The back-to-school season is a perfect opportunity to commit to taking better care of yourself as a mom. The other day I shared four ways to make back-to-school less stressful. Now here are four ideas that will help you hit the ground running this September and help you embrace the season with energy and focus:
1. Incorporate movement into your mornings. Have you ever noticed that, when you start your day sluggishly slumped over your computer or slouching on your keyboard, it’s awfully hard to get moving later? Even though my body sometimes screams in opposition, I find that the best time to set the stage for an active day is by getting moving the minute my feet hit the bedroom floor. It doesn’t have to mean a three-mile run or exercise class: some simple stretches, a few Sun Salutations, or a walk around the block will get your blood pumping.
2. Put some simple tasks on your to-do list. After a long, lazy summer, it’s easy to feel at loose ends when the kids go off to school and you’re trying to figure out how to fill the hours. Sure, there’s plenty to do … if you can just focus long enough to do it. I find that putting some easy tasks on my to-do list gives me a sense of accomplishment (who doesn’t love checking off stuff on a to-do list?) and inspires me to move on to the bigger, more complicated tasks.
3. Take time for dreaming. If you’re at home during the day and some or all of your kids are off at school — especially for the first time! — you may feel a mixture of exhilaration and overwhelm: with so many possibilities, how will you spend your time?
Even if your kids are still at home with you or if you’re working out of the home during the day, the promise of fall and back-to-school excitement in the air may have you feeling ready to take on the world (if you could just figure out which part to take on.)
Either way, I think it’s important to allow yourself time for dreaming before you commit to a plan of action. How would you love this academic year to look? Which hobbies, activities or goals are most important to you? How do you see yourself filling your days and weekends? Remember, you can’t do everything all at once, so take a few days to doodle, dream, and create pie-in-the-sky to-dream lists before you start making concrete plans and commitments
4. Be a quitter. Fall is often the time of year that we pile new activities, interests, and commitments on our plates. But it’s also a great time of year to take a closer look at our existing schedule and see if anything has to go. Are there hobbies you’ve lost interest in, regular social activities you’ve gotten bored with? Is it time to pass the baton on a commitment or two? What about the kids – are there sports or clubs they’re involved in just because they always have been? Is it time for a break or to try something new?
Even if your schedule got a little lax this summer or you lost sight of your priorities in the haze and heat, keep in mind that every fall is an opportunity to reinvent your life by cutting out what doesn’t matter to you and making room to nurture what does. So what are you waiting for? Hit “reboot” and start the fall off fresh!
Looking for even more ideas for making the back-to-school season low-stress and sane? Fellow Babble blogger Jessica Ashley and I will be doing a month-long series called Back To You, all about how to reboot your life and take care of yourself during the back-to-school season. The series kicks off Tuesday, September 4, so be sure to check in, and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a thing!
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