A HEALTHY, HAPPY AND SUSTAINABLE START TO THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR
It’s the start of another school year and for teachers, students, parents and families, there is a lot of pressure to get back into healthy routines after the holiday season. Study, work, sleep, nutrition, exercise and planning of any sort can go out the window with the freedom of time that holidays bring. Whilst that time is so important to connect with family and friends and enjoy just ‘being’, it does make getting back into daily patterns challenging. Here are some Happywhenfit Tips to get you ready for the start of a new school year:
Create a schedule
Write your classes, appointments, and main blocks of time into your diary. In between these blocked times, schedule self care time (exercise, food planning, socialising, hobbies, and time to just ‘be’). Regularly checking in with your schedule and updating it as things arise will help to keep you focused and organised. I love my ‘Hey Control Freak’ Diary for all of the space it allows me to micro and macro manage my time. A good diary is an essential part of being organised! Make sure the one you use is suited to you!
Making healthy food and nutrition choices is a lot about pre-planning. Set some achievable goals and utilise a weekly food and exercise planner to set realistic intentions for the working/school week. If your food and exercise is pre-planned, you don’t have to think about it day to day or as it comes up which is more likely to keep you on track and prevent those time poor decisions (See template example here!). Make sure drinking enough water is included in your nutrition plan! Check in with friends and family with your planning, you never know, they may be able to support you in getting organised! Do a big food prep with family or friends, or organise to do your workouts together. Call it active moral support:)
Planning ahead with other simple things like what to wear (the night before) can also help alleviate pressure and allow more time for making healthy choices.
Prioritise Quality Sleep!
Get to bed at a reasonable time and set a consistent waking time. Lack of sleep can throw all good intentions out the window! When energy is low we reach for the high sugar snacks, are less likely to want to workout, and have unstable moods/emotions. We’ve all been there!
Talk it through
Talking to a friend, family member, or colleague can help to ‘walk through’ any thoughts, fears, emotions, pressures/expectations, or feelings you may be having about returning to school. Make sure you focus on the good things too, like seeing your friends and colleagues again, new classes, great teachers, opportunities, and goals, etc. Regularly checking in with someone week to week can be a great way to debrief and prevent you bottling things up. Whether it’s for advice, opinions, support or just a listening ear, talking it out is always a positive way of keeping in tune with what your feeling.
Create Beautiful Spaces
Keeping focused, motivated and energised to make healthy choices is a lot easier when the spaces we spend a lot of time in are not ‘busy’ or chaotic. Setup a beautiful space to do your work that is free from clutter and has all your essentials there. Add little things into your space that make you happy and calm - this may be a nice smelling candle or diffuser, a photo of you and your family/friends, or a nice indoor plant (consider air cleansing plants such as Philodendron, Mother-in-laws tongue, and Chinese Evergreen.
Be kind to yourself
It may take a couple of weeks before your routine feels ‘normal’ again. If you ‘fall off the bandwagon’ with some of your healthy choices, don’t beat yourself up, just accept it and make the commitment to keep trying!
Routines are made up of our daily habits
Start with small steps that are realistic, achievable and suited to your needs and lifestyle, not the needs or expectations of others. Sustainable practices take time to establish. Focus on how good you feel as those healthy behaviours become healthy habits. Humans naturally thrive on routine. It is the steps towards ingraining them that are the challenge. Keep persisting and it will fall into place and make all the difference with your ability to manage and stay resilient in whatever the new school year brings you!