I think most of us aspire to try and live a healthy lifestyle but it’s not easy when you’ve got a hectic work and social life. Especially when the festive period is nearly upon us.
It’s so easy to get preoccupied with our busy schedules that we often completely forget to take care of ourselves.
So, this week I thought I would share a few of my top tips to help you make living a healthier lifestyle a reality, no matter what you have jammed into the diary.
I’m especially keen to share this with you as for the past three weeks I’ve been putting my health and wellbeing as my number one priority.
Yes it’s been frantic with launching this site, but no matter what has been going on I’ve stayed committed (probably for the first time in my life) to my health and wellbeing by implementing the following simple things.
I’ve never felt so good!
I’m energised throughout the day. I’m more productive and effective… and overall feel happy and great. I haven’t been stressed once (and that comes from someone whose definition of work was stress!).
And it hasn’t been that difficult to do either. It has not required major changes or time. Just the commitment to myself to make my health and wellbeing a choice and habit every day, with a few gentle reminders here and there.
So, if you’re struggling to keep a healthy lifestyle with your crazy schedule, maybe these 6 pieces of advice will give you a nudge in the right direction and help you out too.
1. Get Your Beauty Sleep
A good night’s sleep feels amazing, you can’t beat it and you certainly can’t do without it! So why do we stay up late working or watching TV when we know how great it is for us? Simply put, other things take priority! But this shouldn’t be the case, all you’re doing is sacrificing the next day’s functionality.
Your fix: Use an app to remind you when you need to go to bed. Set it for an hour before you actually want to go to sleep and ensure you’re aiming for 7 hours a night.
I’m not sure I could operate without my Bedtime app (found in your iPhone clock). If you don’t have an iPhone then just set yourself an alarm to remind you to go to bed. Simple but very effective to crack a nighttime routine.
Also have a calming tea an hour before you go to sleep and try using a lavender spray or scent. I use this one every night and even take it away travelling with me.
2. Master A Morning Routine
Starting your morning off well = productive day. We’ve all had those days where we woke up late, rushed to work, and played catch up for most of the day because our brain hasn’t yet got into gear!
Mastering a routine will gain you extra valuable time you’ll be thankful for in the future.
Your fix: Now, no one routine will be the same for anyone so have a think about what you’d like to do or what needs to be done but make sure you have at least 15 minutes for YOU in there.
I personally choose to wake up early and give myself two whole hours before even starting my day. I wake up, shower and reflect on what I’m grateful for. I then spend ten minutes planning my day or focusing my brain on what I need to achieve. Next, I go for a walk, do some yoga or workout in the gym. Then, I take time to make breakfast listening to my favourite tunes (with a minimum of 5 fruit or vegetables included) and sit and enjoy it in peace and quiet. I like to focus on positive thoughts and how my day is going to go well before I even start. Then I’m ready to rock and roll!
This may be too much for you, but it’s what works for me and makes me feel fab the rest of the day. Whether you wake up 20 minutes early or decide 2 hours would be good for you too, whatever you do establish a routine and ensure it’s focused around making you feel good, before you start looking after or dealing with anyone/anything else.
A routine means it becomes a habit, and habits are much harder to break!
3. Choose To Move
You don’t need to be a gymaholic. But you do need to move. When we spend so much of our day sitting at our desks our bodies literally start to turn off. The tiredness, boredom or lack of energy soon start to set in. And overall, we all know the benefits of exercise!
Your fix: If you can’t do anything else then just go for a walk. Get off a stop before work and walk the rest of the way; Walk around on your breaks; Pace around the office on calls; Take the stairs… get your body moving.
As I mentioned before, I like to start my morning routine with moving whether it’s going for a walk, working out in the gym or doing a quick HIIT session on YouTube. But throughout the day I keep it up too by taking purposeful breaks to go for a walk around the office or local area; stretch or even sneak in some yoga too.
A great way to keep an eye on your movement is to download a steps tracking app on your phone and make sure you’re doing 10,000 steps a day. For extra motivation get your partner, family or friends involved and challenge them all to do 10,000 steps a day too. It makes it more fun and motivating.
Exercising is not only got for you physically but will also help de-stress you too.
4. Stop Every Hour
There’s always time for 5 minutes. Constantly being a workaholic, stressed out or rushed off your feet is just not sustainable, and you’re going to burn out. However, having a busy schedule is OK, it’s almost a must in our fast paced world! But just learn how to manage it, prioritise those small breaks to re-gain your thoughts and have a breather.
Your fix: Schedule it again. No one can work 100% all of the time – it’s impossible. And studies have shown that the most effective and successful people take a break every hour. So instead of looking at your day in hours, look at it in 55 minute slots and take 5 minutes every hour to stop. Go for a walk, get some fresh hair, make yourself a cup of tea… whatever it is, have that break. You will come back being more energised and switched on than before.
You can do this by setting an alarm or timer again on your phone or purposely making your calendar entries only 55 minutes long.
5. Healthy Food
With a busy lifestyle it’s easy to neglect our diet. We end up grabbing something insufficient because our mind is preoccupied. But, remember you’re going to be more productive if you’re fuelled on nutritious foods, and as busy working women…we need that extra brain power!
Your fix: Be warned, after years of dieting I’m totally against you avoiding carbs. The best way to fuel your body and curve any cravings is to have balanced meals. Make sure you have a healthy balance of good carbohydrates, protein and fruit/vegetables at every meal. I’ve learnt that when you don’t, you end up snacking or frankly feeling crap!
Make sure you have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you do need a snack, have some fruit or nuts in your draw.
I know you know what is healthy and what is not. But if you’re on the go a lot and your work canteen is less than desirable, take the time to prep some meals at the weekend. Plan ahead and prioritise eating well. It will make a huge difference to how you feel.
6. Drink Water
… And lots of it. Yes I know you know this…. But do you actually do it??
Your fix: Buy yourself a good size glass water bottle so you can monitor how much you’re actually drinking a day. I love adding fruit to my water to make it a little bit more exciting. So why not try adding lemons, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, mint or cucumber to make your water a delight to drink.
Also ladies, try and limit your coffee to one a day and try choosing herbal teas instead. Pumping our bodies full of caffeine actually has a detrimental effect and can end up making you feel worse later on in the day. So make your coffee a mid-morning treat and then stay clean the rest of the day.
Finally, the other key change I’ve made to my approach to my health is supplements. Now, I’m not a doctor but I would recommend anyone going to a good health store and finding out what they would advise you to take. Be honest with them about how you feel and what you eat so they can give you good advice. I’m currently taking a Vitamin B6, B12, D3 and a mixed mineral tablet which includes iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium (along with lots more).
Even if you just try one of these this week – give it a go! You’re the only person who can stop you leading a healthier life and being at your best.
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