eat out way too much.
My plan this summer is to put together a menu of affordable, healthy, easy-to-assemble meals that I can prep on Sundays for the week ahead. I do so much better when I have something in the fridge that I can just grab and go, so when I began thinking of the ways I can start taking care of myself, meal prep immediately came to mind.
Update My Wardrobe
I came into this profession after two years of being a stay at home mom, so much of my closet was taken up with yoga pants, t-shirts, and sports bras. Not exactly professional. I bought a few necessities at the outset, but overall, I just haven’t been in love with my work clothes. And this bugs me.
So this summer, my goal is to stock up little by little, finding those key pieces I can’t live without, inspired by the pins I have socked away on Pinterest over the course of the past year. If you’ve read my “Ethical Fashion on a Budget” post, you know I love a good thrift store, but I’m also thinking about trying Stitch Fix, which has some ethical brands available and delivers right to your door. If I try them out, I’ll be sure to leave a review, in case any of our followers are interested 🙂
My poor hair is one of the first things to suffer when I’m crunched for time. I am the queen of the bun, and while I doubt that will change (I can’t stand my hair in my face) I’m making an effort to be more aware of the damage I’m doing to my hair.
A couple of things I hope to implement in my quest for healthier hair:
- I’ve heard really good things about Sugar Bear vitamins, and I’m hoping to add them to my beauty routine this summer.
- And, I would like to reincorporate a weekly hair mask, which I’ve used in the past and had great results with.
My advice is to do research, find what’s best for your hair type, and begin taking care of those locks! Because if you’re anything like me, when my hair feels good, I feel good!
Reinvest Time in my Hobbies
My extra time goes toward cleaning my house and spending time with my family. Which means other things fall by the wayside.
Outside of this blog, I’ve barely written since the beginning of the school year. I have so many books on my to-read list, it’s insane. And there is a brand new pack of watercolor paints sitting unopened at home, along with an unmarred sketchbook.
These are things that I use for my own personal fulfillment. I’m a cerebral person, and when I’m not engaged in activities that challenge me or make me think, I find myself feeling unfulfilled. So this summer, I’m taking back my hobby time! Look out world!
J.’s Time is Sacred Time
I pick J. up from daycare and drive home. We get home, get a snack, and the television is turned on. She alternately runs around, eats, and watches television until bath time. Then it’s off to bed. This is our routine. Every day. Then weekends are spent running errands, cleaning, and relaxing before returning to the grind.
One of the first things to go when I went back to work was playtime with J. Before, our television was on for a very small fraction of the time. We played, we learned, we spent quality time. Now, I’m just focused on keeping her alive and relatively healthy, all while trying to stay sane.
This may seem an odd goal for a self care article, but feeling good in my role as mother is essential to my well being. Am I saying I have to be a perfect mom to be fulfilled as a woman? Absolutely not. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. But, when I feel off with J. I feel off in life. And I’m not happy with the fact that I rarely play with my daughter anymore. So, one of my goals this summer is to set everything aside, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, and play with my baby girl.
As educators, we have so much on our plates. We have state standards, high stakes testing, grades, lesson plans. We have the well-being of hundreds of kids who are not our own resting on our shoulders. We have our own kids. Our own lives…We have A LOT. And in all of this madness, we often push ourselves to the side.
At the end of the day, you have to make yourself a priority. And with the long days of summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time to focus on yourself. Set goals that focus on getting back on track. That help you to recharge and reboot before another school year begins. Take advantage of this time to feel good about yourself. Because you deserve it.