You want to stay healthy. How do you do that? By making your health a priority! You may read this and think it’s easier said than done, and in a way, you’re right. As soon as you get busy, being healthy is the first thing you drop from your life. It doesn’t need to be this way! Following a few tips is all it takes to go from healthy when it’s convenient to living a healthy lifestyle every single day.
#1 Identify Your Non-Negotiables
Experts recommend that you identify one to three things that you want in your life that contribute to practicing healthy habits on a daily basis. This can be something like eating a protein-rich breakfast each morning, having a sit-down dinner every night, avoiding caffeine after noon, or drinking enough water throughout the day. Consider these goals your non-negotiables; they are the things you’re always going to make sure you have time for. No matter what else happens throughout the day that throws you for a loop, you’re going to make sure this goal is achieved.
#2 Plan Out Your Routine
When you’re busy, it is absolutely essential to plan out your day and stick to your plan as best as possible. If you’re being pulled in too many directions with no clear plan, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This kind of chaos and stress is toxic for your mental health. On the other hand, even a busy day feels manageable when you have a to-do list and check off each item as you go. When you’re “running on empty” and trying to get too much done in one day, you’re much more likely to indulge in too much caffeine and choose a burger and fries for lunch over a garden salad or soup. In this way, all of your healthy living efforts are reliant on one another for success.
#3 Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Many people hear “Be healthy” and think it only means eating the right diet and exercising on a regular basis. Nothing could be further from the truth! Your overall wellness involves many other important factors, including your sleep each night. If you truly want to be healthy (and you do!), this means making sleeping seven to eight hours a priority. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Your body works hard to repair itself while you sleep, so you can wake up and hit the gym, yoga studio, trail, or court the next morning without the aches and pains you went to bed with. Plus, sleep is essential for your mental health. When you’re exhausted, you’re grouchy and much more likely to ignore your non-negotiables you identified earlier.
#4 Work with the Time You Have
Are you busy? Yes! Do you have a little bit of time to work with, no matter how busy you are? Yes! As a quick example, you know that after work, the parent pickup line, and soccer practice, you don’t have either the time or the energy to cook anything that takes longer than 15 minutes to make. This is perfectly okay! It doesn’t mean another night of fast food on the way home. All you need to do then is to simply set yourself up, so you’re able to whip up a healthy dinner in 15 minutes. This may mean meal prep earlier in the day or buying ingredients for a simple but healthy meal. You could even throw some lean meat and veggies in the crockpot and come home to a meal waiting for you!
#5 Be as Efficient as Possible
Where are you experiencing friction with your healthy eating habits? This is a great place to start looking for ways to be more efficient. If you find yourself rushing around the house in the morning, but you have a little extra time in the evening, there may be something you can prepare for yourself the night before, so you have time for a healthy breakfast and a few stretches. Maybe you can’t find the time to work out, so you need to learn simple yet effective workout routines that can be done in 30 minutes or less. You want to find time for self-care, but there simply isn’t enough time in the day. Could you read a book or listen to a podcast during soccer practice instead of checking work emails and scrolling social media? If you “don’t have time” for an essential aspect of healthy living, the key is to find a way to make your routine efficient enough to fit it in, not give up and leave it out.
Sleep, nutrition, mental health, self-care, and exercise are completely intertwined with one another for your overall health and wellness. These should be a priority for you, even when you're busy. In fact, staying healthy should be a top priority, especially when you’re busy! Otherwise, you’ll feel yourself getting run down, choosing poor food options, getting sick, gaining weight, and feeling bad about yourself. We don’t want this for you!
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