This time of year seems to descend into chaos as parents everywhere find themselves in the school supply aisles trying to navigate the difference between a composition notebook and a three-ring binder.

The thought of adding one more thing on your “to do” list may be enough to send you right over the edge. But back to school season is the perfect time to re-examine your own wellness and set new goals for the coming months.

So, while you are checking off lists that include dry erase markers and paper towels, consider adding a few of these items to your checklist.

  • Recommit to exercising on a regular basis. Cooler morning temperatures mean perfect running, walking, hiking, and cycling weather. If it has been a while since you saw the inside of the gym, schedule time every day to pay a visit.
  • Make an appointment for an annual physical. Regular check-ups, especially if you are over 35, are vital to your long-term health. Be sure to include a pap smear and breast exam or mammogram.
  • Go in for a dental cleaning. Good oral hygiene has been linked to good overall health. Even if you are current with your exams and x-rays, recommit to flossing every day.
  • Schedule mindfulness moments. Meditation and mindfulness have been shown to relieve the effects of stress, anxiety and depression on the body. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a guru in order to achieve more peace of mind. Get to the carpool pick up 15 minutes early and sit in a quiet car, mindful of your breath. Or you can try meditating in the shower or getting up 15 minutes earlier to have your coffee outside.
  • Make one positive change to your diet. Too often we get caught up with changing everything about the way we eat only to crash and burn the first time we’re invited out for drinks with friends. A more realistic approach is to make one positive change to your diet at a time until they become a habit, then work on tackling another. You may decide to drink enough water, eat all 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, or to replace one sugary treat a day with a healthy alternative. These small and simple changes will add up.
  • Sleep. We heard that derisive snort. But chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a host of medical problems including high blood pressure, obesity, type II diabetes, and a shorter lifespan. Do you want to be around for decades to come? Be sure you are getting adequate shut-eye.
  • Stop ignoring pain. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know there is something wrong. Ignoring pain in your back, neck, head, shoulder, knees, or legs can only lead to long-term problems. Give Pure Wellness a call to find out how our functional approach to pain management can help you reclaim your pain-free life without medications.