By- Angela Padrón

The few weeks leading up to the start of the school year are some of the craziest and most stressful weeks that teachers face. There is much to prepare and learn before students enter the room, and it can be overwhelming at times.

That’s why it’s important for teachers to take time out for themselves, take a deep breath, and find ways to relax before having to report back to work. Here is a list of eight ways you can do just that:

1. Visit your favorite relaxing place – Decide on the place that provides you the most solace, whether it’s the beach book-store, a fishing boat, the woods, or poolside. Look at a calendar and designate certain days to visit this place and avoid thinking about work!

2. Book a spa day – Find a local spa where you can arrange for a body massage, a facial, or both! Even if it’s just for an hour or so, it can make a huge difference in how tense you are before going back to work.

3. Book a “staycay”– Look for a local hotel where you can book a one- to two-night “staycation” to get away from it all. It may be close to your house, but someone else can take care of the cleaning and cooking for you. Even if it’s for only one or two days, not having to worry about those tasks can be super relaxing!

4. Catch up on your favorites – Many TV program companies, like Netflix, make it easy to “binge–watch” shows that friends have been telling you about. And between online sites and cable boxes with the ability to record, you can watch just about any show or movie over and over again. So pop some popcorn, put up your feet, and enjoy the show! If reading books is more your style, spend a day at a bookstore or library and sit in solitude as your turn the pages.

5. Work on a hobby or interest – Whether you like to draw, are musical, enjoy wood working, or collect coins, having a hobby can not only be fun, but also relaxing. Try to spend at least five days during the summer months working on that hobby in order to have some fun.

6. Turn on some calming music – Some people find classical music to be relaxing, while others enjoy the sounds of nature or light jazz. Create a play-list, plug in your ear buds, and find a quiet place to kick up your feet and listen.

7. Stretch and do yoga – Many people find calisthenics, stretching, and yoga to be a great way to relax while getting into shape. There are gyms and studios that offer classes, but there are also videos on TV and exercise DVDs that you can use in the comfort of your own home.

8. Go for a long walk – Choose a place to walk and give yourself a chance to think about anything BUT work. You can go solo or with a friend to pass the time in conversation.

No matter which way you find a way to relax, the most important thing is to take some time to clear your mind before going back to work. Walking into school with a fresh outlook on teaching will help ease the craziness that always seems to appear.

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