Habits Planners

OMG It’s September!

September 1, 2021

I am — as usual — excited for this new month. August ended with a migraine (hence no post yesterday) and some very hectic work weeks.

September promises . . . a lot of call (1 week for me, and 2 weekends for Josh). The peak of hurricane season. And probably some other stressful things (lead up to residency interview season, for example).

However, it’s a new month and I needed a fresh start so we are just going to go with it.

Not to be cheesy and/or cliche, but I really do want to double down on self-care this month. I even did something very grown up and self-care-focused during my headache (?migraine), which was to make a doctor’s appointment to have these headaches looked into and hopefully treated in some fashion.

I usually get them on Mondays, though sadly they often last up to 48 hours. The obvious triggers are stress, hours of staring at a screen to chart, and not enough sleep the night before.

Other aspects of self-care I plan to double down on:

✔︎ SLEEP. The routine with the kids is finally improving, likely in part because G no longer naps. I need to continue to work on getting their bedtime closer to 8:30 (ie my involvement completely done by 8:30) so that I can then go to bed soon after. And then I actually need to do that, rather than lie on G’s floor scrolling for 20 minutes. ALTHOUGH I did have a lovely and life-giving text conversation with two good friends while on her floor last night, so it’s not all black/white.

✔︎ EATING HABITS. Mine have been TERRIBLE lately. You know how everyone seemed to be permissively stress eating in the early days of the pandemic? Apparently the urge to do this hit me approximately ~16 months late. I’m over it, though. I am going to eat more intentionally this month. No specific ‘diet’ or anything but just cutting off the random snack-lunches and ice cream. The end.

✔︎ SCREEN. Yep, still working on this. I would really really like to cut out the scrolling-as-escape-mechanismimpulse that still seems to plague me (and many others, I notice it IRL all the time in others).

✔︎ INTENTIONAL FUN. I really really need more of this right now. I feel a lack of things to look forward to/be excited about (and this is very pandemic related). But I need to figure something out because it’s just not a good place to be. More on this in a future post.

One other thing worth mentioning:

THE 2022 HOBONICHI STORE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! You guys, it has been fun trying about 8 zillion new planners these past two years, but I am yearning to get back to my planning roots (well, roots since 2014). Next week’s BLP is all about Hobonichi, but just in case anyone needs to know, the 2022 shop is OPEN!

Some of the covers do not go on sale until tonight or tomorrow night (the ones I want!) but you can start browsing and loading up your carts if interested 🙂

obsessed with this cover, which is a Day 3 release. Will it be as velvety IRL as it looks!? This will be my 2022 security blanket if so.


  • Reply Gillian September 1, 2021 at 7:10 am

    I hear you on all of this! My sleep and eating have been terrible recently and I am feeling it!!! We are smack dab in the middle a renovation that I hoped would be over by now, but didn’t really expect to be. I am so sick of take out and I am stressed by my environment which is disrupting my sleep. Plus we are getting our second full day of heavy rain from hurricanes in 10 days (not that I can complain given what Ida did in LA).

    Definitely feeling you this September 1!!!

  • Reply Irene September 1, 2021 at 9:07 am

    Good for you for taking action on your headaches. There is a lot of good medicine for migraines now so no point in suffering!

    I definitely gained some weight earlier in the pandemic and am trying to crack down on my diet some but it’s not making a difference very quickly. Ugh getting older….

    I’m struggling with this back to school season so much. I had really hoped we would be much more free of this “$&@“ virus and I’m struggling with how much to restrict our activities now that numbers are coming up. In person school is super important to our family so having that alone is huge! But basically no one seems to be enforcing any mitigation beyond what happens at school. I mostly get it because our cases are not as bad as most of the US and we have a super high vaccination rate. Plus you know it’s been freaking forever! My daughter is asking to have friends over for play dates and I’m so happy she’s getting this social interaction she desperately needs but…I don’t know. We have been keeping play dates outside as much as we can this summer but it’s been raining like crazy and winter is rapidly approaching and I just want my kids to have some normalcy in their life and not be the weird kids who can’t have play dates. My husband and I don’t see eye to eye on this and I’m so so tired of talking about it all.

