13 Tips for Educators For Maintaining A Work-Life Balance During the Holiday Season

  1. Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. Of course, when your aunt/mother/friend brings over a batch of your favorite cookies, you are going to want to have one. That’s fine. But when random food from unknown places shows up in the teacher’s lounge, avoid it. Save the calories for treats you really want.
  2. Meal plan and freeze leftovers. Whenever you cook for your family, make a large amount and freeze the rest. Soups, chili, lasagna, casseroles and many desserts freeze well and can be thawed and used during your busy days.
  3. It’s fine to get take out food, but try to avoid too much unhealthy fried fast food. Many of the sit-down chains have “curbside to go” which you can feel good about feeding yourself and family. And you can order online and verify the nutrition/calories on their website.
  4. Don’t forget to exercise at least a little bit. A quick brisk wall or short yoga routine will help you maintain your energy level.
  5. Teachers know to avoid germs in their classroom, but don’t forget the other places you go. Be careful in shops, restaurants, elevators and especially the gym because viruses and germs lurk everywhere this time of the year. Avoid touching knobs or handles when possible, and keep your antibacterial/Purell nearby and use frequently.
  6. If you haven’t discovered online shopping, you must try it. Unless physical shopping is your thing, you will save time and money by online shopping. And with many retailers, returns are simple.  Disclaimer – Be careful if your items come from overseas.  It can take many weeks to receive your order and be tricky to return. Verify the return policy/delivery date/shipping fees for any order before placing it.
  7. Decorate moderately- Teachers often receive more little gifts than they know what to do with, but you don’t have to use everything. Put up your favorite pieces/ornaments and donate the rest. Your post-holiday self will thank you.
  8. You can never go wrong with a gift card for any person over age 12. Most grocery stores stock them. Easiest gift ever.
  9. Budget your time the same way you budget your money or calories. You don’t have to feel obligated to attend everyone else’s Christmas program (no matter how good it may be). Set boundaries with your friends and family. Just say “no” when you need to.
  10. Delegate when possible. So what if the tree is not decorated perfectly, there is no reason why someone else can’t hang the decorations or plan a dinner.
  11. Hire help. Since you are a teacher some of your colleagues (or you) have teens who would love to earn some extra money. Let them run a vacuum, fold clothes or watch your kids so you can take a much-needed nap.
  12. Make sleep a priority. Have a regular planned bed-time and stick to it. Whatever you have left to do can wait until tomorrow.
  13. Take care of you. It’s OK to take a 30-minute hot bath. If Hallmark movies and glass of wine/cup of tea are your thing, there is no reason not to watch a few with your feet up. But don’t watch random TV for no reason. Just like you make lesson plans at school, you can make plans to relax as well.

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