If you have school-age children, you’ll probably be somewhat relieved to welcome the return of the routine – isn’t that what September is all about after all? So here at diet-delivery headquarters, we’ve decided that it shouldn’t just be parents and school-children who get to enjoy the benefits of an Autumnal routine…
Undoubtedly, summer is a time to let go of some of the constraints of our life: shoes become optional, houses abandoned for the gardens, meals become picnics… But too often, the “good” constraints – healthy diet, regular exercise, overall mindfulness – fall away too.
So here are some useful tips for getting your life back on balance, and becoming the healthiest, fittest, best version of you since… well, since about May, probably.
- Eat Breakfast. Go for some protein: think eggs or nuts or yoghurt; some carbs: wholegrain bread, porridge, or homemade granola; and a bit of something sweet to liven things up, such as honey or berries. As well as just being a lovely way to start the day, eating a wholesome, nutritious meal first thing really does set you up for the day. It addresses the body’s low-sugar levels, prevents mid-morning sugar-cravings, and gives you a precious few minutes in the morning which are just about you taking care of yourself.
- (Water!) Make it your new September habit to increase the amount of water you drink – and the easiest way to incorporate this into your routine is to keep a bottle of water with you on the go all day. Our top tip: keep it beside your keys so when you’re dashing out the door in the morning, your hydration reminder is literally at your fingertips.
- Unless you put your mind to it, you could be surprised by how little you actually walk. Having a step-counting app on your phone is a great way to remind yourself to go that extra mile (literally!) –seeing that your daily average is about half the recommended 10,000 steps can be quite an incentive to get moving! This is a habit which quickly becomes fixed, so give it a go for September.
- Take five. You’re busy – we know that. But life just won’t slow down by itself – you have to make the change. Pick a time which is generally ok for you to step back for a few minutes – first thing in the morning, or when you get home from work, or just before you go to sleep. Sit on a hard chair, feet on the ground, leaning forward on your sit bones. Relax your shoulders (you might have to consciously drop them). Now breathe. Count to five as your breathe in, hold for five, breathe out for five. Focus only on your breathing. Got distracted? Try again. Breath in, hold, breathe out. Set small goals. One minute for the first couple of days, then two minutes, then three… Work your way up until the only thing occupying that busy mind of yours is your breath. Soon your busy mind won’t be quite so busy after all, and you’ll find yourself welcoming the rest of Autumn calmer and with more purpose than ever.
And that’s it! Hardly rocket-science: Eat, Drink, Move and Breathe. Four easy steps to a healthier you. Who knows, you might even keep the routine going next summer too!