So, what’s the reason behind this uptick in negative moods, emotions, and health?
The shift from summer to fall schedules.
Whether summertime is a slower pace, or a time filled with more challenges due to children being off school, August brings about changes in the demands we have on our time and energy. For children, parents, and some grandparents, the arrival of school means adjusting to a school calendar and making time for extracurricular activities, such as music lessons and sports.
Oh, and then there’s trying to fit in healthy meals, exercise time, and time alone to unplug and rejuvenate.
So, what can we do to make this shift as easy and effortless as possible?
Reset Your Fall Schedule
This time of year is a great time to reset and start prioritizing the good stuff in life. Making healthier choices—from foods to exercise to sleep to relaxing—will give you and your family the physical, mental, and emotional support to handle stress.
Here are 6 ways to reset your fall:
- Meet: Hold family meetings once a week, ideally over the weekend, so you can discuss schedules for the coming week. Go beyond figuring out who needs to be where and when to checking in to see how everyone is doing. Make your meeting a tech-free zone—no cellphones, headphones, or distracting TV—so that you all feel heard and supported.
- Organize: Create a master calendar that includes everyone in the household. There are apps for this, but a color-coded paper calendar posted in a central location, like your refrigerator door, might be more ideal. Make sure you have space to add, delete, or change activities.
- Delegate: When things are chaotic it can be easy for your home to reflect the disorder. The household chores shouldn’t all fall to one or two people. Give age-appropriate chores to your children and make sure everyone is contributing. Write them out so there’s no confusion. You can even work in rewards for jobs well done.
- Plan: All of us do better when we’re eating whole, nutritious foods that support us—body, mind and spirit. But how do we do that when we’re so busy? Planning is key. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the house. Take time to cut up carrots, etc., and to otherwise prepare fresh produce to grab and go. Plan a list of weekly meals that are nutritious—and easy. Consider a food service plan, such as Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh, that delivers healthy, organic, and gluten-free options right to your door. Take time, though, to evaluate these foods. Healthy food, for example, should not contain GMOs. Do your homework.
- Flex: Schedules change. Life happens. When change occurs, because it will, roll with it. And remember: Tomorrow’s a new day.
- Adapt: Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of stress. By replacing stress with good nutrition practices that build resilience, you can eventually undo your brain’s stress-induced changes.
If despite your best intentions you’re still feeling the stressors of this time of year, please get in touch with me. We’ll talk through what you’re feeling and get the support you need in place to help. To set up an appointment, email me or call me at 319-631-0824. I’m here for you.
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