Sometimes, there are just those busy weeks where all you seem to do is run on the hamster wheel … and never make progress! Being busy can be especially frustrating when it comes to your health and wellness goals, which tend to take a back seat to other pressing tasks.
But it’s important not to deprioritize your health goals! In this blog post, we’re sharing tips for staying on track with your health goals, especially when you’re pressed for time.
Prioritization is key
Work, family, friends, school, bills, chores … these are the things that distract away from health and wellness goals. And while some of those tasks are fun, missing out on a workout or meal prep can leave you feeling defeated.
So what can be cut to make time for exercise and nutrition? For 2 weeks, try writing down everything you do and the amount of time you do it. You may be surprised by the amount of time you’re spending on tasks that aren’t necessarily getting you closer to your goals, like browsing social media or watching TV. If that’s the case, try cutting down on unnecessary activities, even by just 15 minutes per day, in order to squeeze a workout or cooking session in!
Some is better than none
It’s a common misconception that you have to finish the “full” workout in order to reap the benefits of it. During busy days or weeks, even 10 minutes of exercise does wonders to boost your feelings and mood. So the next time you’re feeling stressed and thinking about skipping your workout, take a deep breath and try taking just 15 minutes to move your body.
This doesn’t have to be a super intense workout, either! Deep, slow movement like yoga can strengthen muscles and deepen flexibility. Or, if your mind is feeling frenzied, 15 minutes of meditation and journaling can help you click “reset” and continue about your day feeling refreshed.
Get plenty of sleep
Busy parents, students, and working professionals know that when life gets hectic, the first thing to go is sleep. Why? When we feel like we didn’t get enough done during the day, we cram those tasks in before bedtime. Or, we stay up late “revenge procrastinating.”
But unfortunately, skimping out on sleep can have the opposite effect–instead of being more productive, you’re often being less productive because your brain is less focused and tired. Even though it’s tempting to watch just one more episode or respond to one last work email, try to shut down tech devices 1 hour before bedtime and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you struggle with turning off your computer or cellphone, try setting an alarm to serve as a reminder!
Get clear on your “why”
If you’re aimlessly working out and meal prepping with little to no goals, sometimes it can be tougher to stay on track. Having a clear vision of “why” you’re staying fit and eating well is a way to stay motivated.
If you’re not sure about your “why” try journaling for 5-10 minutes on these questions:
- What is most important to me in life, and why?
- What would your perfect day look like?
- Name the 3 people who are most important to you and the reasons why you love them.
Hang up the answers to these questions in a place you see often, like by your bedside table or refrigerator. Make a point to look at them every day at the same time, such as when you’re brushing your teeth. Then, go about your goals rejuvenated and focused!
Outsource or delegate tasks
Feeling bogged down by tedious household chores? You’re not alone! On average, homeowners spend about 90 minutes per day on household activities, such as chores, maintenance, and yard work. That’s 10 hours per week! These chores really add up and can make you feel guilty for stepping away to do a workout or prepare a healthy meal.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by household chores, ask yourself, “is there anything that can be outsourced?” For instance, perhaps you could pay the teenager next door to mow your lawn. Or hire a cleaning service to come once per month to take the burden off you. Or you can even have a discussion with your partner and/or children about dividing chores in different ways to even the load.
Keep healthy snacks within arms reach
Why is it that when we’re super busy, we seem to always be on the move, like in a car, bus, or train? During chaotic days, it can be all too easy to turn to fast food, which isn’t always the best choice.
For days or weeks when you’re frequently out and about, it’s important to keep healthy snacks on hand! If you spend a lot of time in the car, keep healthy snacks in the glove compartment. Or, you can keep a healthy snack in your purse or backpack!
Practice mindful eating
Multitasking while eating is suuuper tempting when there are a million things on your to do list. However, this can sometimes lead to eating more than you’d like. That’s why practicing mindful eating can be particularly effective!
Mindful eating is an approach to food that focuses on your sensual awareness of food and your experience eating the food. It has little to do with calories, carbohydrates, fat, or protein! Rather, while mindfully eating, you may choose to pay particular attention to the flavor, texture, or temperature of food. You simply observe and admire those elements in looking to be as aware of the food as possible.
If you’re looking for delicious foods to practice mindful eating with, try Proper Good! We’ve got a delicious assortment of soups, chilis, curries, and oatmeals to fit any mood. If you’re mindful eating in the morning, try a bowl of oatmeal like Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cinnamon, or Choc Peanut Butter. For lunch or dinner, go for Broccoli Cheddar, Butternut Squash, or Chicken Noodle.
Even when you’re super busy, practicing health and wellness can be easier than you think when you use these tips!
To quickly recap:
- Prioritization is key
- Some is better than none
- Get plenty of sleep
- Get clear on your “why”
- Outsource or delegate tasks
- Keep snacks within arms reach
- Practice mindful eating
You’ve got this–we believe in you! :)