Think you’re too busy for a healthy lifestyle? Think again.
No, it’s not easy to balance your work life and your home life, and you probably cut corners wherever you can, right? And most likely, your own personal well-being is the first casualty.
But did you know you can fit plenty of healthy habits into your busy schedule, with just a little planning and ingenuity? Try incorporating these simple tips and tricks into your weekly routine—to eat better, look better and feel better:
Preparing a healthy, well-balanced meal doesn’t have to be prohibitively time-consuming. Try prepping meals in advance to make cooking quick and easy. For example, chopping up a bunch of vegetables on Sunday night can give you an easy salad mix for Monday and Tuesday. Frozen, pre-made meals can be defrosted during the week. Soups, casseroles and pasta are good candidates for easily frozen and reheated meals.
But be careful to avoid unhealthy addictions that supply a quick fix. A short-term, pick-me-up coffee can turn into a full-blown caffeine addiction. There is no nourishment in pizza, coffee or energy drinks alone. That kind of diet is simply not the path of sustainability. Take time to eat well; it will save time and money in the long run.
A lot of people seem to approach an exercise routine with an all-or-nothing attitude. If they can’t spend all night at the gym getting a full workout, why even bother going? That attitude leads to only one result: never working out at all.
Learn to fit in exercise when you can. Even just 20 minutes of activity is better than nothing.
A couple of convenient ideas:
- Take long calls on a walk. Get your exercise in while also getting your work done.
- Playing with the kids is a great workout. Hop on the trampoline, play tag or shoot some hoops. Not only are you spending quality time with your favorite people, but your whole family is getting active at the same time.
- If you’re close to work and the roads and weather will permit it, try leaving the car in the garage and hopping on your bike for your daily commute. Grab some exercise and fresh air while experiencing your commute from an exciting and interesting new vantage point.
Don’t forget to give yourself a chance to relax. Well-being isn’t about going full-force at all times, so find a relaxing activity that works for you—whether that’s meditating, tending a garden, soaking in the bath, or just sitting on the couch to watch a funny movie once in a while.
Productivity soars when we focus on one task at a time, not letting ourselves get distracted. However, it can be harmful to focus on something so intently that you don’t stop until it’s done, especially when working on large, complex and stressful tasks. Hit the pause button on occasion. Seek counsel from others. It’s possible that advice or assistance, especially from those who care about you, can save a lot of extra effort.
Leave work where it belongs—at work. Take weekends off and focus on quality time. Find an activity that brings the whole family together. Play a game, go camping, take a bike ride or just have a nice dinner together, no distractions. When you’re with your family, be with your family.
Without making a conscious effort to do otherwise, it’s easy to get in a rut where we are either working or focused on the kids; anything else is too entirely exhausting. Don’t forget that being a good parent is not the same as being a good spouse. Both of these roles are unique and require different elements. You cannot satisfy one and assume the other will manage itself.
Balance is about managing every dynamic in your life. Without good balance, it is only a matter of time before the other dynamics suffer.
Now that you know better, you can’t rely on that old, “I’m too busy” excuse. A healthier, more active life really isn’t that time-consuming—the time is already there, we just have to put it to better use.