Summer Break is for Teachers too!
It’s Summer Break! Now what?
I don’t know about you, but it can be hard for me to relax as I move into the summer months. Yah, a big part of me wants to relax, but another part feels like I should be preparing for next year.
Let me stop you there!
It's Summer Break! Now What?
It’s summer! Resist the urge to keep working on school stuff! You need at least a solid month of clearing your mind of all things school! But when you’re used to going 24/7 in a million different directions, it can be hard to slow down enough to relax.
So, I’m here to help! Here are some fun things to do that you wouldn’t normally have time to do. These activities will allow you to connect to others, be creative, laugh, and best of all- keep your mind off of school!
Want to hold yourself accountable for doing things that will help you de-stress after a long year of teaching? Download this FREE scratch-off!
It prints on a letter size piece of paper and you can use either scratch off stickers or make some scratch off paint to paint over them.
There are 4 options: full size, half size, and a color or blackline version for each!
Scratch off paint is fun and easy! You just mix equal parts of silver acrylic paint with Dawn dish soap. Then place a small piece of transparent tape over the scratchable surface and paint over it with your mixture. Apply another coat after it dries and you have yourself a scratch off! Of course, it’s easier to just get the scratch off stickers of Amazon.
So, here’s my list of 15 things to do over the summer to help you relax and avoid doing school stuff:
1. Volunteer for a Non-Profit!
“Happiness comes from accomplishments: joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude, and hope.”
– David Brooks
Scoop up some joy this summer by offering the gift of your time to an organization that is spending their resources on something you really believe in!
My favorite non-profit is Mercy House Global, an organization that rescues pregnant teenagers in Kenya. I’ll looking forward to helping them with their volunteer work this summer and gleaning a little wonder, gratitude, and hope as I do so!
2. Listen to your Favorite Soundtrack from High School
The Cranberries was my favorite band when I was in high school. (Yes, I know that dates me.) A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a vinyl record from Amazon and eagerly awaited its arrival.
As I listened to the songs, nostalgia crept in and brought me to a place in time when I was carefree and eager to just live life. As the music lingered (pun intended) in the room, I was able to free my mind of the nagging voice to do something productive. Those old lyrics helped me to simply relax and enjoy the moment.
3. Sing Some Karaoke
While we are thinking about music, why not sing some karaoke. No, I’m not talking about going to a bar and getting up in front of complete strangers. (Although if you like that, go for it!) Just mosey over to Youtube and google “karaoke” plus the title to some of your favorite songs.
Who cares if you can sing well! It’s not about impressing anyone- it’s about having fun and expressing yourself! If you can’t think of a song, how about “Express Yourself!” Or maybe some of my favorites: Carrie Underwood’s “Before he Cheats” or Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.” Any song you can imagine is on Youtube, ready for the singing!
4. Surprise Someone with a Grand Gesture!
It feels so good to do something for someone else. Once you get started with a plan, you’ll be energized and excited for the big reveal. Last week I surprised my hubby with a music room makeover. I turned our extra bedroom into a music room for him, complete with all his musical instruments and old band memorabilia from his glory days. Yes, he loved the surprise, but the fun part was everything that went into the surprise.
Knowing I was doing something for someone I loved brought me energy, excitement, and joy! Think about what you could do for your spouse, your kids, your best friend, or even a complete stranger! Do it, and do it BIG!
5. Prepare Some Freezer Meals to Have Later
Pinterest has a million great options for freezer meals! Having all the ingredients out and ready to put together into several different recipes awakens your inner Rachel Ray.
You could do this with a friend or two as well! Each friend can make several batches of their own recipe and everyone can share their creation. It will be a fun evening whipping up some delicious dinners! But, wait there’s more!
Everyone knows the very best part about freezer meals is that they save you from having to cook a meal on another week night! It truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Got a call from your friend inviting you to a last minute get-together? No need to worry! Your kids are already taken care of!
6. Organize a Summer Get-Together
Just because you’re trying not to focus on school doesn’t mean you can’t hang with your school friends.
Every year my team hugs goodbye with promises of getting together during the summer, but it rarely happens! It’s not because we don’t want to see each other, it’s just that no one takes the initiative to organize something. You can be that one this year! Pick a time and place and then just invite people.
