After a glorious summer of slow living and R&R, it’s now time to start gearing back up for a productive fall. While transitioning from the beach to the office isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to feel like a rude awakening either. To help you get back into the swing of things, here are four easy ways to refresh, refocus, and restart this fall!
1. Revamp Your Space
Forget spring cleaning, the best time to Marie Kondo your life is after the dog days of summer! Why is that? Well, for starters, seeing your picnic basket and beach blankets strewn about is only going to demotivate you from snapping back into work mode after a carefree summer. Secondly, there’s actual science that shows tidying up improves productivity.
One study, which asked students to input data into a computer while either working in a clean or cluttered environment, found that the students working in the cluttered room made far more accuracy errors than the students working in the orderly room—indicating that a clean and tidy space could result in making fewer mistakes. Whether it’s your home office or office space, consider a clean sweep and maybe the addition of a potted plant to refresh your old work station for a new season.
And while you’re at it, get the rest of your house in order, too. Tidying up—and decluttering specifically— has also been tied to improved mental health for women. Many studies over the years point to the connection between a cluttered home and anxiety and depression, elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, weight gain, insomnia, and a drop in productivity.
So, make some time to reorganize your laundry room, clean out your closets, pantry, fridge and freezer, declutter the kitchen counter and drawers, and donate anything you no longer need or use. Then the next time you enter your revamped rooms, or open a previously jammed-up drawer, take note of how accomplished you feel.
2. Get Fit This Fall
Forget January 1st, fall is the ultimate time to level up your fitness. Take your workouts outdoors while the leaves are changing colors, temperatures are starting to drop, and there’s a palpable sense of new beginnings and renewal in the air.
Consider signing up for a fall race, joining a group fitness class, or registering for a fitness challenge to stay accountable and reach new heights. Studies have shown that those who join exercise programs as part of a group are much more likely to stick with it and make better progress than those who go it alone.
3. Breathe New Life Into Meal Prep
Fall is a fantastic time to introduce a newly inspired menu. Refreshing your meal rotation doesn’t need to be complicated or arduous, either. Take advantage of the vibrant flavors of fall and be inspired by apples, pears, pumpkin, arugula, zucchini, peppers, beets, wild mushrooms, and more. Try this handy tool to discover what’s in season in your state and cook with the seasons.
To keep meal prep simple, pick one day a week to shop and prep as much as you can for the week ahead. A consistent and organized meal-prep system can save you time and money, contribute to a more nutritious diet, and solve the age-old question, “What should we have for dinner?”
Here are some meal-planning strategies to try:
- Invest in some new containers that will get you excited to prep like a pro.
- Nail down a system for saving recipes for the future (a folder in your phone’s camera album or the “save” feature on social media both work well).
- Fill your fridge and freezer with batch-cooked recipes for quick-and-easy, reheat-and-eat meals.
- Check out these Purely Inspired recipes.
4. Make Fun And Exciting Plans
Sure, you may be refocusing for fall, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all business. Amidst the busyness of readjusting to a hectic work schedule, back-to-school activities, and the daily go-go-go, you’ll be happy to know that it’s scientifically proven that having something to look forward to is not only a powerful motivator, but a stress buster and a mood booster, too!
Whether you have a winter vacation you’re planning for, or your favorite musician is coming to town and you scored tickets, planning a few fun things to do this fall—and circling them on your calendar in anticipation—means you have something exciting on the horizon to help you power through your days with more ease.
Bottom line: To refresh, refocus, and restart this fall, put these four simple strategies into play.
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