Taking a Breath – Managing The Start Of The School Year Rush and Strategies For A Healthy Work Life Balance

Taking a Breath

How has the year started for you?

Inspiring professional learning to start the year? Social media posts and reels have shared some great pictures of teachers and school leaders in action!

The annual rush of mandatory compliance tasks waits online, and new syllabi are ready to go.  Primary school teachers are familiar with the routine of learning about, and then implementing new syllabi. A new experience for many high school teachers. 

Most importantly, setting up your classroom!  

Is it Week 1 or 2? Week A or B? Release time organised? Is the timetable ready? The start of the school year is tough. (If you are reading this, keep going! You can do it!)

While taking a breath might be the last thing on your mind, making the time to step back is time for you to focus on how you will balance work and home commitments and expectations.

It can be easy to ride the rush of the new school year. 

Strategies that develop a healthy work/home balance ensures that you can be your best self, at work and home. 

Self-care can be described in several ways: 

  • Activities and practices that give you strength, that lower the level of stress and contribute to your wellbeing 
  • Reflecting on when stress is manageable/less manageable 
  • Reflecting on when physical and emotional wellbeing is enhanced 

Strategies that can be applied to manage self-care include: 

  • Physical self-care: sleep, diet, physical activity
  • Emotional self-care: gratitude practices, experiences, relationship, and connection
  • Psychological self-care: reflective journaling, non-work hobbies, scheduled down time
  • Workplace self-care: a consistent plan, peer support, professional learning, and development
  • Spiritual self-care: reflective practices and places, time in nature, meditation, breathing techniques.
  • Relationship self-care: close relationship, family, and friends, reflecting on work schedules and impact on home life.

Self-care means putting actions in place for self-care strategies and allowing maximum opportunities to practice self-care. Despite the difficulty in finding this time, the very action to highlight the significance of a healthy work/life balance is the first step.