Helping students refocus after a break is often what we plan for during our vacation, but what about the educators? We rested, ate, drank, saw family, maybe took a trip somewhere – now it’s time to get back to the grind and refocus our minds and our energy. Here are 6 ways to help you refocus your concentration after a break or a vacation.

Change Your Environment: Whether at home or in the classroom, take a few minutes to refresh your workspace. De-clutter your desk, reorganize crafts supplies, put away old decorations and maybe make a plan for new ones, bring in a new plant, pictures, or posters. A stale or cluttered environment can cause our minds to become just that – stale and cluttered. A fresh space will keep your mind stimulated and alert.

Re-organize To-Do List: We all have lists, why not try rewriting your list in a new order? You can order tasks based on due date, categories (such as housework, schoolwork, etc), or you could try ordering items based on how long they will take to complete. Start with faster tasks and as you accomplish them you’ll feel more energized to tackle big tasks.

Schedule Time-Outs: Ever read a full paragraph only to find you spaced out during the whole read? Wandering off is especially common after a break when your concentration is low. Try scheduling 1 page of mindful reading, followed by 2 minutes of mindless wandering. Knowing you have a break coming up will help you stay tuned.

Laugh: Read a comic, look for jokes online, or watch a short stand-up comedy video. Laughing helps the mind refresh itself and the body relax. Schedule an hour of work followed by 20 minutes of giggles.

Eat: Eat 3 full meals a day and bring snacks to your work space, wandering off to go nibble on some crackers will inevitably delay your progress as you will be easily side-tracked.

Sleep: Getting enough rest is a long-term focus fix. When we don’t get enough sleep or when our sleep cycles are interrupted it can affect our functionality in every aspect of our lives. Make sure you get 8 solid hours of sleep. Tip: put down your phone or tablet, turn off the tv, lie in bed with no digital or audio stimulation whatsoever. Scheduling reading time for 15 minutes before bed can help you wind down for a night of rest.