It’s the time of year when schools are back in session. Whether you are shepherding little ones off to school or attending school yourself, this is a good point in time to make some minor self-care adjustments.
Label your emotions
Taking the time to identify and label your emotions helps you feel more in control of. This practice is often referred to as mindfulness and it’s a way to be more in touch with your inner self. Track emotions over a day, a week, a month, to really feel them, experience them, and then move on. You might be surprised how much having things on your mind detracts from your mental health and overall sense of well-being.
Journaling is a great way to track your emotions over time, but you don’t have to limit journaling to just your feelings. You can jot down ideas, hopes, dreams, ambitions, questions, worries… just about anything. This can be a great way to release negative thoughts and feelings in your life or just to look for patterns over time, which may require adjustment.
Exercise is always a good thing, even just a short walk or quick stretch is movement and gets your circulation going. Going outside offers you the benefits of vitamin D from the sun (still wear sunscreen though), fresh air, flowers, birds, etc. Try to unplug and not bring any devices with you, not even to listen to music. Listen to the natural world orchestra. A lovely walk at night when the temperatures cool down is a really nice way to unwind and close out the day.
Take time for yourself
Perhaps you’ve been overly active all summer, chasing kids around, doing fun activities, on the go all the time. Take the time to rest and relax. This is a great opportunity to book an in-home spa appointment and treat yourself to silence and stillness for a while. Or light a few candles and take a good book to the bath with you.
Use the change in routine to adjust sleeping habits if necessary. Add white noise, blackout curtains, cool the room, get weighted blankets, try going to bed earlier. Our sleep patterns, called circadian rhythms, are tied to our metabolism. Getting the right amount of sleep that you need to function at your best, on a regular schedule, goes a long way toward other physical fitness goals you may have.
Somehow, decluttering my living space helps me declutter my thoughts. It seems like, if my home is organized, my thoughts are as well and that’s really helpful when you’re juggling several people’s schedules in your family. This is a good time to clean out a toy box or a play room or even your home office.
One thing you can declutter is the family schedules. Whether you prefer to use a giant paper calendar that fits everyone’s obligations or you’d prefer an electronic tool such as Google calendar – try to get everyone’s schedule in one place so that any one family member can glance and see if there’s already something planned for that day and or who is available.
Listen to Music and Dance
Dancing falls under the category of activity to get your heart pumping, stretching muscles, building strength in your core. Dancing offers perhaps some of the best stress relief outside of an actual spa appointment.
If your diet is less than perfectly healthy, like most of us, choose one bad habit you have and try to adjust that. Go for fruit on the side instead of chips – just make a small, incremental adjustment, one thing at a time. Once you get used to that to the point where it’s a habit, then make another small incremental change.