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The science of why teachers and school leaders should disconnect these holidays

“Your feelings of happiness and personal well-being rapidly increase as soon as you take that break from the rat race. Then, your relaxation and positive vibes peak on day eight of your getaway, maximising your feelings of contentment.” The Journal of Happiness.

So, in short it takes 8 days to let go and unwind from work responsibilities and stress. I can hear you say… “But if I go into work in the school holidays Term 4 will be easier!”

There is always that blurred line between work and home, especially for teachers and school leaders. We often plan at home, create resources, take phone calls, mark assessments and more. It is the same in the holidays; oh I’m just going to “pop into school for a couple of hours”. Those hours become a whole day and then you pop in again to catch up on some planning with a co-worker. Those two weeks fly by, and you are back facing term 4… still weary because you never actually took a proper break.

It has been another busy term, I know if you started to count all the numerous events and days, you would quickly realise why you are so fatigued and why you need this holiday! I think it would be good to Marie Kondo Term 3, thank it for all that you have achieved, celebrate those student gains, and say goodbye by stopping work, by taking a real break.

You might ask yourself to do the following:

  • Put that out of office notice on your email and sign out of your portal
  • Avoid the ‘itch’ to check emails by taking notifications off your phone
  • Put your work bag, tray, laptop case and laptop out of sight
  • Going away makes it easy – don’t take the work with you. Having a staycation? Plan your days around friends and family
  • Make a holiday TODO list that has nothing to do with school. Read a novel, go for a walk, plan a day out with your children and family

Consider the benefits that will carry you through the term, these include:

  • Reduced stress by physically and mentally taking a break
  • Increase productivity
  • Good habits can be re-set
  • Avoid burnout and build stamina
  • Increase creativity and problem-solving skills

With all of that said, it can be a huge challenge to disconnect when holidays come around but give it at least 8 days!

Check out other articles Sheila has written here.