A Sunday well spent, brings a week of content.
Have you ever watched an educator walking to the parking lot from the school building on a Friday afternoon? Usually, their arms are full of “stuff”. Rolling carts, bags of paperwork, items to grade, district-issued laptops, containers of spoiled food that they forgot to eat. The works. More often than naught, the two days of what is supposed to be a couple of days to regroup and recharge for the week, end up becoming “catch-up” days.
Some of who even put our bags in the living room and leave them there until Sunday evening experience slight anxiety as the weekend winds down, realizing that those two days weren’t really enough time to disconnect. “Self-Care Sunday” is a phrase that most of world considers a day of pampering. For educators, Self-Care Sunday really needs to begin on Friday.
First things first, when you leave the school building for the weekend TURN YOUR NOTIFICATIONS OFF. ALL. OF. THEM. We have become conditioned to react to a series of pings, bells, dings and whistles. As a byproduct of that, we have begun to respond to things that can wait as an absolute emergency. I promise you, that the school building will not burn down while you’re away. And if it does, so what? Your co-worker that usually knows all of the gossip will call you. You wouldn’t need to check your e-mail to find out.
If you MUST play catch-up over the weekend – set a time frame. The other day, I sent my assistant principal an e-mail at 8PM on a Friday evening. I wasn’t expecting him to read it, but he responded on Saturday morning (which I didn’t read until Monday morning lol). As we both fussed at each other for sending and responding to e-mails during our downtimes, he mentioned that he uses 3 hours on Saturday mornings to catch-up on school related things. I use Friday evenings as my catch up time. Both of us discussed how we’ve had to set specific cut-off hours so that we can truly use what the weekends were meant for – to recharge. In our serving professions, we cannot give from empty vessels.
Use your Sundays to focus on your MIND, BODY, SPIRIT and HEART. By focus, I mean concentrating on keeping those areas balanced during the upcoming week.
MIND: Entering a week blindly, can cause unnecessary stress. Be mindful and set intentions. What do you NEED to accomplish? What do you WANT to accomplish? What are you OK with if it doesn’t get done?
BODY: Put your body first. Meal prep. Pack lunch and snacks. Fill your water bottle. Starving throughout a work day leads to unhealthy nutritional habits. Don’t forget to pay attention to your body. Breathe. Stretch. Work up a little sweat.
SPIRIT: Feed your Spirit. During your workweek, that angel can morph into a devil that sits on your shoulder. Set aside time for prayer or meditation. Create a mantra to repeat throughout the week. Make a playlist of your favorite songs that give you energy when the going gets rough.
HEART: Take this time to nurture your heart. If you are an introvert that craves time alone, spend time with yourself. If you crave the company of others – do an activity with your family and friends.
Finally, it is now time to direct all of your positive energy towards….
SCHOOL: Let’s admit it. None of us are in it for the riches or accolades. Being an effective educator is a labor of love – which can sometimes wear us down. As you are preparing for the upcoming week, it is easy to wish that you had just one more day to restore or cause you to focus on problems you may face that you really do not have immediate control over. Instead, use Sunday to speak life into your students and the positive outcomes you envision for them during the week. Speak life into your co-workers. Spend an additional 10 seconds on the one who finds everything to complain about. Send a healing vibration that they will find something to enjoy. *wink* Finally, make note of 3 things that you look forward to during the upcoming week – even if it’s as simple as “jeans day” on Friday. 🙂