August is known as the back to school month. It is usually a month of anticipation and anxiety. Parents are out purchasing school supplies and clothes for kids that are both excited and nervous about the new school year. College students are getting ready to head to school this month and so you may notice a bit of an “attitude”. It is really just their excitement and anxiety building as they try to define their evolving relationship with mom and dad. What about you? How do you feel now that the summer is coming to an end?
If you have kids then the switch back into the school calendar is a jolt to your child’s routine. It is smart to start “practicing” some skills now before the mad rush begins. Maybe you start working the bedtime back, insist they get dressed before coming downstairs, have them lay out their clothes the night before….all simple things that will help create positive habits for the school year. What new habit would you like to create that will make your life better? You can’t expect this year to be any different if you don’t DO anything different.
The fall is a great time to take an evening course, pick up a new hobby or sign up for an exercise class with a friend. Check out what is available in your area and fits your schedule. Stepping out of your comfort zone and learning something new is a great way to keep your mind active. It builds new brain synapses (or connections) and that’s a good thing. Changing up the daily routine helps too. Here are some ideas to shake things up a bit.
- Take a different route to/from work (maybe stop at the beach for some quiet time before heading home).
- Eat with your non dominant hand (it will slow down your eating and make you more mindful).
- Change up your morning routine and turn off the auto pilot
- Go to bed earlier
- Watch less TV (or make one or two days TV free)
- Shut down electronics an hour before bed (the blue light they give off messes with your sleep hormones)
- Get up and move every ½ hour for at least two minutes during your workday. Better yet walk for 30 – 45 minutes every day. Wear a pedometer and try to beat each day’s steps.
- Learn something new or challenge yourself in some way. New recipe? New language? New hobby? New vegetable?
- Check email only three times a day (unless it is work related) and never before your first “to do” is done.
- Use a planner or calendar app to actually plan out the night before the top 3-5 things you will accomplish tomorrow. Start each day fresh; don’t just move items to the next day. Pick the things that you really want/need to get done.
We often become so programmed that we are on autopilot throughout a large portion of our day. There’s one month left to the summer, make the most of it and “shake” things up. Your brain (and probably your family) will thank you.
This is from the Laine’s Logic Newsletter Archives. If you would like to get our monthly newsletter, you can sign up here: http://www.laineslogic.com/children