Yep, it’s that time again; back to school and back into a new routine. For most people, going back to school can be very intimidating and scary. It also means that we must kiss summer goodbye and embrace fall with open arms (and maybe a woollen sweater or two). I myself get nervous when this time of year approaches, but with a few helpful tips and tricks I’m about to give you, it’ll be easier than ever to incorporate these small changes into your routine to get you back on track for the school year ahead!
1. Go To Bed 20-30 Minutes Earlier Than Usual
About a week before school starts, I like to try to start getting into bed and falling asleep about half an hour before my normal bed time. Every day or so I’ll increase it by 20 minutes until I ease my way into the next week when it is time to wake up earlier so I don’t fall asleep in class! 20 minutes may not be a lot every night, but it will be a lot easier to fall asleep earlier the night before your first day back.
2. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier Than You Normally Do
This relates to tip #1 since you will be going to bed earlier, waking up a little earlier will also help you ease into your new fall routine. It may be difficult at first if you’ve been sleeping in all summer, but it is much better to start now than to wait the week that school begins!
3. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time/Meal Prep!
It may be difficult once the homework and studying begins, but meal prepping essential healthy food will keep you fuelled throughout your week and make you less likely to eat out, spend money, and make unhealthy choices during your week! In addition, meal prepping also saves you time during the week so you do not have to cook every night (AKA more time to study!)
What I usually do and what is simplest is to cook:
– A big batch of healthy grains like quinoa, brown rice, chickpea pasta, etc so you have healthy complex carbs to fuel you for the entire week;
– Starchy veggies like sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (just because who doesn’t love potatoes?) or any other vegetables like carrots, green beans, broccoli, etc to make sure you get your daily dose of veggies for the week
– And any protein of your choice like hard-boiled eggs (I usually boil 6-7 eggs for the week so I can easily add them to any meal) chicken, tofu, tempeh, beans, legumes, etc.
– You can also make some healthy snacks to keep you full (i.e. homemade granola bars, etc) or bring along some fruit like apples, pears, grapes, or veggies and hummus for those afternoon cravings.
In addition to planning out lunch and dinner, you can also prep some overnight oats to have a healthy and delicious breakfast to grab and go for the next morning, or prepare some ingredients for a smoothie you can quickly blend in the morning. (*Check bottom of this post for overnight oats and smoothie ingredient prep*)
Healthy eating does not have to be difficult! If you plan ahead with simple foods listed above you are sure to stay healthy, even throughout the school year!
4. Clean up your workspace
If you do not have a specific area that you do homework/study, establish a small area or desk where you can focus and get all your work done efficiently. If you have a work/study area, the best thing to do is find some time in your schedule to clean up that area and make sure it’s ready to be used within the next week. If your desk is messy, chances are you are less likely to want to do homework or study there. A clean work space is a productive work space!
5. Make A To-Do List/Keep an Agenda
Once school begins, you will have a lot of tasks and assignments to complete for each class. In order to help you get into a working mindset, set a few goals/tasks that you want to accomplish every day and check them off when you complete them. This will help you visualize what you need to do, and will make you feel accomplished once you are able to see the amount of things you were able to achieve in one day. Then once you start school, you’ll be a to-do list pro🤓.
6. Get Active!
Getting in some daily activity might seem difficult once school starts, but if you plan ahead and can get in 20 to 30 minutes of daily activity a day it can improve your health physically and mentally. Sitting all day studying and doing assignments can take a toll on your body, and going for a walk or hitting up the gym even for half an hour a day can boost your mood, improve your sleep quality, and improve your memory. Grab a buddy or go solo and do something active!
7. Organize Your School Supplies
I don’t know about you, but I love new copy books, pencils, pencil cases – you name it! Getting a head start and looking through your supplies and buying things you need is a great way to get back into school/work mode. 1-2 weeks before school starts I make sure I have enough copybooks, loose leafs, pens, pencils, etc and prep my school bag with everything I need for my first day to ensure I don’t forget anything.
8. Have A Positive Mindset
Going back to school may seem stressful and nerve-wracking, but try to remind yourself that you’ve gotten through it before, and there is nothing that life can throw at you that you can’t handle! You’ve made it this far, and there is nothing that can stop you. If you are determined enough, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
But, we don’t always have the motivation to talk to ourselves like this everyday. What I like to do that helps me get out of a funk is to go on Pinterest and look at inspirational quotes and save some to my camera roll. That way, I can look back at them and remind myself of all the positive things I have in my life and to keep me going. (Note: I have an inspirational quote highlight on my Instagram if you ever need some positive reminders ;)).
I hope these tips helped and wish everyone an amazing school year!
*Overnight oat recipe*: Ingredients
- 1 packet of quaker natural oatmeal (or any oatmeal of choice – can also do 1/2 cup oats if you do not have the packets)
- ~1/2 cup almond milk or enough milk to completely cover the oats
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 1 tsp hemp hearts
- Optional add-ins: raisins, carrots, sunflower seeds, banana, blueberries, peanut butter
- Add all ingredients except optional add-ins to a container with a lid and stir with a spoon until well combined.
- Once ingredients are well mixed, put lid on container and leave in fridge overnight.
- The next morning, take out oatmeal and top with any toppings of your choice! I personally love adding blueberries, raspberries, banana, and peanut butter to mine. 🙂
Smoothie – Ingredient prep: Ingredients:
- Handful of fresh spinach
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice
- 1 tsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup berries of choice
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Take 2 ziplock bags and set one aside. In one ziplock bag, add in a handful of spinach, protein powder, cinnamon, hemp hearts, flax seeds, and peanut butter. Seal bag tightly and place in fridge overnight.
- In the other ziplock bag, add 1/2 banana and berries. Seal bag tightly and place in freezer overnight.
- The next morning, take out both bags from fridge and freezer and empty out the bag with spinach first, then the bag of frozen fruits. Add 1/2 cup almond milk to blender and blend!
- Pour smoothie into a reusable travel mug and eat on the go!
Note: Feel free to add any fruits or veggies you’d like to your smoothie. This is a basic outline for how you can prepare an easy and healthy breakfast the night before to help you out during hectic mornings!