It can be exhausting trying to balance your work schedule, family, and social life. So, when it comes to making time for yourself, it can seem almost impossible. If you’re struggling to balance a busy schedule, staying healthy is probably the last thing on your mind. When you have appointments set and goals to meet, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. However, health plays a vital role in your productivity and ability to get through your day and it’s extremely important that you find ways to maintain it. From healthy snacks to meditation, we’ve put together 6 ways to be healthy with a busy schedule.
Sleep is often the first thing to decline when you have a busy schedule and this can be detrimental to your health. Your ability to function while you are awake depends on your quality of sleep. When you are not getting enough sleep, you increase your chances of contracting chronic illnesses including: a stroke, obesity, depression, kidney disease, and heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deficiency has also been associated with increased risk of injury and can have severe negative effects on your mental health. Regardless of how busy you are, it is important that you set a time to shut down for the day to get a full night’s rest. A full night’s rest is considered to be 7 to 9 hours of sleep. So, be sure to pay attention to fitting sleep into your schedule and get that beauty rest.
It can be easy to forget to drink water when you are busy, but drinking water is extremely important. The body needs water in order to function properly. Just a 2% water depravation and your body and mind start to slow down, decreasing your productivity. According to Harvard Health, generally healthy people should drink four to six cups of water a day. However, you don’t want to drink all your daily water at once. The best way to keep your body hydrated is to monitor your water drinking throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is to mark a reusable water bottle with times so you can portion out your water drinking throughout the day –or- you can get one of these pre-marked water bottles to help you track your water intake: The Increment Bottle, Motivational Water Bottle, Drink More Water Bottle.
Staying still for too long can have a negative effect on your body. In order to keep yourself awake and ready for your busy day, you have to keep yourself active. If you work at a desk, take a moment to get up and walk around. Doing this can help you maintain a healthy blood flow throughout your muscles and body. A great way to stay active without taking time away from your work day is to give yourself 15 to 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon for a short home workout. Not everyone has the time to go to the gym every day so keeping a simple and consistent method of working out at home is not only easier and more convenient, but it can improve your stamina for your busy schedule and help you stay healthy.
If you don’t have a moment, try out some of these easy stretches at your desk. Doing simple stretches at your desk throughout the day can help prevent stiff muscles and improve your posture. The easiest way to keep your muscles activated without having to take any time out of your day is to simply improve the way you sit. The way you sit can radically improve your health and practicing proper office ergonomics can be as simple as moving your keyboard.
According to Everyday Health, your blood sugar drops three to five hours after you eat. When you eat small snacks in between meals, you can help balance your metabolism, normalize your blood sugar, and maintain your energy levels. However, you want to be eating healthy snacks. Eating healthy snacks helps to improve your energy, mood, and brain function to keep you productive and level-headed even with a stressfully busy schedule.
A solid snack should have some protein and fiber to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Be sure to stay away from sugary food that will cause you to crash. Bring healthy snacks with you such as carrots, nuts, fruit, peanut butter, granola, or Greek yogurt. Items like nuts and dried fruit are great snack options because they don’t require refrigeration or expire quickly so you can always have them on hand. So the next time you get a mid-day craving, you can reach for the healthy option without wasting any time.
It can be difficult to find the time to make and eat healthy meals every day, but when you plan ahead, meal prepping can be a fun and easy way to keep your body fueled for the week. Set aside time on your days off to make 2 to 3 types of lunches that will get you through the week. Making your meals ahead will actually save you time in the end; with your meal ready to go, you won’t spend time figuring out what to eat just to end up with fast food or skipping on the meal altogether. Think about some healthy and filling meals that you can make easily to get you through the week! Pastas, wraps, and salads are all simple and healthy meals that can be made in a variety of ways so you won’t get tired of eating the same thing every day! Pinterest is full of healthy meal prep and lunch ideas. Start a weekly menu board and fill it up with all of your favorite recipes so you don’t have to waste any time! If you know you’ll have an abnormally busy day, you can add a protein smoothie or meal-replacement drink so you won’t have to skip a meal.
It’s easy to imagine taking the time out of your day to focus on yourself, but not everyone has the luxury to actually do it, or do they? If you feel like you don’t have 10 to 15 minutes to spare, then take just a minute out of your day for yourself. Yes, taking only a minute for yourself can help you stay healthy by reducing stress and anxiety and allowing you to refresh your mind and improve your focus. During your minute you can sit down and calm your nerves or just give yourself some time to breathe. Try out some minute meditations to help you clear your mind. Take a minute to put down your phone or step back from your computer and rest your eyes. You can also practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique (which takes less than 30 seconds!).
Sometimes it can seem like it’s almost impossible to balance a healthy lifestyle and a busy schedule. However, staying healthy doesn’t have to take up a lot of time (and in some cases, doesn’t have to take up any time at all). By simply drinking water, eating healthy, and giving yourself a moment to focus on your mind and your body, you can reduce your physical and mental stress and improve your energy and productivity to keep yourself ready for a busy week.