“Allow yourself time to decompress and process what has happened.”
As a nation last week we observed Memorial Day. Honoring the many brave men and women that died defending our country and our liberties. Decompression (psychological) originated in the military world. Soldiers returning from war/battle a period of decompression was required. A time where they would learn to transition from military life (war) to civilian life. All in an effort to reduce the habits and practices needed for combat from negatively impacting life at home.
Life in the classroom this year for many has been a war. A war against the pandemic, the technology, the lack of technology, talks of learning loss, to test or not to test, masks on, masks off and the list can go on. I remember all too vividly needing about two weeks after the last day of school to feel settled into summer break. A period of time to decompress. To relieve and reduce the pressure of the school year.
This year teachers have endured extremely high levels of stress. The levels of mental strain are staggering. So, this summer should be all about rebooting self-care, self-compassion, and decompressing in fun ways to fully enjoy life outside the classroom this summer.
Entertain Yourself With A Great Read
As a child, I struggled with reading and I still re-read a page if I don’t get it. I read my first novel in my early 20’s and have been hooked ever since. This Mother’s Day I was given an annual subscription to Audible and an Alexa Dot. I want to get the reading in by any means necessary. Did you know reading aids in sleep readiness, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and fights depression symptoms? Here are a few book recommendations focused on building peace of mind.
- The Book of Moods: How I Turned My Worst Emotions into My Best Life By Lauren Martin
- Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price
- Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good By Dilip Jeste, with Scott LaFee
- Nobody’s Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness By Roy Richard Grinker
- Better Boys, Better Men: The New Masculinity That Creates Greater Courage and Emotional Resiliency By Andrew Reiner
Chill and Watch a Movie
I know for many of us movie watching during a pandemic is not a novel idea. From the vantage point of decompressing and depositing into our happiness bank, binging on happy movies is a must. Did you know movie watching relieves stress, provides encouragement, increases awareness, provides laughs and bonding opportunities? Here are a few movie recommendations focused on delivering some happiness.
- Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
- Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
- Last Holiday (2006)
- Patch Adams (1998)
- Eat, Pray, Love (2010)
Take a Perfect Nap
I recently heard someone say, “Can’t make money if you’re sleeping.” In my head I thought, “Can’t spend it if you’re dead.” As a nation we really place little value on sleep, rest, and slowing down. Chasing things that ultimately we can’t enjoy because of poor physical or mental health. Allow napping this summer to lead your decompression efforts. Did you know that napping actually reduces sleepiness, improves learning, helps with memory, and regulates emotions? The Sleep Foundation has categorized naps (I didn’t know this was a thing). Here are a few pointers for creating the perfect nap.