How to go ‘back-to-school’ without actually having to go back to school

13249733_193929321001346_1531618941_n(1)I have always loved the transition period between summers and fall, as the leaves begin to change, the air gets cool and crisp in the morning, and all things #pumpkin flavoured start popping up everywhere.  I think I have always associated this time of year with back to school shopping, seeing friends after the summer hiatus, my extra-curricular activities starting up again – September has always felt like a fresh start with new classes, new teachers, and most importantly, new clothes.

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This September will be the first in 22 years that I haven’t been a student heading back to school. I already miss that feeling of shopping for a new batch of school supplies, finding out who my new teachers are, and what friends are going to be in my classes – a fresh start. Although my days of going back to school are over, no one says you still have to be a student to get that ‘fresh start’ feeling.

Here are 6 steps to take this September to get that ‘back-to-school’ feeling without actually having to study, write papers, attend group meetings, take notes, and stress about finals.

  1. Buy one outfit that makes you feel fabulous.

It might not be the new back-to-school wardrobe we got when we were younger but according to science, buying one outfit you feel great in will instantly boost your mood, make you feel empowered, and is a way of reminding you of what you want and what you deserve.

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  1. Stop hitting snooze.

I am the worst for this because nothing feels better than getting an extra 10, 20, or even 30 extra minutes of shut-eye but in reality,  hitting snooze leaves you feeling sleep deprived, foggy throughout the day, and your productivity takes a major dive. Maximize your productivity and squash your habit of procrastinating first thing in the morning by setting your alarm for the actual time you need to wake up, and actually GET THE F*$K UP.

  1. Give yourself a compliment.

While we were in school we got validation from everywhere and everyone – our teachers, friends, or coaches, through grades, compliments, or playing time. Now, let’s be honest, a lot of external validation comes in the form of a ‘like’ on social media or a right swipe on a dating app.  Take the time to give yourself a compliment, once a day, whether you killed it at the gym, look great in your new jeans, or penned a really awesome email at work.

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  1. Connect with friends.

We may be past the days of reuniting with friends for a gossip session at our gym lockers discussing who kissed who at summer camp but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect with friends we haven’t seen in a while. Call up a few friends and get together for coffee or a drink, and by coffee in September I obviously mean a #PumpkinSpicedLatte, and by a drink I mean an adult apple cider.

  1. Pack a lunch.

Long gone are the days of my mom packing my lunch in my pink Winnie-the-pooh lunch box that I had until I was like fifteen and to be honest I have totally fallen into a habit of buying my lunch every day from the convenient salad bar around the corner from my office.  Packing a lunch not only saves you time, money, and calories, but studies show that eating in the lunch room with co-workers can result in a happier work environment, and “happy people just don’t shoot their husbands” (Elle Woods).

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  1. Join a league.

When I was in school I participated in all sorts of extra-curricular activities from the volleyball team, to chess club (so I didn’t have to go outside for recess obviously), to the school band (I played the oboe and then was asked to switch to the clarinet when I was still sounding like a dying cow in November), and these team and activities are where I made most of my friends.  Joining an adult recreation league will reignite your passion for sport, is a great way to meet new people, learn a new skill, practice your teamwork and communication skills, and change-up your normal working routine.