You're busy - I get it.
So am I.
I know you've got loads of things going on. Different projects, roles and responsibilities that all need attention.
Your job, your family, your home, your pets, your garden, your wardrobe, your body. Each piece of your life needs to be kept on top of and fed with all the right things. How do we do this? By having the goal of a healthy lifestyle. We all know the endless benefits of being healthy. Not only can you feel great, you can look good and fight off sickness. But I get it – you’re busy. So when you’ve got a crazy busy life, how do you manage to keep up living healthily?
Let me paint a picture for you. I know to keep my body in the shape it’s in requires me to eat healthy food and exercise as often as I can. In my new job, I have a big number of weekend and evening events to attend at various schools around my area. Days when I’ll leave home at 7:45 in the morning and won’t return home until after 9 at night.
How do I continue to eat well? How do I fit exercise into this routine?
The good news? I do both of these things. Whilst having a full-time job and whilst running a blog. And guess what? You can too! All it takes is for you to open up, give into the busyness and let it happen. So, today I’m sharing with you my best tips for looking after yourself when you’re crazy busy.
remember your priorities
If exercising is a big priority for you then it needs to stay that way. If it's not, then maybe it needs to become one. More often than not, the last thing you want to do when you get home after a long, busy day is work out. I know there'll be some weekdays when I don't even have time to fit a workout in. But we all know how good physical activity is. So if you can't do it when you usually fit it in, prioritise it so it appears somewhere else in your schedule. It could be a 20 minute walk, a run, a yoga class or a HIIT session. But not only will it get your blood pumping, it'll also clear your head and help you to work more productively.
It's all about what works best for you. If you don't enjoy running, don't force yourself to go. If your body doesn't like yoga, try a different class instead. Find out what works with your schedule and allow flexibility so you can switch it up when you need to. Trust me, once you do it for long enough it'll become a permanent part of your routine. Then you'll definitely start to see the benefits.
plan your meals
If you take any of these tips on board, let it be this one. Meal planning will save your life. My mum and now me, have been doing it for as long as I can remember. If you have a meal action plan for your entire week it makes it much easier for you to eat healthily. You don't want to come home from a busy day at work and wonder what meal to cook. Your meal plan has this all scheduled for you.
Once you've given meal prep a go, you won't want to go back. There are endless possibilities!
bring your food with you
This is the downfall. When you're doing twelve hour days, it can be tempting to get a comfort food takeout for your tea. This is the start of a downward spiral that you might never recover from. Pizza is my weakness, but I know never to get it in a situation like this, because I know it'll have a bad effect on my body.
Make your lunch, make your evening meal and bring them both with you if you need to. Your meal planning will come in handy here! That way, you know exactly what you're eating and when. So you won't be tempted by the unhealthy items in your company's canteen.
remember your greens
Fill your meals with everything green. I mean it. You want all the kale, all the spinach, all the broccoli, all the cabbage, all the peas, all the good greens. Each of them have their own special benefits and you’ll feel so much better rather than if you got a takeout.
Don't let your sleep suffer
So when we’re crazy busy, we can get into the habit of skipping things. Breakfast, lunch, our workout – all these can fall by the wayside. But one of the most important things you shouldn’t skip is sleep. I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of girl who can’t function unless I get between 7 and 8 hours sleep a night. If you don’t sleep, your body and mind can’t recover, meaning that you won’t be as productive. And that means you probably won’t get as much work done. When you’re frustrated with the progression of your to-do list, it could mean that you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is good. That’s all you need to remember.
Drink a lot of water
Drinking water can change your life, it really can. It can take away hunger pains, it can leave you refreshed, clear out your toxins and it can also clear your mind. Water (and the odd cup of tea) is the best thing to drink and the only thing you should be drinking at work.
Last Friday, I was out of the office all morning and didn’t manage to have even a sip of water until 12pm when I got back. That afternoon I could have fallen asleep at my desk - I don’t usually feel like that. I now realise that this was because I hadn’t drunk enough water in the morning.
“But I’m so busy that I don’t have time to have a drink.” Nonsense. Stop glorifying busy and look after your body.
You can’t be purposeful or intentional without some sort of organisation. But don’t worry. Just because you’re on a tight schedule doesn’t mean you have to create some elaborate system to keep up. You need to identify what is and isn’t working in your schedule and alter whatever is needed to suit you more. These adjustments will make your life flow more easily.
Deciding your workouts for the week on Sunday, planning your meals for each day, keeping your diary and calendar up to date on a weekly basis. All these things, no matter how small they may seem will make it a hell of a lot easier for you to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Even when you’re the busiest you’ve ever been.
Ask for help
You’ll get to a point when you realise you don’t have to do it all. You don’t, you know. It’s impossible. And yes, I know what Audrey Hepburn said. “The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” But in some cases Audrey, it doesn’t go that way. You don’t have to do it all.
So you might put all these tips in place and try to automate things in your life the best you can. But sometimes, life will still get overwhelming. This is where you ask for help. Ask your friend to help you prep your meals, invite your mum round for a cleaning session and treat her to lunch. Get a workout buddy. The people in your life are far more willing to help you out than you think. All you’ve got to do is ask.
A piece of advice I live by is this, so I hope it gives you something to think about:
you don't ask, you don't get
I hope these tips give you a little more encouragement for juggling a busy life with a healthy one. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just remember to work smarter, not harder. Come on, we can do it together.
Do you get times during the year when you’re crazy busy? How you do you manage to live a healthy lifestyle? Leave a comment and let me know!