  • Reply Amanda September 1, 2021 at 10:11 am

    I hear you! Especially for intentional fun. I’m struggling with that right now, too. I know it’s definitely pandemic-related and remind myself it’s temporary, but still…ugh.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 1, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Good call to see someone about the headaches. No need to suffer when there are good treatment options available!

    I just started a new BOD program – morning meltdown. So it feels good to have something in addition to running 3-4 days/week. It’s a 100 day program and I won’t do workouts on days I run (way too much for me at this point of my life) so it is going to take quite awhile to get through but it’s nice to have it laid out for me. I’m only 4 days into the program but like it so far. My eating could be improved, too. I have had way too much ice cream this summer so need to nip that in the bud. I’m looking forward to weaning our son around age 1. My body seems to hold onto weight when breastfeeding.

    Here’s to a new month/fresh start!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 1, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      MM I’ve heard good things about (I think Kae did it!). I still am loving Sydney Cummings but think I need to do at least more steps or some minimal running bc it’s all strength

      • Reply Heather September 1, 2021 at 9:05 pm

        I’ve been wanting to ask if you are working in running with her workouts. I really want to do four days running and two days SC workouts, but I’m having trouble knowing what to pick.

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 2, 2021 at 10:38 am

        Yes, Kae did the program and liked it! I like that the workouts are short (25-35 minutes). That’s what I need for this stage of life. I will have to check out Sydney Cummings at some point, too. I know what you mean about fitting in steps. I did a MM workout yesterday and then my steps were really low for the day. I think once I am done training for my 10 mile, I need to make a 10k steps/day goal to make sure I’m getting enough movement in addition to the MM workouts. Plus that will coincide with cooler weather so it will always be easy to go for a walk during the day/after work. MN isn’t as hot as FL, of course, but it’s been a very hot and steamy summer so a 4pm walk would be pretty unpleasant and require a shower!

  • Reply Jennifer Robertson September 1, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Hey Sarah! Which planner is in the pic above? Thanks!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 1, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      That is a page from the Cultivate what matters Powersheets taped into my Erin Condren 🙂

  • Reply Rachel September 1, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Great idea to address your headaches. I did the same back in June (changed allergy meds, focus on more cardio, added omega 3s to diet, and started myofascial release PT-referral from MD) and have seen tremendous results. I just wish I hadn’t tried all the things at once so I could know which one has had the most impact.

  • Reply Christina Brennan September 1, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I am ogling the “life puzzle” hobonichi cover! I think this year I’m going to try the zippered cover, as sometimes my things (like a small ruler and sticker sheets) fall out of my standard, pen-only closure one.

  • Reply Elisabeth September 1, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    I feel you on the diet front. I did SO well at the start of the pandemic, but the last few weeks I’ve thrown my typical eating patterns and food out the window on vacation. We have a lot of company and other events in Sept so I’m struggling to go all-in on improving diet when I know I’ll want to/need to be flexible. But a lot of it feels like pent-up stress and anxiety from the pandemic, back-to-school, and pending renovations.
    Exercise has also yanked this summer. BUT
    I’m going for a run right now; Sept goal = run everyday, with no minimum distance. I’m excited!

  • Reply Mara September 1, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    I just saw an excellent MD for migraines. I used to have Monday migraines but that seems to have subsided since stopping working in a traditional office. Hormones and pressure changes (plane travel and weather) are definite triggers. She gave me an excellent plan to try with supplements (B2, Mg Oxide, and Melatonin) as prevention to try before trying a prescription preventative. good luck!!

