Back to work / Back to school: 3 ways to kick-start September and prioritise your own wellbeing
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 feel we achieved over the Summer (to some extent!)
Therefore, we listed our 3 tips to kickstart September, and enable you to keep these summer vibes for as long as possible! The goal is to maintain a sense of wellbeing and make sure you also prioritise YOU.
Remember: ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’.
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, exactly when you think that way, you need to sleep an 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 our experiences and process all the information of the day. Very practically,
keep your phone away from your bedroom, and
try to go to bed 15 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!
2. 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 unachievable. So, it is all about balance! Something I personally learnt over the years is that: if there is nothing ready in the fridge and we come back home hungry, I am going to eat crisps and cheese for dinner. However, if dinner is ready, I will simply eat this dinner, be full and fulfilled. So, very practically, here are two things I have been trying to implement myself:
never go grocery shopping when I am hungry, or I just buy all the snacks and things, and
try batch cooking on Sunday evening, as it can easily keep me and the family eating healthy for 3 days! Just boil the lentils, cook the dish, cut 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.
Whenever I think about prioritising my own wellbeing, I remind myself that ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. However, we have the tendency to prioritise others before we think about our own needs, especially when you have children, yet we need to fill up our cup first pouring in others’ cups. Two practical things to keep in mind here too:
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.
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. 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 dance 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 to cope with all the challenges and 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 one 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!