Lock up your laptops: how teachers can unwind over Christmas

or busy teachers with heavy workloads, the autumn term can feel long, dark and stressful. But the Christmas holidays are in sight and that should mean a break from work, whether it’s spending time with family, or sitting in front of the television in your pyjamas scoffing chocolate.

 

But, even with the best intentions, letting go of work stress over the holidays can be easier said than done. So here’s our guide to giving yourself a well-deserved rest.

 

Switch off from work completely

 

It can be tempting to use the extra time over the holidays to catch up with marking, but you must mentally check out of work. “You need to give your brain a break,” says Dr Sandi Mann, a senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire. “That means switching off emails and work-related social media, and not doing that marking. If you don’t, you’ll burn out.”

 

And that means stopping thinking about work too. “When you talk about stressful aspects of your job, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, as if you’re experiencing them again,” says Gail Kinman, a professor of occupational health psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. “So it isn’t enough just to stop working, you’ve got to stop thinking about it.”

 

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