Top 5 Ways to Give Back-to-You During Back-to-School

We had a great response to our blog post “Does Back-to-School Mean Back-to-You?” and decided to compile the Top 5 list of ways to give back-to-you this Fall. Because you don’t have to be a parent to be affected by the season of routines and demands of others, this list is for anyone who feels they could use a little giving (getting) back to ourselves. In other words, it’s for you!

(1) Time with GirlfriendsCoffee time

Coffee, porch sittin’, walking… Whatever the activity, time with girlfriends topped the list! The rejuvenating quality of time with friends (one or several) is undeniable. It’s also easy to put off, so we agree that making it a priority is… well, a priority. Job and/or family obligations are the loudest things in our lives, so they often get the most attention, and we spend more time getting wound up, than winding down. There is science behind why women need a tribe and our time together is vital to our health, so putting girl time at the top of our list is a a must.

(2) Organizing

Closet cleaning, garage mucking, and drawer sorting may not sound like something we do for ourselves, but the overwhelming feedback is how satisfying it is to purge. We all know that the results feel great. Sure, it’s good to know we do not have to sort kids big/small and seasonal clothes, or donate that dress we haven’t worn since our girlfriend’s wedding 10 years ago when we were 2 sizes smaller and bubble skirts came back in style for a minute (but only a minute, thank goodness!). We’ll go on surviving the piles and crammed closets, but let’s be honest, we feel so much better when we’re not running around in the morning trying to find one blooming sock and our closet is so simple that choosing an outfit does not take up the bulk of the getting-ready process. In other words, it’s about us. Our time and our sanity. So, set aside an entire day or take it one drawer at a time, crank up the music or Audible book, grab a glass of iced tea or wine, and enjoy the purge!

(3) Healthy Habits

Getting up earlier, meditating, exercising, making time to read, eating healthier – all of these activities are on most people’s Good Habits Wish List, but how do we accomplish them? Like the (oh so many) other things about tribe, together is better. Having others to keep us accountable or who have the same goals so we can talk it through and get over the many humps (and mountains) that will arise along the way is key to healthier habits. Start a Facebook group, set specific days and times to meet for a walk or workout class, or simply send each other an encouraging or “I did it!” text. When we know that someone is waiting for or counting on us, we’re more likely to follow through on those promises to ourselves.

(4) Saying No (or yes-to-you, first)

We all know this moment: We’re asked to take on an extra work project, volunteer for a fundraiser, watch someone’s animal or child, and before we’ve even thought about it, we say “yes”. Then we think about it… “When will we find time?! What do I need to dump in order to do that?! No, I can’t dump that. I’ll just have to stay up later/work harder/cancel that thing I love and need to do for myself.” But it rarely crosses our mind to just say “no”, and we rarely back out once the “y” word has slipped out of our mouth. One tip, among the many that we heard, is to take a breath. Truly pause and listen to what is being asked of you, and feel no guilt in saying, “Thank you for thinking of me! I need to think about it/look at my schedule and get back to you later/tomorrow/next week.” Breathe. What a concept!

(5) Learn Something New

Web design, writing, painting, rock climbing, book club… We’ve heard some great ideas for feeding our minds, body and spirit by learning a new skill or art-form. This is something we can get behind! And, it doesn’t have to cost money to learn something new. Your curiosity can lead to something like Ponder Monster, a website our team member, Jen Adair (Slightly Tilted Life) has created with her kids. Or we can learn from each other by sharing our hobbies and passions with friends. What is on your “I’ve always wanted to…” list? We want to know! In the months to come, we’ll be exploring (and inviting you join in) different ways to tribe. We hope you’ll follow our (sometimes awkward) journey trying new things, and that you’ll laugh with (or at) us while we all learn and grow together! Stay tuned and get ready to share your stories of “how do you tribe?”

Whether school has started, or is about to, remember that you have more to give when there is more of you to give, so be sure to give back-to-you.