  • Reply Amy September 1, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Re: scrolling: one thing that has helped me a lot in that area (though I am far from perfect, especially now that I have a nursing baby) is handcrafts. I knit, and always have a pair of socks going because that’s easy and portable. I’m also trying embroidery. This gives me something to do when I’m at loose ends and otherwise would reach for my phone, and it’s both relaxing and engaging at the same time. I learned most of what I know via YouTube. Anyway — sometimes you just need to replace one habit with another, and I find keeping my hands busy really helps with that. ☺️ Cheers to a great September!

  • Reply Sophie September 1, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    I’m with you Sarah! September promises to be a tough month (I’m in indefinite lockdown with no childcare in Sydney Australia and yet covid cases keep rising), and yet it’s a new month (and for us the start of Spring), so I feel positive and really want to make it a fresh start with better eating and some fun!

    Also, did your migraines start more recently or have you always had them? I had migraines for years and it turns out they were caused by the contraceptive pill- when I stopped taking it they disappeared! All that time and i (or my GP) ever put it together.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 1, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      aghh that’s so hard (indefinite part makes it even worse!).

      I’m on an OCP but never had migraines on it until a few months ago. I guess it could be OCP + old age 🙂 I hope i can stay on it b/c it really really helps prevent really tough mood swings/PMDD

  • Reply Leah Roberts September 1, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    About to order my 8th Hobonichi (actually 8th and 9th -a Weeks Mega and taking the plunge for a 5-year as well) thanks to your introduction while I was a medical student!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 2, 2021 at 5:32 am

      Ahhhh that is so exciting!!!!

  • Reply Mtbakergirl September 1, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    I get crazy migraines with similar triggers to yours. During pregnancy I couldn’t take the good meds and was recommended to try this magnesium recommendation (I’m imagining similar to commenter above), there are some small trials of it with good results and it is easy/safe/inexpensive to try, I found it really helpful and reduced the number of headache days significantly, https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/magnesium/

    Ps- love your blog and appreciate how open you have been with everything during covid!

  • Reply Kat September 2, 2021 at 7:06 am

    If your migraines are on similar days, it could be a timing thing – if you get up much earlier or later, and for example have coffee at different times or much more or less of it. My Neuro describes it as “migraines are worsened by changes” – in hormone levels, caffeine, sleep, stress, nitrates, etc. That’s why a steady sleep, managed stress, birth control etc help. I

    also completely cannot tolerate red wine, and need to not go overboard on chocolate or cured meats etc. You mentioned your diet – maybe don’t aim for perfection, but try to not overeat the commonly known migraine triggers during the Sunday scaries.

    Also yes, triptans! Though be cautious of the ones that kick in really quickly – I had years of medication rebound migraines (which I didn’t know existed), until a new Neuro put me on one with a much longer half life. Again, keeping it steady. I’m sure you will be fine with a regular triptan, just something to know is possible.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 2, 2021 at 7:35 am

      I almost never drink lately (red wine or otherwise) so I know that’s not it, but chocolate and caffeine consumption are definitely in my life! Good to know about the rebound! And yes, sleep I am SURE has to do with it. I never get good sleep on Sundays and Mondays are hectic so, yeah.

  • Reply Shelly September 2, 2021 at 8:44 am

    The migraines that I get are triggered by stress, weather, and wine). I cut out wine and try to manage stress – although I broke my toe in May and that threw me into weight gain, I had been managing well through the pandemic. Ugh. There are lots of great suggestions in the comments. The hardest migraine for me to manage is the weather one. I think for that I need to look into better meds. Although I wonder if some of these other ideas will help. It’s worse for me in the coldest part of winter so I will keep these in mind.
    I tried out two different planners for the first time this year. I now know I don’t like the coil bound style. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to get for 2022. The Hobonichi has such nice covers. Do you get a new cover every year?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 2, 2021 at 9:59 am

      YES, I do. I take great joy in growing a collection, too 🙂

  • Reply Lee September 2, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    I haven’t read any other comments yet, but just want to say Thank You so much for continuing to be honest about scrolling. It’s a daily challenge! But knowing that there’s someone else wrestling with it makes me feel a little better about myself. We’re all in this together, or something, right?

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