I know.  We’re just getting BACK to school, and many of us feel like we already need to escape!  Sometimes, this is the craziest and most exhausting time of our entire school year, right?  All the new supplies, paperwork, explaining routines, putting names on EVERYTHING, parent contacts, collecting forms, learning about the children, Back to School Night preparation, giving & grading benchmarks….you know the drill.  I usually crave (ummm, I mean require) an after-school nap for about the first two or three weeks until my body and brain get used to being back at school.  Who’s with me?

So here are my three little gifts to you.  They’re not just for teachers.  Tell your friends!

1)  Calm.com – Seriously, this is an actual website.  Down the left side of your screen, you get to choose if you want ‘guided calm’ or ‘timed calm’, and you choose the length of time.  At the bottom of the screen are a few icons where you can change the calming background picture, the soothing spa music, and you can set your volume.  That’s it.  It starts automatically, so you can just chill.  (Tell your boss you got this from a technology blog and you might get professional development for ‘working on it’.)  http://www.calm.com/

2)  Moodturn.com – When you see the site, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  Just choose your theme, your background, adjust your volume, and you’re good to go!  Turn out the lights, link your hands behind your head, feet up on your desk, lean back and….Uh, you might want to wait until the students have left the classroom before you try this!    Here’s the link:   http://moodturn.com/

3)  Do Nothing For Two Minutes – Again, I’m serious.  As soon as the page opens, a 2-minute timer starts.  A beautiful seascape appears, and you hear the soothing sounds of whispery waves.  A small onscreen warning prompts you to “Just relax and listen to the waves.  Don’t touch your mouse or keyboard.”  (If you’re a rebel like me or just sort of scoochie, you’ll see a FAIL message and it starts back at 2 minutes again!  Sometimes, we all just need to take 2 minutes.  Treat yourself.  http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/

I hope you enjoyed your little escapes!  You might want to bookmark this page.  Back to School night is coming soon.  And parent-teacher conferences.  And Halloween.  And more benchmark testing.  And……………….