Thursday, 16 May 2013

Day 16: And... relax

Teaching is a notoriously stressful profession, but I think I largely manage to avoid too much stress.  My secret?  Not giving a toss about my job. 

I jest!*

I think one of the main reasons I stay relaxed is by being blisfully childfree and living completely alone.  I've never really understood how teachers manage to keep their sanity when they return home from a busy day in the classroom to be faced with a houseful of kids; the most precious moment of every day for me is when I close the front door, walk into my living room, and savour the wonderful sound of silence.

Other favourite ways to leave behind the chaos of the classroom include:

- Hanging out with some yummy food, a good book and a pint of cider in my favourite Leicester bar, Firebug (book just out of shot in the photograph above!);

- Snuggling under the duvet all morning with my favourite boy;

- Going for a long walk in the countryside, then returning home to a hot cup of tea and a slice of cake;

- When I'm in dire need of relaxation, a spa break at Ragdale Hall, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, is the most luxurious treat you can imagine.  They do relatively bargainous (although let's face it, it's still bloody expensive) 'Overnight Reviver' packages, which I sometimes use as a post-Christmas pampering.

- Escaping into a book... any book, any time, any where.  I find YA fiction the absolute best way to completely de-stress.  Perhaps because, as an adult reader, they are undemanding in the sense that they are easy to read (their themes are often anything but undemanding, and I am not for a moment suggesting that fiction for teenagers is 'lesser' than adult fiction, just that as an accomplished adult reader they are quicker to read than, say, Anna Karenina).  I can particularly recommend the novels of David Levithan, which are funny, romantic and sweet, but have just the right amount of 'edge'.  I love them.

* Mostly - I do think there is something to be said for not taking your work home with you (which can mean literally - I am careful to never take marking home at weekends, for example - or figuratively, by not spending your free time worrying about work).


  1. It must be so hard not to bring your work home with you - good on you for making sure you get time to really relax and look after yourself. I love the sound of a long walk followed by a cuppa and cake!

    1. As far as I'm concerned, when I'm at school my employers (and my pupils!) can have my full attention and energy. When I'm at home, that's MY space... no work intrusions thank you very much.

  2. My Wife's a college lecturer - there has been the occasional weekend of marking. I'm a Librarian responsible (among other things) for buying books, CDs and DVDs - so does that mean when I read/watch/listen of an evening I'm bringing my work home with me??


    1. I sometimes think that when I'm reading YA & kids fiction to relax.

  3. I used to worry about work in my spare time far to much - less so now, though I do sometimes wake up in the night panicking about things sometimes! Sad really. Reading a good book certainly helps quiet the mind