When you’re rushing about from pillar to post all day, juggling multiple responsibilities, and trying to remember everything you need to, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can easily slip down the list of priorities. But staying healthy can actually help you manage your manic days and sleep better at night – here’s how to do it no matter how stressful your schedule.
Maximize Your Morning Routine
Creating a morning routine can get your day off to the best possible start and promote healthy habits. Try setting your alarm just fifteen minutes earlier to give you time to do some gentle exercise or stretches upon waking before enjoying a nutritious breakfast. Just a small change like this can make for a more relaxed morning and prevent the early rush to get out of the door.
You could also use this time to plan out your day by creating to-do lists and scheduling tasks and appointments to help you feel more in control of everything you need to get done.
Eating healthily is even more important if you have a busy lifestyle to help protect against exhaustion and other physical ailments; staying properly nourished is good for the mind, too, and promotes a positive outlook while keeping depression and anxiety at bay. If your schedule is jam-packed, it may be understandably difficult to see where you can make time to prepare a range of healthy daily meals – but there are several solutions.
Firstly, you could consider signing up for a meal delivery service. These subscription packages typically offer a range of meals; you get sent the pre-measured ingredients and recipes to quickly put them together. This is a great way to save on time spent planning, shopping, and prepping; the meals are all nutritionally balanced, and there are gourmet, organic, and many other options available. You can read more here about how these subscriptions work, what they include, and the cost, as well as see a range of suppliers. Most of the providers will apply a discount for the first order or box, and there are choices for those wanting prepared meals, too.
You could also try batch cooking and freezing to help make meal planning and preparation easier. If you’re making a lasagne, a casserole, or a moussaka, for example, simply make two extra and freeze the additional meals. This method also works well with homemade chicken nuggets and kievs, which can be prepared and frozen before the cooking stage. Build up a good reserve of homemade meals in your freezer, which can simply be taken out and put in the fridge to defrost the night before they’re required or, in some cases, cooked from frozen.
Keeping your hydration levels up is really important for the body and the brain, but it’s easy, when you’re busy, to not notice the hours slipping away until you suddenly realize that you’ve gone hours without having a drink.
Get around this by keeping a water bottle beside you at work – you can buy bottles that clearly display the amount of fluid you should be drinking in a day so that you easily monitor how close you are to your target, which is a great way of encouraging you to keep sipping.
If you find plain water not particularly appealing, which is scuppering your attempts at staying hydrated, then consider infusing it with fruit. Fill a jug with water and add a couple of slices of lemon or lime, a few berries, or even a sprinkling of cinnamon, and then place this in the fridge for a wonderfully refreshing beverage the next day.
If you’ve got a full-to-the-brim schedule, then exercise can be one of the first things that get jettisoned. However, exercise not only keeps you in shape but also releases endorphins – the happy hormones – into the bloodstream, which promotes feelings of positivity, wellbeing and helps you to achieve better sleep at night.
Get creative to find ways to fit exercise into your daily life. Grab a forty-minute swim at the local pool on your lunch break, incorporate ten minutes of yoga into your morning routine, or hop off the bus one stop early on your way home from work and walk the remaining distance.
You could switch up your standard office desk: choose a standing desk instead, which has not only been proven to help their users burn off more calories but can be helpful for those who struggle with back, neck, or shoulder issues. If this isn’t an option, avoid sitting for long periods by setting a timer every hour while you’re at work: when it goes off, go for a quick walk around the office, or practice some stretches beside your desk.
Get Quality Sleep
The final piece in the healthy lifestyle puzzle is sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep not only helps you to physically feel more rested but also improves cognitive function, especially that related to memory, logical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making, plus regulating mood, too.
Ensure you’re getting quality sleep by following a regular bedtime routine, keeping devices out of the bedroom, making sure your mattress is suitable and supportive, and maintaining a comfortable sleeping temperature in your bedroom.