Back to school season is upon us! Which could mean a change in schedule and extra responsibilities for some. During this time, it could be very difficult to manage your health and wellness goals. How can we keep ourselves on track during this transition period you may ask? What kind of habits can make the most an impact, and how can Profile support you? Here are a few wellness tips to get you started!
1. Build a Routine
Routines aren’t just for kids. Training your body to follow a routine can be one of the most impactful ways to encourage positive health behaviors. A good evening and morning ritual can help you feel focused and energized. For example:
Waking up and getting out of bed 30 minutes earlier than your usual alarm time can provide some much needed “me time”. Use that time to journal, read, move your body, or just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.
Winding down 30-60 minutes before bed.
Rehydrating your body first thing in the morning is an instant energizer, helping you feeling motivated and alert. Then, fill up with a balanced and nutrient-dense breakfast of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. Providing your brain and body with a variety of nutritious foods is the perfect start to your day.
2. Meal Planning & Prepping
Knowing what your week looks like so you can prep meals ahead of time or know what they will look like to save extra time.
Meal prep like a pro. Planning out your family lunch/dinner meals helps fill your week with foods that fuel your bodies. Here are a few steps:
Identify potential challenges throughout your week ahead. Grab your calendar and identify what meals will be the hardest to get in. Do you have back-to-back after school activities Thursday evening? Make sure you plan for that day in particular!
Sit down as a family and choose a few nutritious recipes that your family loves and relies on. Pick two to three go-to recipes and a new one for everyone to try. If the family loves it, throw that in the rotation the following week.
Schedule shopping and prep time. Where do you have free time in your schedule? Pencil in a trip to the grocery store (or take that time to order online and then pick up or have delivered later in the day) as well as when you can do some prepping. Prepping ingredients doesn’t have to be an all-day affair, but it can be a major time saver.
3. Create an Activity Plan
Your normal activity routine might look different during the school year so if important to have a plan:
First, assess what you enjoy doing for physical activity or exercise. Enjoying movement is the first step in making activity sustainable and a part of your weekly routine.
What are your days or time for activity/exercise? What will you do on those days that is realistic for your schedule?
Even just 10 minutes of light stretching or yoga after waking can bring on the motivation you need to conquer your day. Or get your heart pumping and blood flowing with a brisk walk to activate your muscles and brain.
4. Get Inspired
It's important to understand what motivates us to keep going or have people in our corner to build us up when we are lacking in motivation.
What is your “WHY”? Write down your motivations or release habits that don’t serve you anymore.
·Assess your values. Values are beliefs you hold about yourself and the world regarding what’s most important. When you know what’s most meaningful to you, you’re better able to take your day head on.
Start journaling. Revisiting your core values, write down what’s most important to you. If focusing on daily exercise is important to you, write down why that is and journal what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Tracking your progress can help you feel accomplished and continually motivated.
Get a hype squad. Have a friend of family member that wants some help getting on track for the school year, too? Ask them to join in with your morning routine by doing a virtual or in-person workout together, meeting for morning coffee once a week to revisit your values and goals, or just holding each other accountable with a morning motivation text message. When we have support, motivation can come much easier.
5. Planning Your Day
Look ahead to your schedule. A lot of meetings? Kids extracurricular activities? Traveling? Know what this looks like so you can plan accordingly.
Plan your day the night before. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Lighten your morning load by preparing meals, to do lists, and your outfit the night before. This will put much less pressure and stress on all that you must accomplish before heading out the door.
A few questions to ask yourself as you plan to conquer your day:
What are my goals for today?
What barriers might I encounter today?
What ways might I overcome these barriers?
What social support do I have to lean on today?
What is my confidence level in sticking with my plan for today?
What is my “WHY” to lean on when challenges are thrown my way?
Meal prepping can be a real lifesaver, especially when you're busy and short on time. Check out our Profile-approved back-to-school recipes that are simple and quick to make, yet healthy and delicious!
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