Though we may be all grown up, it seems the whole “back to school” vibe of September continues to follow us into our young professional (YP) years. And as these dog days of summer come and go, and the foliage of fall starts to speckle through the green, YPs across Canada are leaving the lazy haze of summer behind to make way for new personal and professional goals. If your summer was somewhat of a blur and you’re looking to get your productivity and creativity back on track, consider these 12 ways to help get our sh*t together this September:
1. Get back to reality: Summertime can feel like a bit of a blissful bubble. But come September, it’s back to the real world, and part of that return to reality is getting reacquainted with current affairs. From casual convo topics to important global issues, it’s crucial for YPs to have some clue about what’s up in the world around us. For further convincing on why all YPs should pick up a newspaper once in a while, see here.
2. Get fall fit: After an indulgent summer of hot dogs and cold beers, those beach bodies that many of us banged out in spring may now be long gone. So while the rest of our life goes back to a nice familiar routine, so too can our commitment to physical fitness. We may be diving into sweaters soon, but that’s no excuse to feel bulky.
3. On that note, ditch the solo workout and be a joiner: Spinning, plié-ing, squatting – it’s all way more fun and motivating when done with others. You keep saying you want to try it, so just do it.
4. Rehab your ride: After all the summer road-trips and before winter driving mayhem, now’s the time to take the auto in for a tune up, oil change, tire switch, whatever it needs. Unless you want to be knee deep in snow awaiting a tow come December, go take care of the car. Now.
5. Adopt a fur baby: We already know that pets complement the young professional lifestyle. Autumn just happens to be the perfect time to adopt. With the craziness of summer coming to an end and the more routine days of September right around the corner, our lives are about to become much more pet-friendly. Bonus: it’s still warm enough to easily deal with house-training issues and getting chilly enough to really appreciate those warm snuggles.
6. Go on a screen-free diet: Sure, it sounds a bit crazy, but the benefits of “electronic fasting” are simply undeniable. Come September, as we tend get more intense with work, try going screen free one day a week until, say, Christmas, and just see how you feel. For tips on how to go about it, see here.
7. Hydrate that hide: Taking care of sun-soaked skin and hair is a simple way to get back on track this fall. Book those appointments or look into home remedies to get that dry outer layer looking and feeling fresh again.
8. Dare to denim: It’s easy to get stuck in a style thinking that something that once looked good always will, especially with cold weather staples like denim. Not so. Trends change. Bodies change. When shopping for that new fall wardrobe, try out a few totally off-beat cuts, colours, and styles of jeans. And bring along a very honest friend.
9. Write it out: If you haven’t already, September marks a great time to start a blog. Track a new healthy eating plan, journal your way through a stressful work project, or rant about current hot topics – all for a captive audience! Whatever the subject, just get writing. The benefits are boundless.
10. Revamp the house: Reposition the bed, buy new couch cushions, change lighting, add more plants; whatever you do, big or small, September is a super time to switch things up and refresh the home. Waking up in a new position under new lighting is an easy way to help create new perspectives. (Plus, that one moment of not knowing where you are provides a sweet jolt of adrenaline in the morning.)
11. Pick a cause, any cause: You’ve joined a few Facebook groups to learn more about a cause or charity that peaks your interest. You help by sharing posts, even donating here and there (or maybe making a cute ice bucket-inspired video). But now it’s time to actually take action. This September, pick a cause and find out how you can help… beyond clicking and uploading.
12. Get smart: Whether it’s pottery, piano, or an MBA, start the school year by indulging in a little learning. Continuing education, in any degree, offers immeasurable benefits for all YPs. What else are you going to do with your dark and chilly Tuesday nights?