You know how summer goes: In June you’re still wrapping up and recovering from the school year and in August you’ve turned your attention back to the classroom to ensure that you are ready to go when school starts up again…
But JULY. Oh, how I love July! Here are five reasons why July is the BEST time to recharge.
- Most of the residual stress from the school year has passed. At the beginning of summer ALL you want to do is watch Netflix and take naps. And that’s what you should do as you recover from the end of the year, which can be the most stressful time between reviews, wrapping up projects that got pushed to the end of the year, and the tests. Come July, however, most of us are starting to say “hmm… Maybe I’ll start on that baby book” Or “Maybe I’ll plan a camping trip.” without the accompanying feeling that ANYTHING is still too much.
- All the camps are in session. I don’t know about you, but I love it when my children go to camp. They’re out in the woods, away from screens, running amok and getting the exercise they miss out on during the school year. They come home happy and tired. While many camps don’t start until late June and some end in the middle of August, ALL the camps are running in July. Which means that during the day I get time to myself! I can go for a bike ride or read a book, or bake. Essentially, I can do whatever I want!
- Summer sounds are in full force. There is something about the sounds of summer that I find very relaxing. Fans, lawn mowers, bees buzzing, birds tweeting. Among my favorite things to do in the summer is close my eyes and listen. Especially when my kids are at camp!
- The social scene is hopping. Between July 4th parties, cookouts, beach trips and vacations, there is always someone to see and something to do. It’s refreshing to spend time with friends you haven’t seen and be somewhere new. I’m a major introvert, but even I get excited about going to the beach with family and friends.
- There are only a very few (and utterly unacceptable) Back to School sale signs. You know the feeling, you’re minding your own business, hoping to wander the dollar bins at Target and out of nowhere- there it is: A pencil, ruler, denim infused sign shouting “Back to School Sale!” … and the tide turns. Suddenly you start thinking about bulletin boards and curriculum. You realize you need to get that staff meeting on your calendar. You start to wonder how your students have been spending their summer. Fortunately, this happens around August first (Any store with Back to School signs in July should be boycotted), but in JULY you can ignore all that!
July doesn’t last forever, but it is happening right now! Don’t let July pass you by without taking this once-a-year opportunity to recharge! Here are some tips for how to ensure that July results in full scale recharge, not backward looking regret:
- Schedule the fun. I suggest you get out a calendar and mark days when you can go on an adventure. Schedule them, and then DO THEM. Don’t be afraid to make the commitment to go for that bike ride or visit that little artsy town, or spend a whole day at the beach.
- Say NO to a BUNCH of stuff. This is your time! Don’t give it to people who want to bring you into their projects, or drama, or plans, unless you think it sounds like fun. July is the promised land for teachers… protect it.
- Push things back. If some well-meaning member of your teaching faculty ask you to meet in July, push them back to August. If your husband says “let’s talk about our tax allocation” push him back to August. You are protecting your head space as much as your time and you will be better able to handle all of that if you’ve taken the time to really, truly recharge in July.
- Join the July Recharge Challenge! I’m taking my own advice this summer and taking a break in July! I wont be posting any new essays, I’m taking the frequency down on my social media, and I’m going to the beach. One thing I WILL be doing, though, is interacting in the Group Hug Facebook group as we do our July Recharge challenge! It’s the least challenging challenge EVER (one of the challenges is to take a nap!) but it will keep you trying new ways to relax. When you join the challenge you get all the challenges in a PDF download and a calendar to keep track! IT’S GOING TO BE SO FUN.