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September article

Lunes, 2 de Setiembre de 2019

'kick start the new school year' by Emma Hearle

After a summer of days on the beach and long, relaxing evenings, returning to work or school can come as a bit of a shock. The reality of being back in the office or the classroom could have left you feeling a bit down in the dumps. Don't despair though. There are lots of steps you can take to keep your mood up so you can get back into the swing of things smoothly this month and kick start the new academic year.

Start planning in advance
I’m a sucker for a list and love jotting things down in the weeks before going back to work in September. Ok, the fact teachers are given such long holidays does make it easy to have a whole week to plan for the start of term, but even if you aren’t so lucky with the number of days off, take the day before to start getting ready for the routine again. 

There’s also nothing better than getting some fancy post-its or maybe a new notebook and pen to make planning a little more glamorous! Write down some goals you want to smash for the new academic year; I mean why do resolutions and new habits need to be confined to the post-xmas new year? Have you over indulged during the summer months and fancy getting back in the gym or is there a new hobby you’d like to take up? Whatever it may be, organising your ideas on paper can make them seem more achievable and the list is a constant reminder, holding you accountable if things don’t always go to plan!

Change bad habits, one at a time
I can be guilty of being too extreme. Either on point with healthy eating, going to the gym, practicing my Spanish or doing my homework; you name it, I’m either on the case, smashing my workouts and eating loads of fresh fruit and veg, or the complete opposite. When good habits have gone down the drain or, like me, you’ve well and truly fallen off the bandwagon, it can feel really daunting to know where to start again to eliminate these bad habits and reimplement good ones. If you take it step-by-step, one day at a time, it’ll be a lot more manageable and you won’t crash and burn the second week in! Before you go cold turkey, try and remember getting back to a routine is hard enough! Perhaps you could focus on one thing to improve per week. Walk to school with the kids instead of driving one week or incorporate a little less red meat and more plant based food into your diet the next. Wherever your focus lies, it’s a lot easier to tackle one thing at a time!

We all know the feeling when holidays are over - you’ve been so motivated up until your trip away but now it's all over, it can feel as if you've lost your drive for health and fitness or you've swapped running in the park for netflix marathons on the sofa. However, despite our tendency to stay indoors and hunker down when we’re feeling blue, exercise can often be the best tool we have to beat low mood.

It’s a well known fact that exercise can make you feel better and when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that act as nature’s mood enhancers. As well as the physical effects, exercise also has many psychological benefits. Working out gives you space to take your mind off of your concerns and have time to yourself. Feeling the changes that are going on in your body and mind helps give you a sense of achievement, and being involved in an exercise class or sports club can provide a really positive sense of community.

Plan some treats for the weekend 
There’s nothing worse than going back to the routine in September knowing it’s a long slog until the next break from work or school at Christmas. By planning a couple of things for the weekends leading up to December can make everything that bit more manageable. It can make it easier for children too after their mammoth three-month summer break! Get a plan to meet friends or a family excursion in the diary to give you something to look forward to as the summer comes to an end and autumnal days and colder nights set in.

And lastly, don’t forget to relive your summer by telling friends and colleagues about the fun things you got up to or by printing or sharing your holiday snaps online. All good things must come to an end after all. Happy September!