By Ashton Jackson, RDN, LDN

ATTENTION TEACHERS: You’ve spent the last 180+ days educating and nurturing young minds and chances are, you have put self-care for yourself on the back-burner. If the months of August through June were comprised of hit-or-miss breakfasts, a mindless bite of lunch between classes, and exhaustion that hindered your well-intended exercise plans, then it may be time to embrace a lifestyle change for the summer. Don’t put off your goals any longer. Here are four ways you can set yourself up for success during your well-deserved time away:

  1. Experiment with a new routine.  If consistent exercise and meal times are a struggle for you during the school year, use the summer to come up with a plan and give it a trial run. With the reduced demands from work, you’ll be able to get into a groove and establish a habit that you’ll want to keep.
  2. Seize the opportunity to plan and prep meals. Pull out those recipes you’ve tucked away and try them out. Come up with a few staples that you can commit to keep in the rotation during the school year. Ready to take it a step further? Try out batch cooking and build a stock of freezer meals!
  3. Evaluate your stress management skills. Stress can be a killer, literally. Use your time away to dabble in journaling, yoga, meditation, re-organization, massages or another technique that appeals to you. Once you know what works best, you will be prepared for whatever comes your way in the fall.
  4. Establish your support system. Accountability and support are keys to achieving and maintaining success. Use the summer to line up a workout buddy that you can depend on for motivation. Talk with your family and friends about your goals and let them know how they can encourage you!

Take your capacity for a permanent lifestyle change to the next level by setting up an appointment at Lifestyle Medical Center. Your Blue Cross Blue Shield State Health Plan offers coverage for visits with our team of providers.