Supporting your health and wellbeing over the holidays

Strategies and resources to unwind and recharge during the mid-year break

With the first semester ending this week, the break ahead offers an important opportunity for school staff to find ways to rest and recharge.

This article includes ideas and resources you can use to re-energise over the break.

Psychological detachment

Psychological detachment means completely switching off and not thinking about work in your non-work time.

Try these ideas to help you to detach from work:

  • keep your work laptop out of sight
  • create a 'ritual' when you transition from work to home that sends an internal message that work is finished
  • avoid mixing your work and personal emails.

If you do need to work during the school break:

  • let others know when you're available and especially when you are not available for work calls
  • keep it strictly at work and timetable work so it doesn't spill over into non-workdays
  • when emailing others, consider if you can let recipients know that you don't expect them to respond during the holidays.

Mastery and control to combat ongoing work fatigue

Mastery is another effective way to recover from work fatigue. It involves setting yourself a challenge (like an exercise or charity challenge), or goals in a skill area you enjoy, that is not related to work.

By focusing on a personal challenge or hobby you can:

  • detach from work stressors and immerse in activities that aren't related to work
  • discover new activities or skills that bring you joy and the feeling of accomplishment.

Control means having control and self-determination in how you spend your non-work time, cultivating an identity for yourself away from work.

We know this can be tricky for parents or carers, but it's worthwhile. In busy times, deliberately carve out 15 minutes to an hour alone for 'me time'. This will be valuable to help you recover and recuperate.

Employee Assistance Program

You can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential coaching and counselling during stressful times.

The EAP is designed to support you with both work-related and non-work-related matters. You may want to use the school holidays to book an appointment to proactively plan mental health and wellbeing strategies for Semester 2.

The EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for up to 4 sessions for department and school council employees, such as casual relief teachers. Immediate family members of department employees can also access the EAP.

To access the EAP phone 1300 361 008 or use the Lifeworks Australia online chat.

Health and wellbeing videos and tip sheets are also available to all school staff.

Find out more

Refer to the 2007 research from The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology about assessing recuperation and unwinding from work.

For enquiries, contact the OHS Advisory Service: