Ah summer vacation, the perfect time to recharge our batteries, relax and get a much-needed boost. But of course, all good things come to an end and here we are, on the threshold of going back to school, work, college…in short, the daily grind, without all the sand and palm trees! I’m sure you’d love some tips on how to best approach this reentry into daily life, how to reduce stress, sleep better, and keep a little bit of sun and the holiday vibe in your day-to-day.
So here are 20 tips for you, tried and tested!
1. When you get home after a busy day, put on a T-shirt and sarong (and a little sweater if you need another layer). Wearing summer-type clothes that allow you free movement help you feel more relaxed.
2. Light candles that have the scent of your vacation: for me, it’s Corsican Maquis, for you it might be Mimosa Marin, Jasmine, or Sea Salt – you choose!
3. Choose an escape-scented body lotion to start the day in a good mood (my personal favorite is vanilla).
For some, returning to the daily grind might include significant change: a new job, new class, new colleagues, new girlfriends, etc., and change can stress us out: What impression will I make? What if they don’t like me? I don’t want to be last on the team…we’ve all been there.
I remember my first job: it started in September and I was the youngest and last to join the team, the only non-engineer, and a woman among many men. Naturally, I wanted to do it all: succeed in my first job, make my mark as a woman, not get stepped on by my older colleagues, but be nice and loved at the same time. Not simple and very stressful! Since then, I’ve been through similar situations several times, and I’m sure many of us are bound to experience the same, so here are my tips to cope with a new boss and colleagues:
4. Seek out the person who shares something in common with you: the one from Corsica, the only other woman, the only non-engineer, the only one that’s on LeBootCamp (no, we want more!), someone passionate about travel, Taylor Swift, the stock exchange, fitness trends, etc. These are simple things that we care about which make great conversation starters. Of course take heed to make healthy connections – sometimes it’s hard to spot the clingy type!
5. Don’t wear new shoes or clothes which aren’t totally comfortable. You’re already stressed, so don’t add anything to the mix! Choose an outfit you love, one that makes a great impression but that doesn’t restrict you. Same goes for your hair, no trying out new hairstyles that day! Keep things simple to start. Of course, once you’re already comfortable in your new space, nothing prevents you from getting pink hair or wearing a mini kilt!
6. Don’t hesitate to go above and beyond, but don’t try too hard or follow on the heels of your boss every time he or she goes to the coffee machine. No need to extend your work hours so that your comings and goings match your boss’s arrivals and departures – you’ll likely get poked fun at for that, unless of course it’s the company policy.
7. Ready for one of the most surprising pieces of advice I’ve ever received? My first boss was quite an elderly man, full of wisdom, who truly treated me like a daughter. I remember the day I had to give my first presentation at work – in English, mind you, which I didn’t speak very fluently back then. There I was, sweating buckets, clammy hands, my stomach in knots, my thoughts completely awhirl. So my boss takes me aside and says, “don’t be intimidated Valerie, after all, Mr. Tartemuche goes to the bathroom just like everyone else.” In short, if you’re feeling timid around your superiors, just imagine them sitting on the toilet. I know it’s wild, but hey, the wilder the imagery, the more relaxed you’ll be!
We’ve all been there: it’s “the big day” and bam! A pimple suddenly appears on our face, and dammit, it’s the only thing we see! Our day suddenly revolves around this pimple and we start trying a thousand ways to get rid of it, which of course, only makes it look worse!
8. Don’t become neurotic about it. Believe it or not, people are hardly likely to even notice it. Let’s face it, the pimple is barely 3 millimeters and there’s a whole lot more of you surrounding it.
9. If you can, just wear your hair more loosely so that it hides the pimple. But don’t go all the way singer Sia style – that look doesn’t flatter everyone!
10. My best anti-pimple tip: dissolve an aspirin pill in water and freeze. Always keep this mixture at hand, and as soon as you feel a pimple rearing its head, put this on it. It will calm the inflammation!
11. Touch up with a little bit of CC cream followed by a light powder to even out your look, and you are good to go!
12. Let’s mimic those early summer dinners with family or friends, relaxing together, releasing stress, and sharing good laughs. No TV, computer, or Facebook between dinner and bedtime. Curl up with a book instead!
14. Practice yoga breathing, one of my favorite ways to de-stress:
– Sit down with your back straight (against a wall). Imagine that you have a thread pulling you up from the top of your head. Rest your left hand on your knee and shut your eyes.
– Curl all the fingers of the right hand except your middle finger and thumb.
– With the middle finger of your right hand close your left nostril and breathe in deeply; at the end of your inhalation close your right nostril with your thumb and release your index finger and breathe out through your left nostril.
– Now breathe back in through your left nostril, close it gently with your right middle finger, release your right nostril, then breathe out from the right and back in again.
– Repeat the cycle calmly for 5 to 10 minutes. Try to make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation.
Do this little routine twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
15. Maintain an “Outdoors Attitude” when it comes to exercise. Working out in nature keeps things more interesting and means you can switch up your routine for the gym on bad-weather days or when you’re pressed for time.
16. Get active! It’s been proven – more exercise means more energy!
17. Set up small 10-min relaxation sessions in the morning or evening – yoga, meditation or any other de-stressing activity.
18. The fruits and veggie stalls are still filled with summer produce: ripe tomatoes, green beans, peaches…take advantage of it! Toss up a peach/raspberry salad and presto! You’re back on vacation, camping at the beach! Keep exotic flavors going in your meals: coconut milk, curry, and your favorite summer spices.
19. Grilled fish isn’t a dish exclusive to July and August! Forget takeaway meals and treat yourself to your favorite fish on a plancha grill with 2 small steamed potatoes and a fresh green salad.
20. Avoid strong alcohol like whiskey and vodka; better stick to lighter pleasures like a Mimosa or Bellini. Although these cocktails still contain sugar, they’re certainly not as calorie-packed as some of the more wintry choices.
And of course, get back into the driver’s seat of your diet with a nutritionally balanced program like LeBootCamp!
With that, I think we’ve covered it all! September, here we come!
Your LeBootCamp Coach