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When kids go back to school: Making the most of ME time

Written by Amber Bignell

Published on Aug 30th, 2016

Many of us are natural caretakers. We take care of our kids, our coworkers, our spouses, and our besties, of course. We lovingly spend so much time on others that we sometimes forget to make ourselves a priority. But back-to-school time should also mean back-to-me time.

So how should you spend those precious hours? Here’s a few suggestions that will rejuvenate and refresh you and your family.

Plan and pack your own lunches

You’ve set up an assembly line for your kids' lunches. Don’t leave yours to chance. Whether you pack it in a jar, a Tupperware container or simply place your lunch items in the front of the refrigerator, a few minutes of planning will set you up for lasting energy, reduce snacking and even help you lose weight.

Here’s 9 easy lunch ideas from the vegan goddess herself, Angela Liddon

Manage your energy as well as your time

Planning a full day look great on a to-do list, but packing every minute of the day with tasks doesn’t help if you don’t have the energy to complete them properly. Not to mention, you’re less likely to enjoy doing them when your mind is always asking what’s next? Do I have time? How can I hurry and get this done? Prioritize and plan in time segments that you can handle physically. Don’t wear yourself out.

Treat your hands and feet

Ever wonder why mani/pedis are so popular? When you buff your heels to a soft, smooth curve and you restore your chi with a Japanese finger massage, you revitalize your entire body. Also, just focusing your busy brain on how and what your body is feeling (wiggle those toes, massage that tight spot between thumb and forefinger) can lead to more loving self-care, healthier eating and a happier you.

Take 5 to do 5

When we think about how many hours a day we sit, watch TV and type into our phones, it’s hard to justify not even spending five minutes taking care of your body. We asked dozens of personal trainers which five core exercises would make the biggest difference if done every day, and here’s what they said.

1. Squats

Wake up large muscles with a seated squat. You can lower your butt to a chair and lift back up. Do this 30 times in 60 seconds. First minute done!

2. Pilates V

Tighten your entire core with this pose, hold for 60 seconds. Get tired? Hang on to your feet. For extra leg toning, add scissors.

3. Plank 

Arms, abs, and back all benefit from plank pose. Lift up on your toes and lean forward and back to sustain your pose for 30 seconds at first, building up to 60 seconds.

4. Push ups

This is an oldie but a goodie, strengthening chest, biceps, triceps and core on one motion. Start with 10 ( knees on the ground is fine) and work up to 25.

5. Superman

Another simple exercise that tones and tightens hundreds of muscles. Start your superman pose lying flat, arms and legs extended. Then lift up both your arms and your legs at the same time and hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times.

That’s it. Five minutes, five exercises and you can launch the rest of your day knowing a fitter, stronger, better you is heading out there.

How do you like to spend your extra minutes of me-time? We want to know.