Are you feeling under the weather now that you’re back to work?
They say Blue Monday is officially the most miserable day of the year. After the Christmas lull, we all feel a little down in the dumps knowing that we are back into the hectic schedule that we call our life.
But do not fear, for Teacher Toolkit is here to help you make your Blue Monday a happier colour – maybe a warm orange.
10 Steps To Happy
1. Start the day with that song that never fails to perk up your mood
Play it on your commute, or have it on as the children come into the classroom. You might even get a few compliments on your music taste (or not as the case may be). You could even make a whole playlist to play throughout the day quietly to keep your mind content.
2. Take your favourite hot drink to school
On Blue Monday, no one wants to go into work and pour themselves a cup of the ersatz coffee on offer. Yes, we have budgets, we understand that Douwe Egberts can’t make an appearance in our staffroom. But for today, take in your favourite brew – if you’re feeling perky from all the other tips in this list, maybe you’ll feel inclined to share it with your colleagues!
3. Take some time to meditate
Take a few minutes when you have time on your busy Monday to sit down in a comfortable seat and take some deep breaths. Scan down your body slowly in your mind just noting where feels tense or uncomfortable and focus on relaxing those areas. A little breathing can go a long way to relax your mind.
4. Teach your favourite subject
No one likes a Monday at the best of times, so teach something that you love. I know that I feel 100 times better about a day if I teach History. It doesn’t have to be a whole lesson but even just a fun plenary or nifty learning strategy that fills you with joy when you whip it out of your own teacher toolkit.
5. Try something new
There might be something that you have been wanting to try, even just a little starter game. Why not make today the day you just go for it. Or if it needs more planning, make a start on that. Take the first steps towards using different strategies in your classroom.
6. Have a treat for your lunch
After Christmas, we all tend to be in a food coma, or putting pressure on ourselves to only eat very healthy foods. This Monday give yourself a nice lunch to look forward to. Mine would be leftover pizza – but I suppose that’s actually two treat days… Oh well!
7. Have a lunchtime stroll
A little exercise when you’re not feeling your best is often the best medicine. Even if you feel like you don’t want to do anything in this cold weather, just take a short stroll to clear your mind and take in some fresh air.
8. Learn a new fact
As teachers, we never stop learning! Find out something that you didn’t know before and tell other people so that they can be amazed by your vast knowledge – especially if it’s a useless subject!
9. End the day with some reading
Even with older students, take the last 15 minutes of the day to read some pages of a book that you love. My class can’t wait to read ‘Wonder’ at the end of every day and I can’t help but feel happy to see them so invested in fiction.
10. Watch your favourite film
Give yourself something to look forward to when you go home at the end of the day. Snuggle up on the sofa, maybe with your favourite beverage (but only one, there’s work tomorrow!) and let go of work just for a couple of hours. Submerge yourself in the plotline and let it carry you away.
Don’t let the winter blues stop you from being an incredible teacher today. Smile. Breathe. Relax. You’ve got this.