September is here and yes, the holidays are over. After a few days (or weeks) in which routine and fast-paced life seemed from another world, it’s time to get back to work and adjust our schedules.
To make the best of it, we recommend the following: breathe. Take a deep breath, get your strength back and face the new season with all the energy you have renewed over the summer.
How to breathe better
It sounds silly, but it is important to know how to breathe properly. Taking air into your lungs, for instance, is very different from taking air into your stomach.
Controlling your breathing and being aware of how you breathe will help you relax and control stressful situations. Here are some tips:
Breathe through your nose
It’s as easy as that. Breathing through our nose is essential, but we often tend to breathe through our mouth, which can lead to inflammation of the airways, as the air does not pass through the antibacterial ‘filter’ in the nostrils, which also prevents the air from getting too cold or too hot into the lungs.
Also, by breathing through your nose, your lungs work more efficiently. So try to breathe like this, unless you need extra air, for example when exercising.
Become a yogi
Relaxation is intimately related to breathing. Therefore, disciplines such as yoga, pilates and tai chi will help you control your technique and become fully aware of your breathing process.
There are several breathing techniques associated with yoga, such as ‘Nadi Shodhana’ and ‘Kapalabhati’.
The first technique involves plugging one nostril and breathing in deeply through the other nostril. Then, exhale through the previously blocked nostril and plug the one that was used to inhale.
The second technique, also called “fire breathing”, consists of breathing in slowly and then exhaling very fast and hard, pulling the air out of the abdomen. The pace of breathing in and out increases until you reach ten breaths. Attention: in case of anxiety, it is better to avoid this technique.
After an effort…
If you are going through a particularly stressful moment and need to calm down and lower your heart rate, the best thing to do is to take in some air through your nose, hold it in your lungs for about four seconds and then release it slowly through your mouth. It’s the classic deep breathing – and it still works!
Back to work tips
In September, stress comes hand in hand with going back to work. Suddenly, you have to swap the sea for a desk, and the fast-paced world at work demands that you catch up very quickly.
Whenever you feel that responsibilities are overwhelming you, close your eyes, take a deep breath and follow these tips:
Get your body ready
During the holidays, our body gets used to sleeping more, spending more time resting, not being aware of schedules… That’s why, when you return to the office in September, you have to readapt to your work routine.
A few days before your first day back to work, try to get up a little earlier to gradually adapt to the early start. Start exercising again progressively, get back to your usual eating habits and try not to stay up late. This will help you feel stronger to face all the meetings in the world.
Plan the ‘rentrée’
Many people spend a lot of time planning their holidays and most of us tend to make the most of them and return home the night before we go back to work.
We know it’s hard to say goodbye to summer, but consider going home a few days in advance to get used to the idea. You can also take a quick look at your emails, so that you don’t get everything at once on your first day at the office. That way, your first day at the office will have less of an impact.
Set your professional path
September is the perfect month to consider the path of your professional career. Are you following the path you want to take? What are your goals for the new academic year?
To feel more motivated, set goals you want to achieve, be excited about working towards them and design a plan to get there. This way, you will be focused on your evolution and each small step will make you even more excited.
The greenest places in Spain
What better way to take a deep breath and get your strength back than to surround yourself with greenery? Visit any of these Spanish spots in September, cleanse your lungs and fill yourself with energy.
Muniellos oak forest (Asturias)
This forest in the southwest of the Principality of Asturias reaches an altitude of 1,500 metres, which, together with the humidity of the area, has created the largest oak forest in Spain and one of the best preserved in Europe.
But there are not only oak trees: willows, moss, lichen, ash trees… the riverside landscape looks like something out of a fairy tale.
You can visit the river route (the easiest and most beautiful) or the more complicated Fuenculebrera route. Whichever route you choose, visiting Muniellos is a guaranteed way to breathe fresh air.
Los Alcornocales Natural Park (Cádiz)
Located in the province of Cádiz and part of Málaga, its more than 170,000 hectares form the largest cork oak grove in Spain. In addition to its natural wealth, this area represents one of the most traditional ways of life in the area, through the use of cork.
Water, fog and humidity generate a landscape of rivers, streams, reservoirs… and a unique flora, the laurel forest. And let’s not forget its inhabitants: blackbirds, finches, eagles, kestrels… let’s breathe!
Garajonay (La Gomera)
The laurel forest also characterises the Garajonay National Park which, in this case, has the largest concentration of laurel forest in Europe. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1986, and it’s no wonder: it extends over an area of some 4,000 hectares brimming with laurel trees, moss, ferns, oleanders…
Clouds visit it frequently and give it a magical touch, with a damp mist that has been the breeding ground for this impressive vegetation in the middle of a territory characterised by its aridity.
Now that you know how and where to breathe to avoid stress, we hope that going back to work in September won’t be too hard for you. As always, here’s a playlist of songs to help you get back to work. Cheer up, you can do it!