The summer holidays are a chance for school leaders and teachers to take a break and recharge. The past two academic years have been like no other but, you have made it through and, we are finally starting to see restrictions lift.
While most of us may not be taking a trip abroad this summer or stepping foot on a plane, the thought of it did get us thinking… The thought is a slightly morbid one but, please bear with us! Typically, when the challenges of school life come hurtling towards those in charge (much like when the plane goes down), many school leaders forget to put their own oxygen masks on first before helping others.
The problem with this? Putting yourself last often leads to even greater stress which means that you aren’t able to give 100% to those around you. There’s a reason flight attendants give you this instruction and that’s because those without oxygen can’t help others. With that said, it’s really important that school leaders put themselves first and look after themselves so that they are able to effectively support not just their students and staff but also their family and friends too.
Here are some simple ways in which you can metaphorically put your mask on first:
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking lots of water improves your physical health in all sorts of ways but research has also shown that water is important for maintaining your mental health. Dehydration may increase your risk of anxiety and depression, among other unhealthy mental states.
Research has found that there is a link between what you eat and how you feel. Your diet can affect your brain. Eating well – which means having a balanced diet full of vegetables and nutrients – can improve your sense of wellbeing and your mood. So, while it may be the easier option step away from the takeaway menu and head to the pantry instead.
Healthy body, healthy mind. It has been proven that those who are in better shape are able to handle stress better. Hopefully, with it being the school holidays, we’ll have some nice weather so lots of opportunities for walks, if the gym isn’t your thing!
Whether that’s by doing some meditation or treating yourself to a relaxing bath or even just taking time out to watch your favourite TV show. Take some time out for just you and do something that makes you feel good and allows you to switch off.
Remember, your not piloting the plane. You are just a passenger. But how you handle the turbulence impacts everyone else onboard so the better prepared you are the more you can help them.