Half term should be a time to be able to rest and recover from the challenges of the first term and to rejuvenate ready for the busy autumn term ahead. But for many leaders, it’s not easy to switch off, mentally or emotionally. By the time we’ve wound down, it can feel like it’s time to wind up again, and the events of the term can play on our minds and interfere with the time we’ve put by for ourselves, our families and friends. You know you’ve got work to do, but hold yourself accountable for putting boundaries in place to keep the balance.

Are you aware of what has triggered you this term? 

Talking to someone trusted, who ‘gets it’, or writing down some of the more meaningful and pertinent events of the term can help to process the experiences. Make notes of your feelings and behaviours around each circumstance – you’ll gain insights into your feelings and tendencies. In addition, don’t be afraid to put pen to paper and write a stream of consciousness for 5-10 minutes. No editing and no censoring. Just let it flow. You’ll may be surprised by how cathartic that can be.

Are you aware of what needs to be celebrated and may have gone unnoticed? 

When we’re busy leading in school it’s easy to let the inspirational moments pass us by without the recognition or celebration they deserve. Reflect on all the wonderful things that have happened this term. Let them make you smile! Let them remind you of why you do what you do, and be grateful for them too. 

Balance allows you to lead a fulfilled life, and those already in headship will know that the job can become all-consuming, impacting on other areas of your life such as family, relationships and mental health. Being respectful and grateful for your life beyond headship can help keep things in perspective. Take time during half term to celebrate your life holistically, and gently remind yourself that your identity is more than just your job title.