Back-to-School Checklist for Grown Ups Who Are Out of School

If your New Year’s resolutions haven’t been working out, back-to-school-season is as good a time as any to try again at a fresh start—even for grown ups who are out of school. The newness of going back to school always inspires self-betterment. You buy fresh notebook paper and vow not to skip any classes this semester. You sharpen your pencils and determine to actually take notes this time.

So if you’re ready to take another stab at turning over a new leaf, we’ve got a few grown-up suggestions for you.

Plan an extracurricular activity.

So maybe you missed your chance at becoming tether ball champion. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start making time for those childhood pastimes you used to love. If you’re intentional (and turn off the TV), you can incorporate an old passion back into your life much more easily than you think. Take an hour a week to pick up painting again, get the band back together or try out for community theater. If your community has an adult football, softball or kickball league, join. Or volunteer that hour to coach some kids. The exercise will be great for your body and the enendorphins will be great for your mind. Best of all, doing something you love on a regular basis can boost your mood and your outlook.

Get a physical.

You’re a grown up now and going to the doctor should be a bigger priority than ever. You may not need any vaccinations, but scheduling an annual check up will help you stay abreast of your ever-changing health needs. Get your eyes checked, get some blood work done and make sure you’re maintaining a healthy weight. As a part of your routine visit, don’t be shy about getting tested for HIV and other STI’s. Also, if you’re ready to cut out some bad habits such as smoking, call 1-800-Quit-Now to get a quit coach who can help you get started.

Get some office supplies…or crayons.

Who says back-to-school sales are just for school-agers? Take advantage of huge sales and restock your printer paper, pens and sticky notes. This might also motivate you to do a little home office organizing. Getting organized is a critical to reducing stress, which can lower blood pressure, and help you sleep better at night. Another great way to reduce stress? Adult coloring books. They may be on sale, too.

Pack a lunch. Save some dough.

Last on this list is an easy way to save some money in the most nostalgic way: brown bagging it. Sure, a perk of being a real grown up is having a real paycheck. But as your dad used to say, “You don’t have to spend it all in one place.” Save your hard-earned lunch money for an end-of-year trip. In the meantime, skip the greasy burger and fries for a packed lunch that includes fresh fruits and veggies. Maybe by next year you will actually have that beach body you’ve been aiming for.

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