This week my girls went back to school. In France they call this La Rentrée; literally translated as “The Return”. Of course this applies to all the kids heading back to school but also applies to everyone heading back to work.
After summer holidays, which for many people in France extend throughout the month of August, it really is a return to work and school. Refreshed and recharged it’s a time to start new projects AND new health regimens.
Much like we use the New Year as our time for renewal in the States, La Rentrée seems to serve this purpose in France. And everywhere you go you hear the same wishes for a “Bonne Rentrée”; or “Good Return”.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s so easy for my health habits to slide off course during summer vacation. Between the travel, the social gatherings, and the late nights, all traces of a routine are gone.
Let’s be real though! It’s completely normal to get off track from time to time. Trust me, even those of us who dedicate our life to helping others get healthier, get off track sometimes! But it doesn’t have to be hard to get back to your routine and back to your healthy habits. So with the return of the school year and the return to a routine, let’s use this momentum to return to our healthy habits!
I’m going to share my 4 favorite strategies for getting back on track! I suggest starting with 1, give it a week, and then add in the next. In 1 short month you will be rocking your healthy habits again.
1. Focus on Fluids
A quick win starts with fluids! It’s not that hard to do and the benefits are vast! Do you know that keeping your hydration up can help with ALL the following (and this is only a small sampling):
- Boosting metabolism (aka: helping you lose weight)
- Increasing energy
- Smoothing out digestion
- Improving detoxification
- Sharpening your focus
- Even helping you look younger 😉
Who doesn’t want all of that, right? Start with a large glass of warm water first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything else. It sets the tone & intention for the day. I personally like to squeeze some fresh lemon juice into mine.
Then, set a schedule for the day to make sure you’re getting enough fluids in over the course of the day. There are many different ways you can do this. I like to fill up my Liter bottle after breakfast and plan to finish 1 before lunch and another before dinner. I also like to add a cup of tea after lunch & dinner. This easily helps me reach my goal of 2-3 Liters every day. Anything decaffeinated can count towards your fluids, so if you’re not a fan of plain water, then mix it up; spa water, herbal tea, green tea, fresh veggie juice, broth, milk, or nut milks.
2. Resume (or Start) a Morning Routine/Ritual
The next place I like to start is with my morning routine. I have found that how I start my day directly impacts what the rest of my day will look like. Have you noticed that too? Many experts agree, when you start your day with some dedicated time just for you & your personal self-care, the rest of the day will follow suit.
It doesn’t have to be super time-consuming or complicated either. Start by making a list of all the things you’d LOVE to start your day with, IF time wasn’t an issue. See if you can get at least 10 ideas written down. Just let yourself dream here and be creative. Then go back through and pick your Top 5. Then, narrow it down to your Top 3.
These are your 3 “non-negotiables”, the other 2 are Bonus rituals that you can add in when you have the time. Even if you have only 5 or 10 minutes to dedicate to these 3 Rituals, you will set a mindful and positive tone to your day. Here are my Top 3 and my ideal time allotment.
- Movement → Yoga (at home in my PJs….nothing fancy) ~40 minutes
- Meditation → Slow, deep, belly breathing ~10-15 minutes
- Journaling → Write down any thoughts that came up during my meditation, what I’m most grateful for, and a positive intention or affirmation for the day ~5 minutes
In order to fit a whole hour in, I usually wait to go through my routine once the kids are off to school. Since I work from home, I have this luxury. However, if I need to get out the door with the girls then I’ll get up earlier and do a modified version before they get up; it might even just be 5 minutes yoga/stretching, 5 minutes breathing meditation, 2 minutes journaling.
The important thing is to be flexible and creative in how you fit it in. Even just 5 minutes to sit, take 10 slow deep breaths, and then write down your positive intention or affirmation for the day could be all you need to set yourself up for a healthier and more peaceful day.
3. Go to Bed Earlier
Now in order to make my Morning Ritual happen, it helps if I’ve gone to bed early enough. Although some meditation advocates claim that trading in sleep for meditation will still be more beneficial in the long run, I tend to lean towards trying to make both happen.
Sleep is my #1 health strategy…..truly! It fixes everything. So getting enough sleep each night is super-critical to laying the foundation for health and healing. There are some steps you can take to help yourself get better sleep. I talk about them in more detail here.
- Set a Sleep Schedule….based on what time you need to get up, what time should you ideally be getting to bed?
- Optimize Your Sleeping Environment…..is your bedroom or bed or sleeping partner interfering with your optimal sleep?
- Add A Relaxing Bedtime Ritual…..this actually helps prepare your body & mind for sleep and can make a big difference in the quality of sleep you’re getting.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It will boost your energy, your mood, and promote healing.
4. Ramp Up the Veggies
My 4th and final strategy to help you get back on track is to ramp up the veggies! When you consider all the various dietary goals or plans out there the one that overlaps all of them and is a sure-fire way for you to eat healthier overall, is to eat more veggies!
Vegetables are truly nature’s medicine. Whatever ails you, veggies can help. There isn’t a condition or disease out there that can’t be impacted by eating more veggies. And the hard truth is that unless you’re willing to add more veggies into your diet, you’re not going to have the nutrients needed for true healing to happen.
Now if you’re not a big veggie fan, this actually may be a really challenging ask. BUT I dare-say, not impossible! Here are some of my favorite ways to ramp up my vegetable intake:
- Add in a green smoothie each day.
- Add a daily green juice.
- Make a big pot of veggie soup and add it to lunch all week.
- Make a large kale salad and add that to several meals during the week.
- I also love to batch prep/cook the ingredients for a Nourish Bowl and have that for my quick & easy lunches during the week.
Make it a goal to have at least 1 veggie with lunch and 1 veggie with dinner…..and then once you’re doing that for awhile add a 2nd serving to each. The important thing is to be creative and keep experimenting. If you’re not a veggie fan, it might just be because you haven’t yet found a preparation method that works for you. I’ve converted many clients over to veggies by starting with roasted veggies & smoothies. Give it a try and see if it helps convert you too!
Take Home Message
Our daily health habits are what allow us to heal & build wellness. What we do here and there is not nearly as impactful as what we do every day!
When the body is in crisis and in need of attention, like with a new cancer diagnosis, the temptation is to go big…..complete makeover & health overhaul. This can be amazing & really helpful in the moment but the benefits are not going to last if we don’t have the pieces in place which allow us to stick with it.
Your daily habits, seemingly small, are SO important! And really the foundation from which you can build true health & healing.
Start with your fluids, then add in a morning routine, make a plan to get more sleep, and then ramp up the veggies! With those 4 “seemingly small” habits, you will effect big change.
Once you’ve mastered those 4, next make sure the “4 Most Toxic Foods” are out of your diet. This free guide will walk you through what those foods are and how to replace them with healthier alternatives.
Health is a journey, not a destination. Every day you have the power to make choices that will improve your health. What will you choose today?
Wishing you a Bonne Rentrée….to your healthy habits!