As vacations wrap up and kids head back to school, we’re suddenly faced with the reality of settling back into a routine. For many of us, getting back to the health grind after a summer of excess eating and drinking is no joke, but there are ways to make it easier. Here are 7 tips for getting back into a healthy routine after summer.
1. Take baby steps.
It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be in full summer mode one day and then totally back to business the next. Rather than trying to get back into every aspect of your routine at once, try setting smaller goals for yourself. Give yourself a few days to set up the kids with a homework schedule, a few more days to organize all of your closets, a few more days to start cooking and stop eating out, and a few more days after that to return to your workout routine. There’s no shame in taking baby steps, as long as you get there eventually!
2. Stick with the healthy basics.
The only thing worse than switching out of summer mode and back into real world mode is feeling crummy in the process. Getting back to a healthy routine can be draining, but practicing consistent healthy habits will give you a little extra energy to get through it. Drink lots of water, eat your favorite treats in moderation, and rework some meditation or mindfulness practices into your day to make your mental health the best it can be.
3. Set yourself up for success.
One of the best ways to ensure that you stick with plans and habits (even when they don’t feel fun) is to limit the number of excuses you make to avoid them. If you’re aiming to make it to a yoga class one morning to get your workout routine in early, set your clothes out the night before. If you’re hoping to get back on your healthy cooking game, plan out your recipes a few days in advance so that you can have everything you need in the kitchen and ready to go.
4. Plan ahead.
Your summer trips and adventures wouldn’t have happened without a little extra planning. It’s going to take planning to resume normal activities, too! Break out the old calendar — whether it’s an app or paper version — and plan out time for meal prep, your full body workout routine, hanging out with people you care about, and indulging in some high-quality self care around all of your can’t-miss commitments. In a few weeks, you may not feel like you need to do quite so much planning, but for the time being, it will get you back in the groove.
5. Try something new.
Yes, you’re getting back into a routine, but who says that routine has to look exactly how it used to? Now may be the perfect time to change things up with a new family schedule, a new approach to your workout routine, or a new habit. You’re already feeling like you’re in a moment of transition, so you might as well go big.
6. Put some things to look forward to on the calendar.
Saying goodbye to summer can be absolutely no fun. Quit trudging through these fall days by putting a few positive plans on the calendar for the coming months. If you have a weekend trip or even a casual day with friends to look forward to come October, maybe these September days won’t feel like quite such a bummer! There’s nothing like anticipating a great day to keep you motivated through the not-so-great days.
7. Prioritize sleep.
In the chaos of adjusting from summer to fall, it’s easy to let rest fall off your priority list. Between refocusing on work, packing school lunches and trying to find time to exercise regularly again, who has time to sleep? Sleep is just as important in the fall as it was back in the summer when you were feeling a little more carefree. Set more realistic expectations for what you can accomplish every day so that you can go to bed at a reasonable time and turn off the screens a little early if you have to! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that most adults log at least seven hours of sleep per night.
If all else fails, remember that no one expects you to be totally out of summer mode ASAP. Hold on to those vacation vibes for a bit and don’t feel guilty if you don’t nail the schedule right away or find yourself snoozing on your alarm a few times here and there. You’ll be back at it soon enough!