I went back to school two Fridays ago and, boy, was that an adjustment. I LOVE my students already, but getting ready for back to school (drafting a syllabus, pre-planning a couple weeks of classes, finding the bag that would be my school bag for the fall, tracking down a spare umbrella to keep in there, writing up assignment instructions, setting up my companion electronic classroom, etc) reminded me of how important it is to make sure I get all of my support systems up and smoothly running asap to help me be efficient while insuring that I am caring for myself, even when things get hectic.
Whether or not you go to a classroom yourself (as a student or educator), send loved ones to a classroom, or are graduated from the school year calendar but still need a post-summer tune-up, here are eight things you can do for a happier, more balanced, and less frenetic fall.
Start a weekly review. One of my very best habits is a weekly planning ritual where I sit down at the end of each week and thoroughly and thoughtfully plan the next week. I know this habit saves me time and it gives me an incredible amount of clarity. Want to start your own weekly review? Follow these steps.
Plan meals ahead of time. Another habit that really saves me time is weekly menu planning. Every Friday, I plan what we’ll eat the next week and then I knockout that grocery shopping the next day. This makes week night meal prep much smoother. Want more details? Here is my process.
Put my wellness in my hands. If I am not careful, I can get so absorbed in my work and family that I forget to take care of myself. Hence, I have a yearly wellness prescription that I draft that helps me remember what I need to be doing to take good care of myself and that I give a once over each week when I am doing my weekly review to make sure that I am working my wellness into my plan, too. I know that I am not alone in getting distracted and so I really want to encourage you to write and check your own wellness prescription.
Get focused. Sometimes I can get distracted by the fun, unimportant thing as opposed to the thing that most needs to be done. Reeling in my bright, shiny object syndrome can be a big difference maker!
Get really clear on my nos (even at work) and remember that yeses aren’t permanent. One of the things that can get us is saying yes too much- in our personal or professional lives- and not going back and saying no after realizing that we’re doing something we no longer wish to be doing. Putting boundaries around our time and efforts can be revolutionary.
Enjoy the magic hour. During the school year, I carve out a quiet hour for myself every morning before I need to help my family acclimate to morning and get ready for the day. It sounds painful, but try it a couple times and you could find that the gains far outweigh any pains.
Make sure that I make the most of fall and all its glory. It’s easy to be all business and no play but it is not healthy. And so I make a list at the beginning of fall to make sure that I am also savoring everything this season has to offer. Go ahead and make sure you frolic this fall, too (I’ll be back on Monday with more on this one).
Do a balance assessment. When things feel frenetic, I turn to the Wheel of Life for a balance readjustment. This quick exercises gives me great perspective and guides me to a gracious readjustment.