Are you so busy that you just can’t find the time to take care of yourself? Whether you’re an overworked career person juggling different responsibilities or a harried parent wearing many other hats, you need to find ways to keep healthy.
These busy roles you play aren’t so easily abandoned. They are your reality and, oftentimes, there’s just no going around them. It’s not easy to just quit your job and look for a less stressful one. Nor is it ideal to kick back and drop one or two of the balls you’ve been keeping in the air.
Hectic but Healthy
Fortunately, being healthy doesn’t require you to alter your lifestyle completely. It doesn’t even really require a lot of time. What it does require, though, is consistency.
You also need to have a self-preserving turn of mind so the effort to keep yourself healthy will be ever-present. In time, it will be second nature to you.
The following are steps you can take to consistently look out for your health despite your busy schedule.
1. Start your morning right.
Having a routine really helps. It takes out the need to rush and scramble, allowing you to clear and organize your thoughts, as well as suitably prepare yourself to face the long day ahead. It really sets the tone for how the rest of your day goes.
Tip: Have your outfit picked out the night before. Have a healthy breakfast easily accessible. Don’t skip it. If you can squeeze in some meditation and exercise in there, it’s so much better, although these can be done at other times of the day.
2. Follow a healthy diet.
It’s so easy to reason that you deserve that chocolate cake, that tub of ice cream, or that economy size bag of chips after the day you’d had. These special treats may just be your undoing.
Stick to healthy food at all times. If you must treat yourself, give yourself an extra hour of sleep, buy a nice little something, or schedule a massage. Do not take solace in food.
Tip: Here are ways to ensure you eat more healthily.
- Take the time to meal plan and prep. You get healthier meals by cooking them yourself. Make sure you cut down on carbs and get more protein and fiber. If you work outside the home, brown bag it and bring your lunch from home.
- Have healthy snacks like fruits – fresh or dried – and nuts handy. Avoid having junk food around. If you must boost your mood with chocolate, opt for the dark kind.
- Change your fuel by using healthier oils to prepare food.
- Regularly hydrate with water as a rule. When you need some soothing and calming down, go for herbal teas and not alcohol.
3. Get quality sleep.
Nothing fixes a beleaguered body better than a restful night’s sleep. Your body does its most important repair work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. It’s best that you’re in deep slumber when this happens.
Tip: It also helps to have a set sleeping schedule since your body responds well to patterns. A bedtime routine may benefit you. To condition your body for sleep, you might want to drink some valerian or chamomile tea and scent the air with lavender. Definitely, put your phone or tablet away.
4. Press the pause button.
You need to learn when to stop and rest for a bit. This is not the easiest thing to do when you’re in a rush to complete a task and you don’t want to lose momentum; however, a few minutes out of your hour can be sacrificed to relax your body and destress your mind. These short rests are great at increasing your productivity.
Tip: Consciously take hourly breaks, even if it’s just to go to the bathroom. If nature really isn’t calling, then go for a quick walk. Go to the pantry, the water cooler, a colleague’s desk. At work, the important thing is to get up and move.
At home, the opposite may be called for. Pause from running around getting chores down and minding the kids. The bathroom is also a good place for this, as it happens – even if you don’t have to go. Many a time has a mother’s sanity been kept by locking herself in the bathroom for five minutes.
5. Get physical.
While it’s important to set aside time for exercise, sometimes the schedule just doesn’t allow it, so you need to find other ways to get your body moving, your heart pumping, and your blood flowing.
Tip: Find a physical hobby. If you swim, bike, hike, kayak, or play basketball in your down time, then you automatically get a workout. Here are other ways to squeeze in some exercise when you don’t have time for it:
- During your hourly break, do some stretches.
- Have a walking meeting instead of holding it in the conference room.
- Ditch the elevators and use the stairs.
- Instead of emailing short memos, walk over to the recipient and personally deliver the message.
- Don’t dawdle at lunch. Use the rest of the time to go for a walk.
No More Excuses
You only get one life. Your loved ones will benefit more from a healthier you. Many diseases are preventable by having a healthy lifestyle. These are just some reasons to make the effort to take better care of yourself despite a hectic schedule.
A toxic calendar is definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy when you fail to take your own well-being into consideration. At the end of the day, busyness is also just an excuse.