“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell
And so we arrive at the Easter break. Two weeks to decompress. Perhaps you have plans for family get-togethers and religious celebrations. Days are warmer and longer and ripe for the taking.
And of course we know the science of why it is good for us to enjoy this time: it gives our bodies a break from the stress hormones which raise heart rate and blood pressure, leading to physical and mental fatigue. By comparison, a release of feel-good chemicals repairs our cells and promotes positive feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
““Daring leaders say the unsaid, unsurface what's been pushed down, and bring to light the stuff that's in the shadows and in the corners.” -Brené Brown
Yet, we’re not always good at adjusting to this ‘holiday life’. Whilst the day-to-day routine of ‘school life’ stops, the meaningful work behind it does not. There are still exams approaching, staffing and child concerns, impending inspections and a plethora of other issues which do not simply disappear because the school building is closed.
Schools are so much more than the building. Schools are organic communities: alive and breathing. Being part of that body often brings a tangle of attachments and sense of responsibility which may not be fully understood by those in different sectors.
If this resonates, I offer this article as an invitation to prioritise yourself: not to be selfish, but to be self-caring.
“Self-care is not self-indulgent, it is self-preservation” – Audre Lorde
If finding what works for you is a challenge in itself, The Healthy Mind Platter may give you food for thought. This model identifies 7 essential ‘nutrients’ to maximise mental health:
Here are a few questions which may support your thinking about this:
Which of these ‘nutrients’ might you need more of to feel at your best?
How important do you believe it is for you to get a complete release this Easter?
During the break, what will you give yourself permission to do, to be, to feel?
We frequently see those we coach finding ways to embed these 7 essential nutrients into regular ‘school life’ as well. Recent examples include: returning to a weekly pilates class, finishing earlier one day a week to have dinner with family, journalling before bed, getting up 20 minutes earlier to exercise, and so on.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Feed yourself a healthy balance this Easter, to provide the nourishment and sustenance needed to protect your valuable energy and precious health. Take care of yourself, giving your mind, body and spirit what they need while you have the opportunity.
Leadership Edge is a growing team of experienced school leaders who have seen person-centred coaching create high-performing, happy and healthy cultures within our schools. Our mission is to empower other school leaders to create positive workplaces where staff are solution-focused and actively responsible for their own personal wellbeing and professional development.
Our 3-Tier Coaching Accreditation Programme is low-cost and self-sustaining, providing a systematic and structured model for staff across your school to become powerful coaches for each other, enhancing colleague relationships and their feeling of being valued as an individual within a supportive school community.