Of course, some people will be on vacation or have plans, but others will be available. If you try and wait for the perfect time, it will never happen. But if you plan it, they will come! PS. Before the event begins, make a rule: No talking about school!
7. Read a New Book!
No, I’m not talking about one of those “learning books!” If it has a buzzword in the title, put it back! Read a book that makes you feel something!
One that when it’s over, you’re left wishing for more story! If you don’t know what to read, ask your friends. Or ask people on Instagram or Facebook. Read for enjoyment; get sucked in by a story that whisks you away to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. And when you’re finished, maybe read the sequel!
8. Plant Something & Watch it Grow!
If you have the resources, plant a luscious garden bursting with nutritious veggies and beautiful flowers. But at the very least, plant something and watch it grow.
Start it from a tiny seed that will bravely poke its head through the rich soil you planted it in. Water it, nurture it, and watch it grow into what it was created to be. There’s a simple pleasure in watching something change over days and weeks. Take a picture each day if you want to have a really cool GIF for your Instagram story!
9. Organize Your Closet!
Marie Condo says it best! If it doesn’t spark joy- toss it! Cleaning out your closet is liberating! It leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and rows full of clothes that you’ll actually wear! Gone are the days of scooting ten hangers to the side before you find a top you’ll actually wear. If you clean your closet out this week, you’ll enjoy it all summer long. You may just want to hide out there for a little quiet time.
10. Go Night Swimming By Yourself
If you’ve never done this, put it on your bucket list. There is just something special about relaxing in water that’s spent all day being warmed by the summer sun. Floating on your back with the stars glistening off the water’s surface fills you with a calm solitude that will leave you thinking about the most important things in your life.
11. Go See a Live Performance
Whether you like music, comedy, dance, or theatrics, there is something you can spend your evening doing that will bring you joy, inspiration, and culture. When you support the arts, you’re supporting someone’s passion and dream, and when you do that, it sparks a super cool feeling in yourself.
I’m blessed to have musical theater be a giant part of my life. With a daughter who has aspirations of being on Broadway, I’m never short on dates at the theater. I have never once left a performance wishing I would have instead stayed home.
12. Repurpose Something
The older I get, the more I appreciate history and the stories behind just about everything.
Recently I’ve discovered Facebook Marketplace where I purchased an end table from a neighbor for $15.00. With some elbow grease and grey chalk paint, I was able to bring an old table back to life and provide it a good home in my living room. I felt so accomplished that I’ve been lining up other stuff to paint too. Whether you make a dress for your little girl out of a men’s shirt you picked up at Goodwill, recover some tacky throw pillows you dug out of a closet, or turn a guitar case into a coffee table (which I did for my hubby’s surprise music room), take some time this summer to turn trash into treasure.
13. Do a Craft
With Pinterest on my home page of apps, there is never a shortage of crafty ideas! Last week I completed a painting project, and I recently purchased a cross-stitch kit featuring cute little criss-crossy versions of the cast of Hamilton.
Any project that sends me racing for Hobby Lobby is my favorite! While some craft activities allow you to be thoughtful and creative, others, like cross-stitching, allow you to use your hands rather mindlessly while still creating something of beauty! Make some home-made-with-love Christmas gifts this summer and have fun doing it.
14. Binge a TV Show
During the school year, there isn’t much time for binging! Even the shows I want to binge on can collect in my DVR storage for weeks before I have time to watch them.
Pop some corn, pour yourself a glass of wine, and log right in to Netflix! My latest binge has been Poldark. I do recommend it!
15. Call an Old Friend!
We all have those friends that we love, but haven’t talked to in a while! Take the time to call them, and I bet you’ll notice that you’re able to catch right up to where you left off. Maybe play 2 Truths and a Lie with them as a fun way to share what has been going on in your life since you’ve last talked!
So what are you waiting for? Print your scratch off poster and get it ready to document the fun things you’ll do this summer! You can even count it as your craft and have something to scratch off right away!
Take a break this summer! I’ll be waiting for you in August when you’re ready to start thinking about school again!