One of the perks and necessities of our job is having a break during the summer to reset and get ready for another year. We have the space to reflect, enjoy some daylight, and drink coffee for pleasure rather than survival.
I strongly believe that self-care for counselors is so important.When you feel stressed or exhausted you have a limited amount of energy to give to others. Making your own well being a priority is a must! I do my best to make an effort to include some sort of self-care activity on a weekly basis.It does take time and planning but it is so worth it. Summer is a perfect time to recharge your batteries. I really enjoy the friendships I’ve made with my co-workers. I found that I missed them over the summer. So, a few years ago my co-workers and I started doing Windridge (our school name) Wednesday. The last week of school, we get together to plan our self-care summer schedule.We have done activities such as lunch, movies, hikes, short road trips, river rafting etc. It has been such a great way to reduce stress and have FUN!
While I always manage to squeeze in a 3-day trip to an island in Maine with my extended family, I mostly recharge by changing my routine and checking things off my to-do list: I put together the new resources I’ve created throughout the year for my TpT store, work on my creative writing, and add content to my website. I clean the closets and wash the curtains. This year I’ll be working on publishing my first picture book. My summers may not be heavy on what other people consider “self-care,” but I feel good about being productive and am always excited about returning to school.
Laurie Mendoza, School Counseling Files
My summer self-care activities have changed over the years. I used to challenge myself with different activities to stretch myself, from 5ks to sprint triathlons to home improvement projects. Now with young children, I find myself needing this time to slow down and simplify. Summer is my opportunity to regroup from the mental overload that occurs every school year. I’m able to eliminate the constant thoughts about things that need to be done for students and school, and instead focus on simpler activities like taking my children to the parks, going to the local farmer’s markets, eating outside, and even cleaning out and organizing my home. Using this time to reorganize, regroup, and refocus helps me return to school in the fall in an energized state.
Gretchen, from Speckled Moose Counseling
How are you taking care of yourself before school?
How do you take care of yourself during the year?
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.