How School Counselors Can Have a Smooth Transition into the Holiday Break

December is a crazy time of year, but it doesn't have to be stressful. Check out these strategies to help you have a smooth transition into the holiday break.

Holiday Resource Roundup: Keep your Kiddos Engaged!

This time of year there's always special events and schedule changes and you may even be getting new referrals! You may feel like you are at a loss for planning activities but you also want to keep it fun. That's where my holiday resource roundup comes in. Try one (or all!) of these activities to keep your students engaged and you sane!

  1. Self-Esteem Ornaments: Buy some cheap clear bulbs and have students fill them up with self-esteem positive affirmations!

  2. All About Me Trail Mix: Make trail mix with popcorn, nuts, and some red and green M&Ms with your small groups. As they add each ingredient they have to answer a related question.

  3. Countdown to Winter Break: Use an interactive countdown calendar to get students excited for the break while learning a new SEL skill!

  4. Dress an Elf with I-Statements: Teach students the important conflict resolution skill of how to build an I-Statement while putting clothes on an elf!

  5. Christmas Coping Strategies: Use a digital activity to help kids identify coping strategies they could use in response to holiday stressors.

Creating Closure Before the Holiday Break

As much as you may want to just "peace out" and head home for the holiday break there are a few items that need attending to. Your future January self will thank you.

  • Wrap up your small groups: Use a progress tracker (read more on that here) and have a seasonal graduation celebration

  • Support ALL students: Remember the holidays aren't a happy time for everyone. Make sure these kiddos have coping strategies in their toolbox, an identified support system, and community resources they need to fill in the gaps until they return to school.

  • Leave with an organized desk: Tidy up your office, update your counseling log, and organize your caseload spreadsheet so you have a clean starting point when you come back.

  • Do a data check-in: Gather post services results from self-assessments and behavior surveys and share your findings on a data wall or in a newsletter.

Self-Care Tips for the Holiday Break (and the school year!)

Holiday self-care may have you thinking of balsam scented candles and cozy socks but there's more to it than that! And it turns out, a lot of these self-care principles overlap between your personal and professional life.

Don't Overcommit

  • Personal Self-Care: You don't have to RSVP to everything. Choose what matters and let the rest go, or else you'll be driving around everywhere and driving yourself crazy!

  • Professional Self-Care: You don't have to say yes to everything. Be clear on your counselor duties to ensure you're delivering the best possible services to students and that your time is being valued.

Set Boundaries

  • Personal Self-Care: Set clear boundaries on you/your family's lifestyle when you have extended family visiting. You can be loving and firm at the same time!

  • Professional Self-Care: Schedule in some margin. Allow for buffers in your schedule so you can take a break and have a clear system for parents/teachers to contact you so you're not constantly playing catch-up!

set boundaries

If you feel like you could use some help not overcommitting and establishing boundaries when it comes to counselor duties, admin demands, and parent interactions, then you'll love my Stress Free School Counseling Course. Check out all of the details here.

2023 School Counseling Program Goals

Not sure where to start when it comes to setting your 2023 school counseling program goals? I've got you covered! Start small so you don't feel overwhelmed and so your goals are attainable. Then you can celebrate when you achieve them!

  • Scheduling Goal: Conduct a time audit to see exactly how you spend your time. You can then use this info to streamline your schedule.

  • Organization Goal: Color code your calendar so you can quickly see at a glance which students, groups, and class lessons you have each day.

  • Data Goal: Start with simple observations! Record your findings to monitor student prorgess.

  • Advocating Goal: Choose one non-counselor duty to replace or eliminate. (Reference your time audit when you share this with your admin!)

  • Handling Pushback Goal: Not excited to go back or feeling down? Remember your "why". You are changing so many students' lives!

Do all of these goals sound like areas you're ready to improve in 2023? Then you'll love my Stress Free School Counseling Course. These 5 goals reflect the 5 modules inside the course. Check out all of the details here.

I hope you feel prepared and excited for the holiday break knowing you have these things taken care of.

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