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How are you? With the holidays just a stone’s throw away and the end of the busiest term of the year in sight, we thought we would check in to see how you are all feeling.

Having collectively worked in schools for over 20 years, we understand the stresses and strains of life in education. It can be tough. It can also be incredibly rewarding and surprising and funny and exciting…but still, tough.

School staff give so much of themselves, that we worry about what is left at the end of the day. But, your wellbeing is incredibly important. After all, without you, schools would not be the wonderful, rich, exciting environments that they are.

We would love to be able to fix some of the issues that affect teachers’ wellbeing – the hours, the pressure, Ofsted, funding to name a few. We dearly hope that the landscape changes over the coming years.

Until that happens, we would like to suggest a few books that might help. Don’t worry, none of them are about education! So you can enjoy your Christmas break and really focus on YOU. We hope that however you are spending your time you can take some moments to reflect and relax. For us, we are hoping for lots of crisp winter skies, twinkly lights, crunchy snow, hot coffee, sleepy mornings, cosy evenings…and cheese, lots and lots of Christmas cheese!

 

‘Choose Joy’ by Sophie Cliff

This fantastic book is the perfect companion to a holiday spent focussing on what makes you happy. It teaches us how to re-frame and re-focus our lives so that we can enjoy little pockets of joy. Think practical tips and easy-to-implement ideas that won’t reinvent your life (because this isn’t a realistic option for many of us) but will enhance what you love.

Sophie is a ray of positivity if you like to scroll social media once in a while. Give her a follow at @sophiecliff for a break from the doom and gloom of Instagram.

‘Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times’ by Katherine May

This beautiful book is a tonic for the soul. If you find winter to be bleak and dark, this book will lighten your heart and help you to see its wonders. It perfectly describes life like the seasons and teaches us that even the darkest winter has an end.

‘The Salt Path’ by Raynor Winn

You may have read this one already as it was such a big hit when it came out. It’s many accolades and 5 star reviews are well deserved though, and if you haven’t got a copy already get down to your local book shop or borrow from a friend asap!

We love this one because it is based on a true story; one which follows the lives of Raynor and Moth as they embark on a life-affirming trek along the South West Coast Path. It isn’t so much a story of dealing with mental health and well-being, but it’s themes of loss, grief, strength, safety and home have the healing power of a warm hot chocolate on the sofa after a wintery walk.

‘Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?’ by Dr Julie Smith

Drawing on years of experience and tried-and-tested methods from therapists, this handy guide has a multitude of strategies for dealing with life’s ups and downs. The book is broken down into short sections, so you can dip in and out whenever you need. It is really practical and easy to follow, making it a great addition any bookshelf.

‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig

Last but not least, one of our favourite books! If escapism is what you’re seeking this Christmas, there is no better than this thought-provoking tale of life and death. The story follows Nora who finds herself in an endless library moments before her last seconds on earth; here she is given the chance to try out a limitless number of different lives that each teaches her something new.

We couldn’t help but spend hours after we finished the last page wondering what we would do given the same opportunity, and what such a library might look like.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday, we hope it is restful and peaceful with plenty of opportunities to do the things you love.

Merry Christmas!

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