I’ve had ups and downs at work lately, and March-April have been and will be hectic. So today I would like to tell you a bit more about what I do to unwind after a long day of teaching, planning and travelling. These things are essential to keeping my motivation — and my life balance.
1. Chatting with my husband or my friends
This is the number one thing that makes me feel better and gets me to relax. Even when I had a bad day at work, chatting about it with someone who cares is the greatest gift I could ask for. After a while, I’d be laughing at matters that made me nervous before.
2. Knitting, cooking or other crafty activities
Moving my hands instead of (or with) my brain really helps a lot, I don’t know exactly why. And the sense of achievement you get when you create something beautiful, or yummy (or both) is the type of reward we almost never get in our work. I also like to blog about it (yes, blogging is addictive!) when I have some time.
I also love to browse Ravelry patterns and watch tutorials on YouTube to dream about all the things I could be making.
3. Taking my dog for a walk
This is something I have to do three times a day, but that has gone from burden to pleasure. It helps me clear my mind, feel more relaxed and makes my dog very happy too. The only problem is that I have to make an effort not to think about work while I’m walking.
4. Having a real lunch break
Too often my lunch breaks are a sandwich while driving or finishing planning my lessons. So when I actually have the luxury of 40-45 minute breaks, I love to go out of the school, get a nice vegan meal at my favourite café or walk to the nearest supermarket to get something to eat. It’s a little treat that makes me feel better for the rest of the day.
5. Reading a (completely ELT-unrelated) book
When I find a book I like, it’s magic. I can’t stop reading it (even though I know I should be reading Delta stuff) thus it becomes a very effective way to switch off and forget about work. Unfortunately sometimes I am just too tired to read, in which case a good film or TV series will do the trick.
There would be a sixth thing, my 31-day yoga practice. But it’s so new I decided not to include it in this list (yet).