Getting back into the swing of things.


Some years, I was ready to dive back into school after the holiday break.  Other years, not so much.  The same tension continues when you start working full time.

For those of you struggling to get back into the swing of things this January, I’m with you.  And this post is for us.  Three ways to help us get back into the swing of things.

1. Plan your semester at a glance.

I’m not going to knock your New Years Resolutions, but I think something far more effective is simply planning out your semester.  Schedule a coffee shop planning session with your best friend.  Grab breakfast this Saturday morning with your paper planners or online calendars and map out your semester.  Write down all your assignments, due dates, work schedule, etc.  Set aside a weekend or two to go hiking or take a 1-2 hour Saturday road trip.  Map out everything you have to do and want to do.  This always helps me get into the right frame of mind.

2. Create something that will encourage you.

For me, this meant deciding to host a dinner at my house for all my student leaders. I always feel encouraged and have a full-heart after spending informal, quality time with them.  So, I knew if I opened my home and had a bunch of student leaders over for dinner, I would feel more invested and excited about digging into other aspects of my job that I am struggling to reconnect with.

Maybe for you this means planning a cosmic bowling night with friends.  Or maybe you’re an introvert and need to plan a Saturday retreat where you hunker down by yourself and journal or read.  I don’t know what fills you up– people, trying new things, being alone– but whatever it is, create the space for yourself to experience it and put some wind in your sails!

3. Be positive.

I often find when I am struggling to get back into the swing of things, I am whining a lot.  Be cognizant of your attitude and choose to be positive.  Stop saying you “can’t”, “don’t want to”, and cut out your whining.  When we talk negatively (even internally), we make it so much harder on ourselves.

On of my best friends and I started helping each other with this by dubbing our negative persona “Negative Nancy” and our positive persona “Positive Pam.”  So when I was complaining about something, she might interrupt and say, “I am so sorry to hear that Nancy, I thought I would get to talk to Pam today!”  It was a strong but silly reminder– Hey Hanna! Stop your whining and choose to be positive!

What about you? How do you get back into the swing of things after a long break?