A new year brings with it the sense of starting fresh. There is the hope and excitement of new opportunities, the hustle of the holidays is officially behind us, and we can set our sights on what is to come.
There is a wonderful energy that surrounds the start of a new year. We establish intentions to improve our health and make commitments to focus on the more positive aspects of our lives. It can be a time of incredible renewal and motivation.
For some of us, the excitement of this new year is dampened the moment we step back into the office or back to school and we struggle to go from time-off to checking back into our emails and obligations. The more carefree routines of our holidays are jolted into a consistent schedule once again and if we're not paying attention, this transition can bring on a stress response that becomes unproductive and unhealthy.
As you step back into work remember a few key components...
Never underestimate the power of sleep. Make sure your body is getting a little extra rest as you transition back to school or work. You're adjusting to a scheduled routine once again and that isn't just a state of mind - your body needs the care and rest to keep you feeling balanced and prepared to respond to what the day brings you.
Foster a sense of patience. The first days back to work or school can feel hectic and exhausting. Recognize you are not alone. Everyone is going through this restart - your colleagues, other drivers on the road, your children. Give yourself a few moments of peace throughout the day by taking a few breaths and notice your state of mind and body.
Speak kindly to yourself. Those days when you're too tired or not inspired to fulfill your new year's resolution are going to happen. Cheer yourself on for the next day or a later time. Speak to yourself as though you are your own best friend. You got this!
Appreciate the journey. Every moment of every day is an opportunity for us to learn about ourselves and those around us. You will have moments that bring you tremendous joy and moments that bring you to your knees. All of it is valuable and important in preparing you for what is to come.
**A special note for teachers - the transition back to school can be most challenging for you. Not only are you dealing with your own physical and emotional mindset, you find yourself in charge of 20+ children and all that they bring into the room with them. These first days back, it's helpful to review and re-establish the classroom routines. Remind your students what is expected and have compassion for their experience too. It is an adjustment for you all.