In our household, the pace of summer is more leisurely than the rest of the year.
We have fewer standing commitments, we move a little slower, and the stress level is down.
But around Labor Day, that pace starts picking back up. And along with it comes some of our less healthy habits. Here are 5 tips for successfully transitioning out of summer and back to your “regular life.”
1. Consider Your Options. If you’re at all like me, your life is filled with “Have tos”—those activities and commitments that you feel like you just “Have to” do. But do you really? When was the last time you took a critical look at your list of commitments and assessed which ones you really WANT to do? Not what your family, your church, your friends want you to do. You. Before you just jump right back into your busy schedule, see if there are some activities you could gracefully excuse yourself from.
2. Consider Your Options—Part 2. It’s entirely possible that, along with giving up things you should, you might want to take on something new. As you transition into your fall schedule, is there something fun and good for you that you’d like to try? How about a cooking class, or a new craft? Would you like to (re)commit to getting regular activity? Maybe you’d like to try a new planner or organizational system. Taking ownership of your life during this new season just might mean that a new something is just what you need. Think about it!
3. Sleep. So, this summer I read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. And you can ask the people in my life—I am entirely converted to the idea that getting enough sleep is critical to our physical and mental health. It is tragic, friends, that when we get busy, we start carving away at our opportunities for good sleep. I know, I’ve done it, too—you start going to bed later or getting up earlier so that you can fit one more thing onto your full plate. Please give yourself the chance to get 7-9 hours of sleep, so that can be your healthiest, happiest self. You will feel better, I swear!
4. Eat well. Along with cheating ourselves out of quality sleep, and cutting back on chances to exercise, we also tend to allow ourselves to eat crap when our schedules get full. You know what I mean—quick runs through the drive-through, a protein bar in the car driving from here to there, an XL soda for the energy boost. But making different food choices will not only leave you feeling less gross, but they can also help you handle stress better by providing key vitamins and nutrients. So slow down, eat something you truly enjoy, and reap the many benefits.
5. Commit to YOURSELF. Oh, friends, it is so easy to put taking care of yourself on the back burner when your schedule kicks in. But you are doing yourself—and the people around you—no favors by letting your own self-care go. Keep taking your morning walk or going to workout classes. Don’t skip your yoga class. Keep your monthly massage appointment. You will feel better and be better equipped to handle what life has to throw at you.
Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach. She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart. Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com