One of our favorite excuses for not trying hard enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle is our busy schedule. It can be quite challenging to do all you intended in the span of 24 hours but if you invest some time into developing your time management skills, you’ll come to realize that some goals are much more attainable. Of course, healthy habits and routines don’t always come along naturally, but it all trickles down to how much you truly want to put in an effort to stay healthy.
When we’re younger, we take our well-being for granted and then later when problems arise, we start thinking about the things we could have done differently. Fortunately, a lot of health issues can be prevented just by taking care of yourself and putting your needs in front of work and other not-so-crucial responsibilities. Like with everything else, the hardest part is to get started so to encourage you, here are 5 ways to keep a healthy lifestyle despite a busy schedule.
- Become a Pro in Meal Prepping
The way you eat defines who we are and if we don’t give enough attention to your diet, your body weight, as well as the way you feel in your own skin can become a problem. If you eat fast food or products that are filled with additives, hormones and god knows what, you can’t expect to feel good and if you do it for a long time, consequences can be severe. When you’re day is hectic and there’s just no time to have a wholesome lunch, you tend to reach for the whatever is closest, be it a burger joint or a bakery and this is where the trouble begins.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to become a pro in meal prepping. It might be tiresome in the beginning to think of the meals you’re going to have two or three days in advance, but as the time goes on, it will become natural to you. Spend a couple of hours on the weekends to prep your favorite meals that are both healthy and hearty, so that when you come back home from work, you don’t have to cook, but you already have a delicious meal at hand. Meal prepping is a game changer on so many levels because you’re still eating healthy, you’re saving money and you feel full for a longer time, not to mention other countless benefits that come from regularly ingesting all needed nutrients and vitamins.
2. Surround Yourself with Healthy Goodies
One of the notorious enemies of healthy living and eating is unconscious overeating. If you’re in the middle of your working hours and you’re hungry-ish but there’s no time to get out for a healthy snack, you head out to the vending machine and a chocolate bar comes to the rescue. Though there’s nothing wrong with an indulgence here and there, it shouldn’t become a habit. That’s why it’s a good idea to surround yourself with healthy foods both in your office and at home. Trail mix, fruit, homemade granola and healthy meals you bring with you are a great way to make sure you won’t be tempted by unhealthy snacks that are available at every corner. Besides, when you feel like you lack focus and you need some sugar, it’s much better to have a banana or a handful of trail mix – you will feel truly energized, you’ll stay full longer, and your brain will work much better with all the vitamins and nutrients to use as fuel.
3. Do Your Best to Sleep Enough
Whenever there isn’t enough time to do something, we decide we’ll sleep less in order to get things done. This is not a good solution, especially if you’re constantly sleep deprived, as it can lead to serious health issues. When the metabolism doesn’t get enough time to rest and replenish, it slows down, hormones start wreaking havoc and don’t even get me started with the lack of concentration, glitching problem-solving skills and general sour mood. Our ridiculously busy schedules virtually force us into biting off more than we can chew and the most common result is sleep deprivation. Not sleeping enough and not sleeping well due to overworked mind, loud snoring of your partner or stress about the next day can lead to feeling groggy and slightly disoriented and you don’t want that state to become your default state. Sometimes all the responsibilities and pressure can become overwhelming and your body will be able to get you through it, as long as you remember to press reset button every night and give yourself enough time to relax and rest. Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and it’s important to treat it as such.
4. Exercises at the Office
Going to the gym after you’ve already spent ten hours in your office requires iron-strong will and let’s face, sometimes we just don’t have it. Even when you do get to the gym, you’ll be too tired to do your workout well enough to get optimal results, not to mention that the danger of injury is much bigger when you’re already overworked and scattered.
One of the best things you can do to remain active throughout the day is to sneak in exercises into your busy schedule. It doesn’t have to be a full hour workout in your office, but you can use a couple of free minutes you’ve got for doing some jumping jacks, pushups, leg raises, even sit-ups if your clothes allow. The point here is to improvise and don’t miss an opportunity to squeeze in extra activity into your busy working day. If you’ve got a long lunch break, use half of it to go for a quick run (so called runch) and use the rest of it to eat your healthy meal after you return. Also, when you do decide to have a workout, put it into your schedule and make it a priority, don’t let other things stop you from exercising unless it’s something urgent. That way, you set your well-being as a priority for yourself, and there’s no healthier habit than that.
5. Talk about Your Troubles
The world is imposing the picture that successful people are able to do everything they set their minds to effortlessly and that you should never show weakness. This is ridiculous, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of pressure and stress in any aspect of your life. It’s always a good idea to talk to a professional when you feel like you’re stuck, unhappy or constantly overwhelmed by everything going on around you. Having someone give you an objective opinion and solutions can be a lifesaver in a difficult situation and admitting to yourself you need help is one of the healthiest ways to keep your mind and your emotions in check. If you don’t feel like going to a stranger, turn to a trustworthy friend that will truly listen to what you have to say because sometimes that’s all it takes. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to accept when you’re having a hard time and do your best to tend to your psychological well-being just as much as you care for your physical health. – Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.