I think it’s safe to say that there’s been a lot of anxiety leading up to this month. Like a lot. For all of us.
Wondering if kids are going back to school? What it will look like? How will it go? So many unknowns and strange “firsts” as we all transition into this next chapter.
But for better or worse, these days are here. The blissfully unscheduled days of summer are coming to a close. The next chapter is here.
And I, for one, am already feeling a little exhausted before we’ve even started. Mentally drained from taking in too much “noise” from the outside world. From too much planning and worrying.
It’s time to reset. Time to clear out the cobwebs and reprioritize where my energy and time is going.
So this September for me is all about recommitting to some habits and practices that I know serve me well. To make conscious choices to focus a little more of my energy inward so that I’m going into this next chapter feeling healthy and inspired and ready.
How to help reset your mind this September
Make room for quiet
Our minds are so active these days (how could they not be with everything going on?), that it’s sometimes hard to hear ourselves think. We’re so used to living our life being inundated with stress and input and outside noise that it’s hard to know when our minds are “overflowing”.
We need a way to let our minds reset and slow down. For me, this is meditation.
I’ve recommitted to starting every day with a 10-minute meditation. I love doing this in the early morning because the house is still quiet and dark, and more importantly, sets the tone for my day (or at least my morning ;).
It doesn’t matter what type of mindfulness technique you practice, just find something that works for you. Maybe it’s just two or three minutes of breathing. What’s most important is being consistent. Just pick something you can do, EVERY DAY, for the next 30 days, and then see how you feel. There are some great apps out there that you can try as well if you don’t know where to get started. CALM is a great one to try as CHILL.
Set better boundaries.
For your phone. For social media. For the news. For the people in your life who don’t “fill you up”.
Find the limits that really work for you (you’ll know that sweet spot when you’ve found it). For me, this means turning my phone to airplane mode earlier in the evening and keeping it on longer in the morning. It means taking breaks from social media and the news and it means not jumping to respond to texts/phone calls/e-mails immediately – but rather giving myself time to slow down my responses. WIch helps me filter some of the input and more importantly allows me to not always feel like I’m on other people’s schedules.
Setting boundaries for your phone, social media, and even people can feel hard and almost rude at first (and we usually have a million “excuses” about why we can’t set boundaries), but in reality, there are very few things in life that need our immediate attention, at all times. Training our brain to not be so “responsive” to input…just helps everything slow down a little. Something that’s still a work in progress for me for sure.
Turn on your blinders
For the good or bad of it – we live in a world where we always seem to “know” what everyone is doing. And it can be so easy to find yourself comparing your choices, or your situation or your life to others.
I for one have been so guilty of this lately. Comparing our choices with the kids to other parents in our area, wondering if we’re doing the right thing. If we’re making the right choices. Second-guessing myself. Questioning my own judgment – simply based on someone else’s choice.
This month I’m doing my best to turn on my blinders and just focus on what’s best for me, my kids, and our little family unit, and let go of whatever anyone else is doing. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t always the easiest.
Let go of expectations
On yourself. On your spouse. On your kids. On your family and friends. On your community and neighbors.
It doesn’t necessarily mean being “ok” with everything. But it does mean letting go of some of that self-induced suffering we create by “expecting” or wanting or wishing people or things to be different.
This has personally been one of my biggest struggles, not going into situations with any expectations. But instead just being open. To all of it. Which in reality is really, really hard. But this month I’m making a concerted effort to not attach my emotions or reactions to things outside of my control – and just letting things be as they are.
Rest, rest and rest
Sleep has always been a priority in our home, but especially in this season. I so often find that when I can’t focus, or find myself getting irritable, I’m usually just really tired. It’s honestly that simple. I usually just need a big glass of water and to put myself to bed 😉
This month I’m recommitting to earlier bedtimes, and more mindful sleep habits (like not being on my phone right before bed, etc.). It’s such an easy, simple thing to change – and truly makes a world of difference the next day in my mental clarity and attitude.
As we enter into this next chapter, of this wild and crazy time, my hope is that we remember to TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES. Remembering that our own mental health and clarity are just as important as everything else going on in the world. And that we slow down enough to remember to take care of ourselves. We all still have a wild and crazy ride ahead of us…..so let’s go into this next chapter as healthy and as happy as we can.
Sending lots of love and grace to you all.