Even for those of us who aren’t heading to class this September, the busy “back-to-school” rush is underway. Rather than get caught up in the seasonal frenzy, take some time to mindfully prepare with these healthy and helpful back to school tips.
Eco-Friendly School Essentials
Ban the Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial for healthy minds and bodies, and carrying a reusable water bottle can help kids and adults alike kick the sport drink and soda habit.
Ditch the Brown-Bag: Finding safe and green portable lunch kits is often harder than it seems. Check out this list of BPA and lead-free products that will keep your lunch delicious and worry-free.
Invest in Sustainable Supplies: From pens, to notebooks, to erasers, school supplies can create a lot of waste! Here’s a round up of savvy green designs to fill that desk drawer, guilt-free.
Recycle Retired Gadgets: Rather than tossing or holding onto old electronics, find out where you can safely recycle everything from laptops to label makers.
Take Alternative Transportation: If you live within safe walking or biking distance to school, or have access to public transportation or rideshares, consider foregoing your four-wheels a few times each week. Local organizations like NYC’s TransAlt can help you learn about – and support – these eco-travel options.
Master Time Management
Learn to Delegate: You can’t do everything, so trusting others with responsibility is one of the most important ways to boost productivity.
Strategize: Envisioning your priorities for just 10 minutes a day can change your concentration and diligence dramatically.
Say No: Health Coaches, moms, and other service-minded individuals often overcommit. But communicating your needs and limits will make others respect and value your time that much more.
Track Your Time: It’s easy to under- or overestimate the amount of time you spend on projects or with clients. Stop guessing, and learn what your work is really worth with these ten time tracking apps.
Take a Break: Research shows that taking regular breaks is better for productivity than “powering through” a full day’s work.
Keep Goals on Track
Cultivate Healthy Habits: When you’re working hard, it’s easy to forego home cooking, fitness and relaxation – but making time for your health will make reaching your goals that much easier.
X Marks the Spot: Jerry Seinfeld’s secret to staying motivated? The simple satisfaction of checking tasks off your to-do list.
Reframe your Perspective: Entrepreneurs know it’s often exhausting to be in charge. Here are some tips to refocus, reboot, and get what you want.
Ask for Help: There’s no such thing as a 100% self-man man or woman. Seeking support is one of our top secrets for success.
Assess your Work Ethic: Figure out your motivational style with this insightful quiz from MindTools.
Kick the Clutter
Repeat the Right Stuff: Organized people have pattern behaviors that help keep things in order. Here are some of their most helpful habits.
Upgrade Your To-Do List: If you worry about the ecological impact of Post-it notes, or crave a truly mobile task list, check out TeuxDeux.
Clear Some Space: They may call it “spring cleaning”, but one of the most helpful times to organize your home is before the back-to-school rush. Need more than an spatial revamp? Check out our list of 25 Ways to Detox Your Life.
Get Centered: Before you attempt to reorganize the tangible parts of your life, take a moment to calm your mind.
De-clutter Your Desktop: The quality and efficiency of your work is highly influenced by where you do it. Un-junk your physical and digital workspace, and you’ll be amazed by your improved performance.
Fitness Strategies for Busy Schedule
Enjoy Your Workout: Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Check out some of our Favorite Fitness Activities, including resources for free at-home workouts.
Maximize With Technology: Our favorite apps for health and happiness, from tips and tricks to workout trackers.
Engage With an Expert: IIN student Jess Underhill, of Fit Chick in the City, offers must-read insights, such as Fail Proof Ways to Not Miss A Workout, A Workout for When All Else Fails or Fit Tip: Minimize Your Laundry
Seek Out Inspiration: Follow these fitness bloggers on Twitter for great workout tips, day or night!
Stretch It Out: Don’t let long lectures get you down. Stay fit and pain-free with these 5 desk stretches.
Healthy Snacks and Lunches for Adults
Shake It Up: IIN graduate Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food is a fan of these salads in a jar!
Plan Ahead: Whole Living offers a wide variety of the best make-ahead and no-cook healthy snacks to take to work.
Keep it Simple: IIN graduate Dawn Lerman of Snacking Outside the Box shares her favorite easy snacks for on-the-go!
Make it a Priority: Health Coach and author Lisa Cummings of Live Well by Design offers tips for easy ways to make your health a priority at work.
Start on Sunday: IIN graduate and gluten-free chef Amie Valpone shares her tips for planning ahead to make quick and healthy snacks with a creative twist.
School Food and Snacks for Kids
Start Off Strong: Even on the most hectic mornings, kids get a healthy head start with these make-ahead breakfast options.
Find Your Pinspiration: IIN student Eila DeBard Johnson shares an abundance of lunchbox ideas on Pinterest!
Trust the Tips: Graduate Casey Sedenberg, a school nutrition specialist, shares her favorite healthful, kid-friendly snacks.
Plan and Pack: Go Dairy Free shares 52 healthy, packable snacks to please every appetite and personal preference.
Keep it Real: Health Coach and stylish mom, Holli Thompson, shares her idea of realistic, healthy lunches for kids.