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How to Use the Holidays and Weekends to Recover Effectively

How to Use the Holidays and Weekends to Recover Effectively

With the first half of the year already over, many teachers are preparing for their winter break and the start of the new term.

This holiday period is crucial to recover from the fatigue that comes with being an educator. With the stress of classroom management, documentation and intensive workloads it’s no wonder teachers are exhausted.

Associate Professor Aliza Werner-Seidler, Head of Population Mental Health at Black Dog Institute, UNSW Sydney says, “Teachers are working longer hours with fewer resources and this pressure is building with an increase of burnout and time being taken off due to mental ill-health.”

Despite this, there is a way to prevent burnout and recover from the fatigue effectively. According to an article published in the Applied Psychology Health and Wellbeing Journal, the activities we take part in during the holidays and the weekends can determine how well we recover once we get back to work.

The study suggests that using your weekends to take part in work-related activities or personal administrative tasks such as completing a tax return or paying bills are related to high levels of burnout and hinder the body’s recovery process.

On the other hand, social activities, physical activities, low effort activities such as relaxing, reading and watching television and creative activities play a part in helping us to renew our energy and increase our wellbeing.

These recovery activities coupled with their underlying attributes of psychological detachment from work, relaxation, mastery to develop skills and competences and a sense of control of how we use our time, can decrease burnout and help us to recover effectively by the time we get back to work.

How are you spending your time on your holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

References

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/230223_Black-Dog-Institute_Teacher-survey-data.pdf

Ginoux C, Isoard-Gautheur S, Sarrazin P. “What did you do this weekend?” Relationships between weekend activities, recovery experiences, and changes in work-related well-being. Appl Psychol Health Well Being. 2021 Nov;13(4):798-816. doi: 10.1111/aphw.12272. Epub 2021 Apr 17. PMID: 33864428. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33864428/

Written by Ana Santito

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