September has always represented new beginnings. We are adamant about starting Fresh in September, even more so than the start of a new year on January 1st.
During the last week of August, I start getting that urge to make lists, clean out the closets and cupboards, organize, write out a schedule and get back to that feeling of being prepared.
This September is different from any other September
Now that it’s here and our twins have officially started school again, there’s no question that this September will be different from past years. Schedules will need to be more rigid and defined (yet tentative and unpredictable at the same time). The emotional upswings and downswings will be far more extreme, as the impact of back-to-school season has the potential to play havoc with COVID case numbers.
Finding balance and focusing on the things we can control
Ahead of all the upcoming challenges and schedule changes, we’ve been doing all we can to stay emotionally and physically balanced. Instead of overthinking what’s to come in the fall, we have instead been focusing on the things that are in our control.
I’m not sure about you, but this used to be a thing that we did every week. To be honest, we were so good at making 3-4 meals in advance and kept them in the fridge to help ensure the week went smoothly. On top of that, it meant we were able to take better care of ourselves.
Let go of planning everything to be perfect; just do the best that you can
Meal planning as a whole seems to have disappeared as we’ve been doing our best to adjust to life during a global pandemic. Honestly, the time to meal prep just doesn’t seem to exist for us anymore. Furthermore, in the last couple of weeks, we’ve admitted defeat when it comes to making meals. Instead, we’re focusing our energy on ensuring we have healthy ingredients at home; ready to go in the fridge for the week ahead.
Here’s what we’ve been doing in the pockets of time we’ve found in-between ad on weekends:
Easy Meal-Planning Tips
- Hard boil some eggs;
- Dice and boil 2-3 sweet potatoes;
- Make quinoa. Once cooked, lay out on a cookie sheet to cool; squeeze fresh lemon over it, season with salt/pepper;
- Marinate & cook chicken breasts (see our Southwest Chicken Salad mason jar recipe);
- Prep fresh veggies for snacking/to use in a stir-fry/noodle salad;
- Make a large jar of green smoothie, or BBQ/oven roast veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, etc);
- Mini Muffins make for a healthy addition to lunch boxes or as a mid-day snack;
- Visit our recipe page for GF friendly appetizers, mains, desserts, snacks, etc.
Many of us are trying to figure out how to balance schedules for work and our kids. Personally, I’m finding extra-curricular planning for the kids difficult.
Can they handle it? Is it too much? How can I plan beyond a month? Should I put start day-reminders and last day for refund reminders in my calendar? It’s all so overwhelming!
Focusing your energy where it matters most
Instead, I’ve decided to focus my energy on preventative health-care for everyone. Dentist, doctor, osteopath, massage – booked and scheduled in advance for the next six weeks. From there, I picked a few of the kids favourite interests and scheduled a month at a time. Plus, Aidan and I have put emphasis on our own self-care – to ensure we’re also staying active and healthy.
This is a big one for both Aidan and I. It’s got to happen. Sleep deprivation is the #1 thing that brings on looming anxieties, just waiting to surface.
There are so many sleep tips and tricks that are all super helpful. First, no screens. Second, drink plenty of water throughout the day and less at night. Third, no snacking after dinner, and set aside time to meditate before bed (even if just for a few). As a treat, try epsom salt baths, and up your magnesium levels (we recommend looking into local South Shore Bridgewater-based Nourished Magnesium).
On top of everything else I’ve mentioned, I want to leave you with this – a Louise Hay affirmation that I have been doing before bed for years. An exercise to help move away from overthinking and to get out of my own head; shifting the focus to self-care, shutting down, and learning to let go.
Start by taking a deep breath and read this aloud. Often times, I’ll read it 2-3 times in a row:
No time better than the present to start fresh
In closing, here’s to starting fresh in September. Here’s to making changes like these and so many more as we transition into the fall and winter seasons. Remember, it’s important to always be gentle with yourself and with each other. You’ve got this, friends. Good luck out there!
Onward and up,