There's a reason teachers get summers off. After spending the year juggling everyone's needs but their own, teachers need time off to relax and recharge.
Some teachers spend their summers reading, napping, or spending quality time with family. But maybe you want to try something different or more adventurous. Here are some creative activities for teachers to help them make the most of their summer vacation.
Further Reading: 5 REALISTIC Ways for Teachers to Get Healthier This Year
1. Float and Recharge
The average classroom is a beehive of constant movement, sights, sounds, and smells. The relentless sensory overload takes its toll on teachers, making it hard to relax even outside the classroom.
Flotation therapy is a relaxation experience that reduces symptoms of chronic pain and conditions related to anxiety and stress, such as depression, irritability, and fatigue, according to Healthline.
During the therapy, which is available at many spas and wellness centers, you're closed off in a large tank filled with water that's heated to skin temperature and nearly saturated with Epsom salt; the salt helps you float, and the closed tank removes all outside stimulation. Floating in darkness and silence is supposed to be deeply relaxing; some participants claim they experience overwhelming feelings of happiness and euphoria—something that sounds pretty great after a hectic school year.
2. Try Goat Yoga
Goat yoga combines the cuteness of kids—baby goats, that is, not human children—with animal therapy and yogic exercise. During goat yoga, the animals walk around freely, nuzzling and sometimes climbing on participants. The interaction with goats has been shown to generate calmness, joy, and unexpected laughter.
Lainey Morse, who started the first goat yoga program in 2016, says that she chose goats over dogs and cats because goats are "unexpectedly smart, social, and profoundly cuddly." Watching goats frolic is delightful; it's virtually impossible to remain stressed out or in a bad mood watching these kids at play.
If yoga isn't your thing—but goats are—there are opportunities such as goat happy hours, goat birthday parties, goat bachelorette parties, and goat retreats. After a long, hard school year, any of these events is sure to provide stress relief.
3. Start a Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle can be a lucrative way to spend your summer. With a side gig, you can try your hand at a new skill and bring in some extra cash while you're out of the classroom.
Many side hustles are app-based, so all you have to do is download the app and get started. Most allow you to work when you want and don't require a long-term commitment, which is perfect for summer. Some popular side hustles include delivering food for DoorDash or Uber Eats, shopping for Shipt or Instacart, delivering packages for Amazon Flex, or doing odd jobs via TaskRabbit.
These are great ways to pocket some extra money during the summer. According to the Amazon Flex website, delivery drivers earn between $18 and $25 per hour, making it a great idea for teachers looking for a change of pace.
4. Play a Sport or Join a Social Club
Summer affords teachers who love being active the time and energy to pursue their extracurricular passions. Our social lives reach a pathetic low during the demanding school year; summer is our time to shine.
No matter your interest—craft beer, networking, Zumba, kickball, whatever—there's a website out there that offers opportunities for getting social during the summer. Most metropolises—such as Chicago, Atlanta, or Toronto—are flush with sports and social clubs that offer sports leagues or social events during the summer. Meetup facilitates gatherings in a number of major North American cities across a wide array of interests—such as ultimate frisbee, singles speed dating, and tech talks.
If you can't find what you like, you can create your own group. Eventbrite and citysocializer are also great places to look for local events or activities.
5. Travel Solo
There's one drawback to having summers off: your friends and family have to work. But don't postpone your travel plans until someone is available to join you. Traveling alone is one of the most adventurous summer vacation activities.
Imagine going exactly where you want, when you want, and doing whatever you want to do. Sounds like pretty much the opposite of your teaching job, huh?
Traveling alone can be refreshing and relaxing, and it's also becoming more popular. One in four millennials plans to travel alone in the next year, according to Travel Agent Central; Solo Traveler says 72 percent of American women are taking solo trips. If traveling is how you recharge, don't let going solo stand in your way.
Further Reading: Here's What Teachers Really Do During Their Summer Breaks
There are countless creative activities for teachers to try over the summer. Whatever you choose, enjoy the freedom of summer vacation and make the most of your recharge time.