The beginning of a new school year is often a very intense time. Our nerves are put to the test and the benefits of the holidays are quickly forgotten. The resumption of professional commitments, the routine of daily tasks and the many demands placed on us by our loved ones can quickly cause us to feel out of sorts, leading to stress, anxiety, tiredness and bodily tension.
So how can we preserve the energy we’ve acquired over the holidays?
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of the back-to-school period and stay in good spirits for the long term!
1/ Fill up on vitality through your diet
Food is our main source of vitality, provided we choose foods rich in vitamins and minerals and give priority to fruit and vegetables. So why not take advantage of the back-to-school period to get into some new eating habits?
For breakfast, avoid sugar and opt for proteins, which are good for concentration and memory. Eggs, avocado, hummus or even sardines… Give free rein to your desires and add wholemeal bread and a few oilseeds. That way, you’ll avoid blood sugar spikes and a late-morning slump. No more 11am hunger pangs!
For a satiating lunch, create a colourful plate based on raw and/or cooked vegetables, accompanied by good quality proteins and fats. This way, you’ll avoid the digestive difficulties that make you want to take a nap.
And for dinner, choose foods that are easy to digest, once again favouring plant-based foods and omega-3 fatty acids, which help you to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
What about fruits? Try to eat fruits outside of mealtimes to avoid overloading your digestion. For example, you can eat it as an aperitif, 30-45 minutes before a meal.
Finally, stay hydrated by drinking enough throughout the day.
2/ Look after your sleep
Sleep is the primary generator of our mind. So it’s vital to look after the quality of your sleep to avoid tension, stress and fatigue, especially as the new school year gets underway. For a good night’s sleep, I recommend that you :
– respect the number of hours you need to sleep (7 to 8 hours a night is generally recommended)
– go to bed in a calm and pleasant environment
– keep away from screens for at least 1 hour before falling asleep
– have a ritual for falling asleep (drink herbal tea, read, listen to soft music, do some breathing exercises, etc.).
If you’re not getting enough sleep, try a micro-nap. A maximum of 15 to 20 minutes is enough to make up for a sleep debt. Be careful, however, not to exceed 30 minutes, which would tend to make you feel more tired than before the nap (we’ll explain the mechanism of this phenomenon in a future article).
3/ Practise a regular sporting activity
There’s nothing more effective than sport to clear your head and relieve stress!
Choose a physical activity that you enjoy, whether it’s gentle or intense. In fact, why not take advantage of September to try out some new disciplines?
Sport is an essential ally in keeping you fit and healthy. It stimulates circulation in the body and helps you to breathe properly.
So get moving while you can! And if you’re short of time, leave the car in the garage and take up cycling or walking for your daily commute!
4/ Boost your energy with plants
Herbal medicine can help you get through the back-to-school period more easily. Here is a selection of so-called “adaptogenic” plants that could become your allies during this particularly hectic period:
– Ashwagandha: A medicinal plant with exceptional virtues, ashwagandha helps the body adapt to all situations. It improves energy, mental stamina, the nervous system and memory.
– Ginseng: Known for its general tonic effect, ginseng also has interesting stimulating properties. It helps the body to respond to aggressions and imbalances and to combat stress and fatigue.
As always, I recommend that you seek the advice of a health professional to choose the plants that are right for you, depending on your state of health and current treatments.
5/ Make time for yourself
Whether it’s 5 minutes a day, 2 hours a week or one day a month, the important thing is to make time for yourself on a regular basis. A few minutes’ meditation a day, a solo walk in the countryside, a day’s shopping…
Do what makes you feel good and you’ll feel more serene and fulfilled.
This time, you’ll be ready to face the start of the new school year with good mood and energy. So it’s up to you… Have a great start to the new year!