Back to school intentions

By Sara Weinreb

Here’s how to create intentions for a fun, easeful Fall

Whether you’re soaking up the last days on the beach or eager to get back to the routine of it all, there is certainly a feeling of opportunity that arrives when the new school year starts and we are back at the office in the fall. But don’t despair— we can harness the slower pace, relaxing vibes of summer towards a more intentional and mindful fall.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to shape what you’d like the rest of 2019 to feel like:

1. What did I most enjoy about the summer?

Take a deep look at your favorite parts of the summer and how they made you feel. Did you love connecting with friends and family? Indulging in ice cream? Spending more time outside? Really try to capture all your favorite elements of the summer. One place to look might be what you you feel will be missing when Labor Day rolls around.


2. How can I integrate these elements into the rest of 2019?

Whatever the elements you loved from the summer are— downtime, relaxation, connection, and more— how can you integrate those into your fall? Maybe you won’t be able to hit up the beach, but can you spend weekends going on hikes, or walking home from work instead of driving? If connection was a highlight, how can you intentionally work in more in-person time with your friends this fall? Where can you practice rest? The activities and timing might look different from the summer, but you can always integrate elements into your routine.


3. How do I want to feel for the rest of 2019?

How often do you sit down and really reflect on the way you’d like to feel? Take this time to brainstorm ideas of how you want your fall to feel in your body, in your mind, and in your community. Maybe you are looking for a productive, energetic time to really crank out work that needs to be done. Maybe you dedicate this time to healing and relaxation, allowing yourself to appreciate the downtime you have instead of filling it up with plans and actives. Perhaps you would like to feel more connected and you can schedule your work life and personal life around building meaningful relationships with you friends, colleagues, and/or family. It can be one main feeling, or many— there are no rules here other than to follow what feels right!


4. What am I ready to leave behind?

If leaving the summer behind and returning to school or work is bring up some nervousness, anxiety, or lack of peace, dig in deeper. What elements make you feel uneasy? Whether these are elements of your time such as too many meetings at work, or your lack of time to cook after getting home, or lack of time with your children, start to reflect on the sticky spots for you. Then brainstorm ways to ease these challenges— while they may not always be completely fixable, perhaps you can clear some meetings from your calendar, or shorten them. Maybe you can make a commitment to yourself to make sure to get home from work on time to have dinner with your kids— even if it means having to jump on your laptop after dinner to wrap up some work. Find time in your schedule and create boundaries that let you feel ease instead of constriction.


6. What do I want to have achieved by January 2020?

Our last question will have you looking into the future— by the time the new year rolls around, what would you have liked to achieved in 2019? There is certainly plenty of time to jump on new habits, work on your morning routine, get into a yoga schedule, check things off at work, and more. What will make you feel at ease when you look back at the beginning of next year, and what steps do you need to make that happen starting this week? What would you like to explore through the end of the year?


Follow these questions to guide yourself away from Sunday (or end of summer) scaries! Whether your goals are personal— focusing on family, self-improvement, health, fitness, your social life, or more— or professional, these questions can help you craft the rest of the year so you feel ease and excitement.