I’ve been living that hurried life lately. It seems it’s the only way to keep up with this world. I don’t like it! But once you get caught in the hurricane of hurry you can’t seem to get out.
I love helping people both in my personal life and professional life and I tend to get trapped in saying “yes” to others when they come to me no matter what my current circumstance is. In my mind I say to myself “I’ll find a way to fit it all in” – “I’ll find a way to make this work”. Where does this cycle of “yeses” leave me? Frazzled! Burnt out! Hurried! Unhealthy! And not taking care of myself emotionally, mentally or physically. I have a feeling there are many of you out there who can relate.
So what do you do when you are striving to be in a state of good health but other commitments call and interrupt the healthy habits you’ve been trying to put in place?
I believe I’ve taken the first step to any positive change – that is being aware of the problem, acknowledging I do not like living this way and am ready to take my life back!
We can do that you know? Take control back over our lives. When your buried and burnt out it sounds impossible but it can be done. Take a step back, look at your life from 10,000 feet above – think about your priorities; people and projects, where do you spend your time? Where do you want to spend your time? Vow to make conscious decisions toward change, towards positive change, going forward.
Here are a few suggestions to help you start taking your life back. I’ve made personal commitments to these healthy habits. Take your healthy habits back!
Sleep is a priority – check your sleep habits. I know it can be really tough to hold on to commitments AND get 8 hours of sleep. But if there is one thing you can do for yourself it’s get some sleep! The ideal is 7-8 hours of solid rest. No one can make a good choice when their brain is tired and functioning at 50% or less. Priorities become foggy. Saying “yes” becomes one of the easiest things you can say to someone when your tired and want them off your back but before you know it you have just started the cycle of depleting all your energy again.
Get outside/Get moving – there is nothing like a little fresh air to help you think more clearly. To make this even more effective, get moving while you’re out there. Get your fitness in by taking quick walks, runs or hikes if you can – see if you can squish in a couple short ones a day (15 minutes is better than none). If you are in the habit of this or have your favorite class or trainer to work with keep it a priority, you are doing great! This one, like sleep, benefits all of our focus points: emotional, mental and physical health and well-being.
Meal Prep! – Yes, this one takes a little more thought and work but I guarantee your body will thank you for it. When the busyness of life consistently steers you to the nearest fast-food stop it’s easy to get bloated and feel weighed down. Over processed, fast food does not supply the nutrition our bodies need for energy, it dehydrates you, and upsets the overall balance of your metabolism.
Do a little research: pick some healthy snacks; whole ingredient crackers with hummus (homemade if you can, minimal ingredient store brands 2nd best) and an apple or some carrots – doesn’t have to be exactly this but you get the idea. Having healthy snacks on hand at work, at home, and in the car are a lifesaver.
Meal prep a healthy breakfast: If you can at least fit in a healthy breakfast each day you are ahead of the game. I recently had some items in my fridge that needed to be used up: eggs, turkey bacon and aspearagus – so I made 3 omletes; one to eat right away and two for later in the week for my earliest morning starts. Only took me maybe 10 extra minutes in making my breakfast of that day to make two more – all those extra omlets needed was 30- second spin in the microwave.
Plan meals for the week: if you can start the week knowing exactly what is in your fridge and what you plan to put together for lunches and dinners you will start to feel in control of your days. This is also goes with the meal prep concept if you know you want brown rice with a couple of meals this week, make an extra large batch on the first day you want it then you only have to wait once for rice, it’s ready to go for anything else you need it for.
A little practice with these concepts and you will have healthy habits back in your life that don’t take much time at all. Your body and your brain will thank you!
One step at a time. One new habit at a time. You can be back in the drivers seat of your life!
Now you are sleeping better, eating better, feeling better and ready to take some time back for yourself. It’s not selfish to say “no” or even “maybe later” (I know I get caught in this thought process a lot which leads me to saying yes yet again) but when you are helping someone out or doing a project for work, don’t you want to put your best self forward? You are not at your best when you are burnt out, tired and can’t think straight.
This all leads to the old concept of quality over quantity. I believe we are pushed in our personal lives and professional lives into thinking quantity matters but does fitting in 10 half –assed projects a day make you feel more accomplished? Or would completing four projects of your most solid, best work make you feel better when your head hits the pillow at night? Would you feel better about getting up Saturday morning and heading out for a hike with your friends, family or dog or looking at your phone and responding to an email or three that really could have waited until Monday. Which priorities of yours are more energizing, more refreshing, more healthy, more you?