Here at TC, May and June bring both the stress of finals and the excitement and relaxation of the beginning of summer. During this time, it’s imperative that we remember to take care of ourselves so we can not only survive the end of the school year, but get a true recharge and reset with the beginning of the summer break. Taking advantage of the summer, when workloads and mental burdens tend to be lighter, can help us prepare for the year ahead to prevent burnout and lead happier lives.
Self-Care for Finals and Beyond contains selections which can aid in self-care in many ways. The concept of self-care is multidimensional and different people require different practices in order to feel good and succeed. In order to accommodate various needs in this area, these books are arranged into various categories: mindfulness, meditation, sleep, gratitude and self-talk, specialized advice for educators and other people in helping professions, and books that are just plain fun to read. Check out whichever category is currently calling out to you, and I hope that these picks bring some rest and relaxation into your life!
Mindfulness is the quality of truly living in the present moment, being aware of your environment, and not overly reactive to what's happening around you. These picks describe various ways to be mindful and ways to incorporate these techniques into a classroom environment for happier and healthier students and teachers.
- Relaxation, Meditation, and Mindfulness: A Practical Guide - Jonathan C. Smith
- The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well-Being in Teachers and Students - Daniel J. Rechtschaffen
Meditation is a practice of utilizing focused attention to relax yourself. These selections provide insight as to how meditation works, various ways to do it, and why it's so psychologically beneficial.
- The Psychology of Meditation - Michael A. West
- Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program - Sharon Salzburg
We all need sleep, especially at this time of the year. Whether you're trying to improve your sleep to do well on finals or catch up on sleep when the semester ends, these selections can help. Along with tactics to improve sleep, all three of these titles provide knowledge on the science behind sleep and why it's so important.
- Fatigue Mechanism and Management - S. Howard Bartley
- Why We Sleep: The Functions of Sleep in Humans and Other Mammals - James A. Horne
- Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker
Gratitude and Self-Talk
The way we talk to ourselves can make a huge difference in our mood. One way to use self-talk to care for ourselves is to be grateful for anything we can in our lives. These selections detail how gratitude can help boost our spirits even in times when it's hard to find anything to be grateful for. Being less judgmental in our self-talk can help us feel better and perform better in many situations. Here are some tips on how to make that happen!
- Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier - Robert A. Emmons
- The Gift of Thanks: The Roots and Rituals of Gratitude - Margaret Visser
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown
It can be difficult to tear your mind away from studying during finals, but we all need a break sometimes. Instead of turning to Netflix or scrolling through TikTok, try one of these picks! All of these selections are page-turners and great reminders that reading can be enjoyable rather than stress-inducing.
Specialized Educator/Helping Profession Advice
Teachers and other individuals in "helping professions" have high levels of burnout. Caring for and helping others often can lead to neglecting ourselves and our own needs if we aren't careful. These selections give specific professional advice to people who may fall into this trap to avoid burnout and have more mental clarity in both your personal and professional life.