My Grandma always said September was the hardest month of the year because it usually involves so much change. After months of going to bed later, eating differently and deviating from your regular routine, it can be a bit of a harsh transition from summer to fall.
Going back to school, going back to work, going back to the regular routine. While it can all seem stressful, there’s something about the fall season that also brings on feelings of a fresh start. Just like the New Year it’s a great time to reset.
With all the change of the new season, it’s a good time to think about healthy habits to implement, here are three key areas with some simple ideas that can bring lasting benefits.
- Implement weekly meal prep – this is so simple and so important, yet despite our best efforts it does not always happen. Dedicate a couple hours on Saturday or Sunday to making a grocery list and shopping. Meal planning for the week will ultimately save you time, help you stay on track and keep you organized. I also find it cuts down on the amount of food that is wasted.
- Dust off the crockpot – crockpots are perfect for fall meals. So many yummy one-pot dishes can be made so that dinner is ready to go when everyone walks in the door starving.
- Find new fall recipes – trying out new recipes is a great way to mix things up in your diet and prevent you from becoming bored with the same meals. Variety is the spice of life! Try out some easy go-to recipes that can be incorporated into your menu for the week.
- Batch cooking – whatever you’re cooking, automatically double the recipe so that you can freeze it for a future meal.
- Eat dinner earlier – eating late can impact your sleep, not to mention cause you to stay up later by the time you clean up and unwind. Eat earlier and stop the late night snacking.
- Set a bedtime – I’m guilty of it, once Noble is asleep I think, I will just do a couple of things and then go to be, before I know it, it’s 11:30. Count back seven or eight hours from the time you have to get up and make that your non-negotiable bedtime.
- Develop a bedtime routine – taking the time to unwind after a long day is important. Figure out what works for you, reading, yoga, meditation or a warm bath, are all ways to gently end the day and prepare for bed.
- Shut the screen off – the TV, iPhone and iPad are all very stimulating, set a rule that an ½ an hour before bed all electronic devices are turned off.
- Cut out the caffeine – too much caffeine during the day can make falling asleep difficult, especially if you are consuming a lot in the afternoon.
- Keep a gratitude journal – taking a couple of minutes to write down what you are thankful for will help end the day on a positive note.
- Prepare for tomorrow – select clothes for the following day, make lunches ahead of time, prep dinner so it’s ready to be thrown together when you get home. Often healthy intentions fail because there is “not enough time”. Taking the time ahead will set you up for success.
- Make weekly chore lists – don’t let all the housework fall on you. Get the family into the habit of helping out by outlining what the responsibilities and expectations are for everyone around the home.
- Schedule time for you – when building out schedules, factor in non-negotiable time for yourself (workouts etc.) You can’t be at your best if you’re constantly stressed and doing things for other people. When you’re planning out the kids’ extracurricular schedules, pencil time in for an activity of your own so you don’t need to try and find time for it later.
What goals do you have set for September? What are you going to do to keep your family healthy, happy and organized this fall? Please share your plan below.
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