Maintaining Health in between the Crazy and Busy of Life
I feel like I'm seeing an increasing amount of people who REALLY want to make healthy, positive changes to their lives but are REALLY struggling to find the time. I want you to know the struggle is REAL and I totally get you!
Life can feel so busy, overwhelming, possibly even hectic at times. Often our health is the first thing that flies out the window when you are full of other commitments and responsibilities!
But I want to restore your faith and trust me when I say, it’s possible to still live a healthy life when you are at your busiest. These are my top non-negotiable tips that I come back to time and time again – to stay on track with my own health and energy levels.
Re-Prioritize. Ask yourself - Is the effort worth it? Is this a priority that is enriching my life and those I love or is this a drain on my resources. Its so easy to take on way to much, try to please way to many people but the reality is you have to be selective to what you commit to and what you allow your energy resource to be used for. This is an ongoing process!
Coffee – unfortunately we need to talk about it! I LOVE a quality coffee just as must as the next person and I know the temptation is there at busy times to increase your caffeine intake. But I know from experience and also studies that show caffeine overload has the opposite effect. It dehydrates you, can set up sugar cravings due to its a effect on hormones and can set you up for mood swings throughout the day. Takeaway point: Limit your coffee to once a day, ideally before 10am but not first thing in the morning if possible. Replace the 'other cups' you would have had in the day with non caffeinated herbal teas or water.
Commit 1 hour of your weekend to healthy prep. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy options. This can really sets you up for a healthy week. You come home from a busy day and you have healthy food ready to make dinner quick and easy! I also like to have my vegetables and fruits frozen in containers in the freezer for quick smoothies and smoothie bowls. A batch of sugar-free Protein Balls or Healthy cookies are also a good option for those times something on the run is required.
Leftovers - Embrace them as the lifesavers they are! Cook once and eat twice or three times – make extra for dinner and save it for lunch the next day. Examples would be always do a double tray of roast vegetables - can turn leftovers into a frittata for lunches or bulk out a smoothie (yes adding pumpkin, or beetroot is a great way to increase your the vegie intake but doesn't compromise flavour)
Schedule MORE rest. You can say 'No' to social arrangements when you need to. Friends will understand. Really use this time to focus on you – take a walk in nature, run a bath with essential oils, do a yoga class or read a book. This definitely is so luxurious when you run a busy schedule and sets you up with a clear head and a settled week ahead!
A night-time routine. Enjoy a delicious night-time routine at the end of your day. Switch off from technology at least an hour before you go to bed, engage with your love ones or lying on your back with your legs up the wall and do a few cycles of deep breathing – this allows your mind and body to relax before sleep.
Diaphragmatic Breathing. Do it EVERYDAY for 10-20 minutes. Schedule it in like a meeting - maybe you start the day with it, maybe end the day with it. Just start and commit! It's easy to underestimate the power of the breathe. Give it ago!!
Avoid alcohol during the week. If you find yourself having to wind down everyday or even most days with a glass of alcohol in hand ITS TOO MUCH! Alcohol has been classed as a Class A carcinogenic substance. Yes, that's in the same category as all the hard drugs. I'm not going to go into details but no good will come from consuming it that regularly. Find a new drink you enjoy - Kombucha is a good option and you are supporting gut health as well. When you drink enjoy in moderation.
Exercise regularly but avoid over-exercising. Exercise because you love your body not because you hate it. Be motivated to move because that's what we are designed to do but don't put your body through a grueling exercise regime day in and day out. This just contributes to more internal stress. Healthy living is not about doing everything perfectly, or exercising intensely every day – it’s about balance and moderation.
Be KINDER to yourself! The all or nothing approach does not end well. We are all on a journey and all a work in progress. Commit to eating well at the next meal if you eat something you don't see as nourishing. Don’t throw the towel in and say “I blew it, there's no point carrying on” – the body listens to what you do most of the time, not sometimes. Your body also responds to messages of love not negative comments. Think hard about what you are saying to yourself. If you wouldn't say it too someone else - its probably not doing you any good.
Surround yourself with people that build you up, support your dreams and appreciate your efforts!