It’s almost back to school time. This time of year is often synonymous to stress, changes in routine, racing against the clock, lunch boxes… But what if you could change the game and make this back-to-school season rhyme with good lifestyle habits and zenitude?
We present to you our tips for dealing with your work and family obligations while maintaining a good quality of life this back-to-school season.
A healthy and balanced diet
Sometimes, we don’t pay attention to what we put on our plates because we don’t have the time or inspiration. As a health professional, you know how important it is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Good planning will keep you from always being on the run:
- Plan meals and lunches for the week: this will prevent you from improvising and making unbalanced meals (read our article 10 easy-to-make healthy cold lunch recipes);
- Take time to read the list of ingredients when you go grocery shopping;
- Make sure your plate is made up of half vegetables, quarter protein and quarter grain products as recommended by Canada’s Food Guide;
- Remember to vary your menus to maintain the pleasure of eating.
At the beginning of each year, like most people, you make a resolution to get active, but a few weeks later, you give up and wait for the next year. There’s no right time to adopt healthy habits. To prevent your motivation from fading quickly, find out why you want to start physical activity: to stay in shape? To be able to play with your children without running out of breath in the first minute? To feel better about yourself?
Once you have found your deepest motivation, think about it every time you feel like quitting. Another important point to consider is the choice of activities. It’s not about training for a marathon, choose activities that you like and do them gradually. What counts is consistency.
We know that as a health care professional, you don’t always have time to go to the gym, so here’s a list of physical activities you can do in the comfort of your home. There’s something for everyone, even beginners.
A good sleep
If you work nights or variable shifts, your sleep may suffer.
As you probably know, sleeping well is good for your mental and physical health. So, take the time to discuss this with your children so that they understand and respect when you need to sleep, even if it’s not usual hours to do so.
To improve the quality of your sleep, it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get some physical activity. There are also many applications to help you sleep better. Don’t hesitate to try them.
More time as a couple
When was the last time you and your spouse took time away from the kids, just the two of you, away from home? If your answer is “I don’t know”, it’s probably been a long time. Between work, family and home, the couple relationship is often neglected. We end up taking each other for granted. However, taking quality time together as a couple helps to keep the flame and the complicity alive. So, think about planning regular romantic getaways, not just for special occasions.
If you don’t adopt the habit of spending time together, what are you going to do when the kids will leave the nest and you both retire (assuming you’re still a couple at that point)?
Believe it or not, many couples break up at this stage of their lives because they’ve spent their time dealing with the kids and their jobs; they’ve forgotten to take care of their relationship and have become strangers who don’t know how to live with each other. Admit that it makes you think…
Plus, the health situation seems stable, which means you can have the children looked after by grandma and grandpa or by friends. You have no more excuses. You know what to do to keep the flame alive in your couple.
Better financial management
Being a parent is a big responsibility. We all want the best for our children. We want them to get a good education in a field they are passionate about, to become successful adults. We also want to continue to spoil our loved ones and enjoy life in our retirement. All these projects must be prepared now and require good financial planning.
Why not take advantage of the back-to-school period to take charge of things? For example, you could pay for the services of a financial advisor. He or she can help you develop a financial strategy to achieve your goals and prepare for retirement.
Take quality time…with yourself!
This point comes last in this article. Too often, we make the mistake of thinking of everyone except ourselves! Taking quality time just for yourself should be at the top of your list of priorities. Don’t they say that charity begins at home?
Yes, it’s back to school. Yes, you have to think about lunches, the family budget, your relationship, your job, etc. But how can you be a good mother, a good partner, or a good employee if you are not well yourself?
Having moments to yourself allows you to recharge your batteries, connect with yourself and be more emotionally available to others. For example, you can make an appointment for a nice massage at a spa, take a solitary walk in the woods, read a good book by the water, go watch your favorite movie…, there are plenty of activities you can do alone.
So, what good lifestyle habits will you adopt this school year?