No matter how long it’s been since our own school days, summer never fails to bring a sense of freedom, adventure and a certain sun-block-scented stray from the norm.
And if you have kids? Forget it. Between camps, day trips, auntie drop-offs and activities, you feel summer’s full swing and work hasn’t even slowed down.
Amid the fun and frenzy, struggling to keep up with life while maintaining your responsibilities and extra space for full-time kids at home (if you work remotely) can make it easy to slip out of some of our habits.
Most of the time, with so much going on, the first thing that goes is time spent on ourselves. Still, as human beings, we need to balance our outward social barometers with our restorative inner compass, so we’ll hopefully always have some time to ourselves, even a speck.
It’s just that when we’re exhausted or overwhelmed, this time may look more like scrolling on our phones or crashing on the couch, watching Netflix and eating kettle corn. The more tired we are, the easier it becomes to lean into not doing our other healthy habits – even when we know they work.
With summer ending and school having just begun, why should our kids get to have all the fun? We too can go back to the mindset we had when we were young, gearing up for a fresh year in school.
Let’s collect our habits like disparate folders, notebooks and binder, brush off the dust and get in the game.
Part of adulting and having more freedom means knowing how to dole out discipline too. How can we snap into a new character and tackle all of our responsibilities and goals while remaining grounded?
Back to school, baby
What were some things you had gotten really strong at before summer swept in? Were you up to daily yoga classes, or hitting the mat weekly in Jiu Jitsu? Maybe you were Duolingoing hard (RIP Streak) or working hard on your distance running.
Rather than feeling ashamed and disappointed that you dropped some of your habits this summer, think of it as a list of courses you get to choose from this fall!
How do you start your day? Do you gather with the fam for breakfast or do you go for a three-mile run? Maybe you sit on your back porch, sip some coffee and sketch your tomato plant.
Some great morning rituals
- Spend a few minutes meditating
- Devote time to training
- Spend time in nature, connecting to your roots.
- Do something related to your personal goals – anything from working on a business idea to learning a language.
- Adopt a new holistic wellness ritual, like cold showers, gua sha, face masks and saunas.
Set an alarm and go, or find a class that works for you and commit to forming the rest of your morning routine around that class. You may find that you like it! After all, structure is the spice of life.
Sometimes all it takes for us to get back to our routine is committing to that thing. If you stick to it, the reward of the win makes you want to keep winning. Beware of going too fast and adding more and more habits before you truly integrate the others. This could lead to an overfilled plate and too much juggling to really feel present anywhere.
Even if our pyramid of habits can grow to accommodate all of the things we wish to do (and it can), if we don’t build it slowly, ideas tend to scatter and it ends up upside down. You can imagine trying to balance on a tiny tip.
Another thing to watch out for! Especially if our habits buzzed full blast before, we can feel tempted to jump back in at full force. Take a moment to ask yourself if that’s really wise or if it’s just your ego talking. If you jump back in too hard too fast, you might risk an injury and have to wait even longer.
A seed, when planted in the earth, does not sprout immediately. It takes days, sometimes weeks for anything on the surface to show. Similarly for us, slow growth makes for the most sustainable.
It seems like whenever we unlock new levels within ourselves, we think “Oh, there’s no going back.”
Yet somehow we do. Despite knowing we sleep better when we don’t eat sweets the night before, we joyfully ignore our analytics and cartwheel right to our late-night sugary demise. (No donut shame, we’re talking habits.)
Were you super tuned into your diet and what your body loves before summer’s tide swept all your hard work away?
If you’ve lost touch with the clarity surrounding your body’s connection to food and want to reset, sometimes a fast can help clear your head and focus the mind-body connection.
If we don’t naturally tend to spend much time thinking about food, but want to, it can help to make a list. Write down all the foods you like (things you would get at a grocery store.) Are there enough proteins, vitamins, greens, and healthy carbs on that list?
How can you organize those foods to feed your needs and also create meals you can schedule without using too much brain power?
If you crave more of a nutritional deep dive, check out Kick the Sugar, Optimize Your Training Fuel, and Feel Better, for insights and tips from Easton athletes on everything from hydration and electrolytes to different types of training diets and healthy substitutes for snacks.
Courses and curriculum
Maybe you’re not a school nerd like some of us here, but regardless of whether you liked school, nearly everyone understands its structure.
From wrangling a bunch of wild monkey three year olds and fusing play concepts into learning exercises, to planning out your next semester’s course load with your school’s counselor, the structure of an academic learning space has always existed to peel our potential from our wildness and harness it.
This means that wildness is part of our nature. So, don’t get bummed when you can’t always keep it buttoned up and at one hundred percent. We’re also meant to roam, question, explore and rebel. The magic happens when we can integrate both and switch modes fluidly.
What are some of the courses on your curriculum? For the sake of play, let’s add in your day job. If you have your own business or clients, maybe you see them all as their own courses, or maybe they’re part of one larger course – “Content Creation and Social Media Marketing,” for example.
Perhaps another daily course revolves around fitness, and you want it to take a larger presence in your life. Get stoked. You’re about to dive in. Hit the mat, hit the gym, read everything you can about your sport, whether it’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, yoga or weight training.
Nerd out. If you want something to become a vital part of your life, make it a vital part of your day.
You might want to make mindfulness a course, expanding beyond a morning meditation, or perhaps art or music as you decide to finally learn piano or get better drawing from life.
The more we can create a bigger picture context around our daily habits and feed the world they occupy, the easier it becomes to do one small thing at a time. Most importantly, know that your habits exist to keep you in control, not the other way around. Remember the seed metaphor and know that whatever you set your mind and body to will ultimately flourish.