Back to work / Back to school: 3 ways to kick-start September

You can't fill from an empty cup, Credit Verena Yunita Yapi, Mind It Ltd, Wellbeing workshops, wellbeing webinars, wellbeing training, wellbeing consultancy, Leeds, England

September is always stressful: getting back to work, kids going back to school, all the weekly activities starting back, new goals, new challenges… It is easy to get back into a ‘stress-mode’ and be quickly very far away from the relaxed summer-spirit we achieved on vacation.

Therefore, we quickly listed our 3 tips to kickstart September, and enable you to keep these summer vibes for as long as possible! Here they are:

1. Make sure you get enough sleep, prioritise it. It might sound strange to read sleep as the first tip when you think ‘I am SO busy that I can’t add an extra hour’s sleep’. Well, actually this is exactly when this crosses your mind that you should get the extra hour. Sleeping is probably the most underrated health habit. We indeed tend to push back bed time and wake up extra early to fit more hours during the day. However, we need our brain to rest, so that it can digest all the events and process all the information of the day. Very practically, keep your phone away from your bedroom and try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier to start with. If you can do this for 3 to 4 weeks, you’ll see the benefits and be able to make sleep great again! Sleep more, sleep better!

2. Make sure you fuel your body right, energise it. We know this is a very common topic and that in an ideal world, we would go to the local farmer market every week and cook everything from scratch. We also know that this is not always possible. So, it is all about balance! Something we learnt through the years, is that if there is nothing ready in the fridge and we come back home hungry, we’re more likely to hit the bag of crisps. However, if dinner is ready, we would just eat this dinner, be full and fulfilled. So, very practically again, 2 things to keep in mind: do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry (you would buy all these bags of crisps you would eat later on), and try batch cooking. Batch cooking on Sunday evening can easily keep you and the family eating healthy for 3 days! Just boil these lentils/cook this meat, prepare a few types of vegetables, and put everything in the fridge. Not only would you eat healthy quickly (you just need to heat things up), but also would you save time in washing up over the week! 3. Make sure you get some time for yourself, plan it. The expression that sticks to my mind whenever I think about this topic is ‘you can’t fill from an empty cup’. However, we have the tendency to prioritise others before us (especially when you have children), and forget that we need to fill our cup first before being able to pour in others’ cups. Two things to keep in mind here too: The first one is to start with breathing. It is healthy to step back, close your eyes and breathe. We just don’t tend to do so. Whenever you feel the signs of stress in your mind and body, just breathe. It is the opportunity for you to reset your brain and think more clearly. Then find an activity you love for your own selfcare. Once you found this activity, plan the time ahead and stick to it, make it a priority in your calendar. On my side, I know that contemporary dance is a big part of my own wellbeing, so every Tuesday evening, I am at Northern School of Contemporary Dance enjoying my class. It is my me-time, in my calendar, and no ‘late-meeting’ or last-minute project can get in the way.

Your Work/Life integration is key to your own wellbeing. If you follow these 3 steps, you are more likely to feel energised and be ready for all your responsibilities, might it be work or family!

You won’t be able to change all of the above simultaneously, and it would be too much. Instead, create a new habit at a time. Maybe start with sleep, do it for 3 to 4 weeks, and once it has become a habit, move towards your next step. One step at a time, and don’t beat yourself up, just keep trying! You’re already doing great!

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