Energize, Recharge, Thrive: A Teacher’s Guide to Taking Charge of Health During Summer Break
Anne Till, MNutr, RDN, LDN
Summer vacations are a time for relaxation and rejuvenation. For teachers, these months offer a reprieve from the rigorous pace of the academic year. The long hours, the immense pressure, and the unending responsibilities can take a toll on their mental and physical health. With the ebbing of this stress during the summer, it’s an opportune time for educators to prioritize their health and wellness.
School-related stress can manifest in various health issues such as sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and other problems like weight gain, inflammation, problems with managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and other conditions associated with a lack of time for physical activity or healthy eating habits. In the tranquility of summer, the pressure eases, allowing teachers to focus on their health. But how should they proceed? Here’s where a dietitian can offer support.
Meet with a Dietitian
A dietitian can provide the guidance and support that’s necessary for optimizing your health by creating a customized plan that’s tailored to an individual’s needs. They can assess current dietary habits, recommend changes, and provide tips on how to maintain these changes. Whether it’s a plan to lose weight, manage a health condition, or simply improve overall wellness, dietitians can provide the expertise needed.
A dietitian can help devise a plan that encompasses balanced nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and strategies for stress management. This holistic approach ensures that every aspect of a teacher’s health is taken into account, leading to a more sustainable lifestyle change. A dietitian will also offer consistent motivation and encouragement, making the transition easier and more enjoyable.
Focus on Sleep
One of the most affected aspects of a teacher’s health during the school year is sleep. Late-night lesson planning and early morning classes disrupt sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation over time. It’s well known that chronic sleep deprivation is linked to various health issues like high cortisol levels, hypertension, diabetes, and weakened immunity – to name a few.
Summer provides an excellent opportunity to reset sleep habits. With a more flexible schedule, teachers can establish a regular sleep routine, ensuring they get the recommended 7-9 hours per night. This not only improves physical health but also enhances mood and cognitive function, preparing teachers for the demands of the coming academic year.
Prioritize Exercise and Relaxation
With the extra time available during summer, teachers can incorporate regular exercise into their routines. Regular physical activity supports improvements in body composition and weight regulation, boosts mood, and promotes better sleep. Furthermore, it’s an excellent way to alleviate stress. Simple activities such as walking, yoga, or swimming can make a significant difference.
Relaxation and self-care are equally crucial. Teachers can utilize the summer to indulge in hobbies, relaxation exercises such as meditation, and spend quality time with loved ones. These activities help clear the mind, reduce stress, and provide a sense of calm and happiness.
Prepare for the New School Year
The summer break is not only a period of relaxation but also an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming academic year. Establishing healthy habits with a dietitian during this time can make it easier for teachers to maintain those habits once school resumes. Learned nutrition strategies can also help to save time during the hectic school days while continuing to support health goals.
Secondly, setting a regular exercise routine during the summer can make it easier to continue during the school year. Starting with small steps, like a 20-minute walk or yoga session each day, can eventually lead to a consistent habit.
Lastly, creating a stress management plan is vital. This can include regular relaxation exercises, ensuring a work-life balance, and setting aside time for hobbies and leisure.
Summer break offers teachers a precious chance to restore their health and well-being. Collaborating with a dietitian can provide the guidance needed to make significant lifestyle changes.
If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our dietitians, give our office a call at 919-990-1130 or inquire through our website by clicking here. Teachers that have the BCBS NC State Health Plan are usually covered at 100% with no patient responsibility or visit limit for both in-office and Telehealth visits. Our office administrators would love to verify your benefits for you and get you set up for an appointment with one of our dietitians!
Yours in health and wellness,
Anne Till, MNutr, RDN, LDN
Illustrations by Ashley Henley
Call Us Today: 919-990-1130