December is the New August: Prioritize Your People, Space, & Your Word

Suzanne DaileyBlog, Lead Better, Manage Better, Self Care Better, Survival

In This Post:

  • Ways to reclaim your August self this break.
  • Suggestions to prioritize your people, your space, and your word.

Let’s travel back a few months to August.  Sunny, relaxing, all-the-time-in-the-world August.  Remember enjoying your lunch and not inhaling it in under 7 minutes? Using the bathroom any time you want?! Or leisurely sipping hot coffee from a real mug?

We were amazing versions of ourselves in August. We were rested, optimistic, and happy.

And now, here we are in December. Cold, hectic, can’t-get-it-all-done-in-a-day December. Perhaps the December version of ourselves is not as rested, optimistic, and happy as our August self. But friends, we have good news! Winter break is almost here.

How do we squeeze the heck out of our winter break so we can make December the new August?

We prioritize 3 things:

  1. Your people
  2. Your space
  3. Your word
This December, let’s reclaim our August selves. Click To Tweet

Prioritize Your People

According to positive psychologists, 100% of happy people have one thing in common: strong social relationships.  However, like me, you may have recently sent a text to a friend that goes something like this: “Sorry I haven’t been around much lately – things have been crazy.  Just checking in to see how you are doing. Let’s try to get together soon.”

We aren’t bad friends – we’re just busy teachers and this is a hectic season for us.  With the gift of time and space this winter break, we can nurture our personal and professional relationships.  Schedule the lunch or coffee date, the small group run, the date night, the dinner where you can laugh into the evening hours (on a weeknight!) to reconnect with those who strengthen you in your personal life.

Although we all may want distance from our teaching lives during winter break, consider scheduling something with someone at school you want to connect or reconnect with.  Investing in our professional relationships while we are away from school will help us feel a bit more balanced and supported as we usher in another busy season in 2020.

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Prioritize Your Space

Are you ready for a good laugh? Remember in August LAYING OUT YOUR (ironed!) CLOTHES the night before and packing your work bag so the PENS WERE ACTUALLY IN THE POCKETS DESIGNED TO HOLD THE PENS?

I mean, we were a real sight just a few months ago.  But our December selves are happy if we actually have a working pen in our bag and are wearing clothes appropriate for winter weather.

Our inner calm is undoubtedly connected to our outer calm.  Think about the spaces, (the closet, the dining room table that is covered in holiday cards, receipts, and single gloves, the side compartments in the car or that disheveled school bag) that can be reorganized and contribute to your inner calm.

Our August level of organization made us feel outwardly prepared for our upcoming days and tasks ahead, and we can proactively organize important spaces during this break to protect our inner calm in the beginning weeks of the new year.

Prioritize Your Word

December is the time when we think about our New Year’s Resolution or our “word” that will anchor us throughout the upcoming year.  In the same light, many of us have a word when we kick off our new school year.

This year I want to emphasize relationships. 

When we return, I will prioritize peace.

My students and I will encourage one another to be creative.

Oftentimes, this important word is quieted as the hustle and bustle of the school year ramp up.  Recognize and renew the energy of this word in December before we flip the calendar.  Doing this can help build perspective before we return to our classroom families.

So let’s do it.  Let’s recapture our sunny August selves during the cold month of December by prioritizing our people, our space, and our word.

Let’s reflect.

Let’s recalibrate.

And let’s reclaim our August selves.

December is the new August.


Suzanne Dailey is proud member of the Teach Better Family! She is an instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District where she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a Masters Degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.