Time to Focus

A family in their kitchen cooking dinner together.

Back-to-School = Back-to-Basics

Even if it’s been years since you’ve set foot in a classroom or cracked open a math book, the beginning of the school year signals the perfect time to hit restart, to re-commit yourself to healthy and productive routines. Getting into a routine—and sticking with it—has been shown to reduce stress levels, raise productivity, and generally have a positive impact on your health. Makes sense, right? Everything is easier when you have a plan: accomplishing goals, taking care of life’s pesky little details, eating right, and finding time for exercise. Finding time to “do it all”—or at least to prioritize what is most important-- is infinitely easier when you commit to a routine.

  • Set Priorities and Expectations. Think ahead to what you want-- and need-- to get accomplished. This can be short-term, and long-term. Decide what your top priorities are, and be sure your actions match those goals. Don’t let yourself get bogged down with the less important things that tend to clutter our lives.
  • Make a To-Do List. For the day, for the week, for the rest of the year. Use a planner to sketch out how it can (and will!) all get done. Integrate work, community, and home obligations—good old fashioned chores!—without letting one part of your life overshadow the others. If you look at the big picture, you probably can actually find time to trim the hedges and scrub the floor (just maybe not in the same weekend).
  • Refresh Your Wardrobe. Go Shopping-- or more likely-- indulge in some online shopping from the comfort of your sofa. Choose some new key wardrobe pieces. Even if your “work clothes” these days more closely resemble yoga gear than business casual, you should still feel confident in what you’re wearing. Buy a couple new staples that you will feel good in. A comfortable sweater (that is also presentable on video calls), new leggings, whatever works for you.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before. If you’re having flashbacks to the advice your mom gave to you in middle school, it’s because Mom is always right. By choosing your outfit—even down to your socks—the night before, you’re eliminating the potential morning drama of realizing the pants you planned on wearing never got washed, or that your shirt needs to be ironed. Give yourself every chance you can to start the day smoothly.
  • Commutercize. Yes, we just made up that word. If you’re one of those who can never find time for exercise (aren’t we all?), great news! We’ve found that time you. Replace that saved commute time with exercise time. Silver linings of a global pandemic, right? If your new normal includes working from home, take that time you would spend battling traffic to get to (and from!) the office, and replace it with time for your body. A walk, a run, a bike ride, or an online exercise class— just get moving!
  • Reboot Your Eating Strategy. Take a look at what you’re eating and see if it’s working best for you. Here are some easy hacks we love:
  • Mix Things Up. Routine doesn’t have to be boring. Seek out ways to embrace the season, and the wonderful flavors that come with it. Say it with me now: PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING. Yes, even your protein shake is celebrating the season. Get a taste of Fall with our new Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon Roll protein shake.

--Protein in the morning. Center your breakfast around protein instead of carbs. Protein will cure that hunger, and keep you sustained longer. Eggs are a great option, or start your day with a smoothie!

--Make lunch salads the night before. Before you clean up your dinner dishes, transform the components into the next day’s lunch! Add some salad greens and fresh veggies to the protein you served for dinner, and you’ll have a delicious lunch packed with the nutrients you need.

--Map out your week. Plan your dinners for the week in advance. Put it on a calendar or a white board in the kitchen. By having a solid plan, you can avoid takeout and fast food pitfalls that arise if you wait until the last minute to think about dinner.

--More water! You’ve heard this a thousand times… because it’s true. Drinking more water does so many important things for you, including boosting your immune system, curbing cravings, increasing energy, and just making you feel better. Not a fan of plain old water? Try adding fresh or frozen fruit to your water bottle for a little bit of flavor and vitamins.

--No more midnight munching. Sorry to be the bad guy, but this is a big one. Give your body a break by eliminating late night snacking, ideally not eating after dinner. Our metabolism slows down at night when our body is at rest, and it’s also important to give your body time to recover and repair—when it doesn’t have to work at digesting food.

What routines are you embracing these days? Let us know on Instagram @PremierProtein.