Setting Priorities: How to Minimize Stress During the Holiday Season

The holiday season has begun.

The excitement of Santa, sugar high from candy canes, and day dreaming of wish lists make it almost impossible to keep the kids engaged.

The excitement of winter break and holiday festivities are distracting you and your students. The house needs to be decorated. I need to finish shopping for gifts. I need to figure out travel plans for the holidays. I need to plan winter and holiday activities for the class, keep the students focused and engaged, and I still need to teach the curriculum.

The imminent winter break isn’t just on the minds of students; the teachers are thinking about it as well. You just want the break to come quicker, but you already don’t have enough time to do everything you want in the classroom or at home. The list of things to do – both at school and at home – never seems to shrink as fast as the number of days remaining before the holidays.
So, here’s a tip for getting through this tough time of year: take some time to really set some priorities.

I struggled with this. I wanted my students to have fun during this time of year, but it required a lot of work on my part to plan, create, and organize the endless cute holiday lessons, games, activities, and crafts I found on Pinterest. I wanted to do it all, but in the end, it created more stress for me and I never got it all done anyway.

You must prioritize what is important and fun for you. Every person is different. Minimize your list and choose 3 things you really want to experience with your class. It is important that you have fun too, or else it will make this time of year even more stressful for you.

This also applies to your personal life at home. What holiday traditions do you enjoy and want to do with your family? Keep the list short and simple. Pick the top 3 things and make it a priority to make it happen. It’s okay that you don’t go to every holiday celebration in your town, make homemade cookies wrapped in glitter and bows, and send out handmade cards to everyone you know.

Do not feel pressured to do it all, so pick out what’s important to you and your family.

And remember, if you need a little help in the classroom, take advantage of Daybreak Lesson Plans. Print some of our free holiday activities that are already created for you. If a personal day is in your future, remember to take care of yourself and your family. Finish your Christmas shopping list, or to go to your son or daughter’s holiday party. Don’t worry, your students will be learning from quality lesson plans.

Keep your holiday list at school at home short and simple. Pick the activities you enjoy. If you are happy, your students and family will be too. And when winter break comes, take time to relax and celebrate the holidays. Teachers work hard. You deserve some time off.

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