Why didn’t anyone tell me September would be hard?Sep 05, 2018
In all of the back-to-school, ‘summer is over’ frenzy of the last weeks of August, did you catch yourself or others around you sighing a bit louder? Do you feel as though you used up all of the energy during the summer and now you’re dragging?
Well, you probably are.
A lot happens in September: roads and traffic become worse again (possibly leading to longer commutes); for many of us, our longest vacations of the year are over; days are shorter, and the Christmas hub-bub has yet to start. In addition, you may have overdone it a bit over the summer with backyard barbecues, a little too much sun, and maybe some meals on the go that you regret.
So, how do you get back into a healthy rhythm? If you’re one of those people who can start or quit anything overnight and go at it full-steam, then by all means, jump right in! But if, like me, you’re not, you may want to start with a few key changes to help you feel better quickly.
First of all, let go of any self-criticism around what you should have done, or should be doing, or shouldn’t have done. This negative self-talk doesn’t serve you well, and your body holds onto those negative emotions whether you want it to or not, which in turn impacts how well it works. I saw Caroline Myss at a talk earlier this year, and she remarked about how much illness is caused by the way we speak about ourselves and to ourselves. That really resonated with me. You hear over and over that you should be kind to yourself, and as I’m learning, that doesn’t mean make excuses for bad behaviour, it means treat your body the way you want to be treated. Do you want to yelled at? I certainly don’t! So I’ve stopped berating myself, for the most part. When I pull a bone-headed move in the parking lot and inadvertently cut someone off, I may chide myself, but I try and just take a breath and remind myself that mistakes are how we learn.
Second, if you’ve fallen off the ‘water wagon’ over the summer, get back into the habit. Have a glass bottle at work and in the car and sip as much water as you can during the day. Don’t measure how much you’re drinking for the first week or so – just start sipping; that’s the most important part. It will help give you a bit more energy and help with your stress levels. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll find you are more tired, at bit crankier, and maybe less able to multi-task or problem solve. If food is the gasoline that keeps our ‘car’ running, water is the oil. You can run out of gas and your car will be fine again when you fill up, but if you run your car without oil for any length of time, you ruin the engine. Same with your body.
Third, try and get outside during the day to soak up some sun. Though the evening light is shorter, a quick 10 or 15-minute walk at lunch improves your mood and gives you that quick hit of energy you might need, rather than reaching for an afternoon coffee.
Finally, remember that soon it will be pumpkin season! Pumpkin Spice Lattes are already here, soon to be followed by pies, scones, ice cream, and everything else pumpkin. And if you don’t like pumpkin, well….. Christmas less than 3 months away!
By: Diana Loze