We almost hate to bring it up, but here we are in at the beginning of August, and it’s time to think about Back to School.

After a childhood centered on the rhythm of the school year, even adults tend to see September as a new beginning.  After a summer hopefully spent relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends, the end of summer brings with it both sadness and an anticipation of what’s to come.  In September, meetings and events start back up at work and in our personal lives.  Families return to familiar routines.  And many of us recommit to our own health and wellness.

Getting back to our routines is a great time to find and set aside time for our own health and wellbeing.  As you anticipate getting the kids back to school, and getting into the swing of things with your work and volunteer commitments, take the time to schedule in your own time as well.

This can take many different forms. You might set aside time every morning to read, write, or talk a walk – anything you really love to do but find you don’t get to all the time.  Or it might mean taking a class because you’ve always wanted to learn more about flower arranging, or pottery making, or video editing.

“That sounds great,” you may be thinking, “but how do I make the time? I’m extremely busy.” Here’s how:

Evaluate the things that are wasting your time each day. Do you check email all day?  Log into Facebook, Twitter, or another social media outlet constantly? Do you grocery shop each day on your way home from work, rather than meal planning and shopping once a week?  If you evaluate your te and organize it, you may find that you gain a significant amount of time.

Learn to say no. You aren’t required to volunteer for every school function or fundraiser, work project or community fundraiser. Pick things that bring you joy or satisfaction and skip the rest.

At the beginning of each week, take a few minutes to designate specific time slots for all that must be accomplished—including “me” time. Treat your personal time like you would any other appointment and make it non-negotiable.

Back to school is a great time for grownups to learn new habits, too.  Here’s to a productive September and a commitment to “me time!”