Why is it that whenever life gets crazy busy, the first thing we do is fail to take care of ourselves? As more activities are added to our already full plate, we know that something needs to be set aside. Unfortunately, what usually happens is we set aside those extra things we do for ourselves.
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The problem is that if this busy pace keeps up for any length of time, we end up feeling run down and our overall health suffers. Can you relate here?
The simple truth is we cannot do much if we are run down. There is just no way we can be our best if we’re not even eating and sleeping well.
Our Health is so important, but what do you do when time is at a minimum? Thankfully there are still ways to take care of you and stay healthy when short on time.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
Studies show a link between sleep deprivation and the development of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Other studies show that sleep helps sustain the functioning of the immune system. In fact, chronic sleep loss is a risk factor for weakening our immune system. So getting sleep is a vital factor to staying healthy.
Yet, it is so tempting to stay up a little later and catch up on work. Not only that, but sometimes staying up a little later is our only chance to have a little alone time, something very important for this introvert.
As tempting as it is to stay up later than we should, we need to remember sacrificing sleep results in sacrificing our health. We actually sacrifice our entire immune system.
On the other hand, if you go to sleep a little earlier you will wake up refreshed. You will actually be able to accomplish more after a good night’s sleep than you would accomplish by staying up late.
Staying up late leaves you exhausted, a good night’s sleep leaves you refreshed.
If you are having a hard time getting to sleep, try warm tea, shutting down all electronics and picking up a good book for great ways to help your body wind down. I also turn on my sound machine and diffuse my favorite essential oil, in no time I am sound asleep.
On those nights it’s impossible to get to sleep a little earlier, try stealing catnaps. Taking a few breaks in your day where you just stop and close your eyes for 10 minutes can do wonders for your health and your outlook.
Remember you don’t have to fill every waking moment with productivity. You will actually be more productive by taking a few breaks.
2. Get Physical
Next to sleep, ensuring you are getting some physical exercise each day is probably the best thing you can do for your health.
A good strenuous workout is ideal. But when your days are hectic and you just can’t fit it in, you can still stay healthy when short on time by making sure you are moving throughout your day. Trust me, stolen moments count.
Here are some little ways to get your body moving even when your day is overscheduled:
- Don’t park in the closest spot.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- When doing desk work, set the timer for 25 minutes, stand up and stretch or move in some way.
- When cooking dinner do some jumping jacks or standing pushups against the counter while waiting for a pot to boil.
- After dinner, go outside and play with your kids, this gives you the added benefit of bonding time with your kiddos.
The point is to make sure you are moving throughout your day. It really does all add up.
3. Slow Down
When our plates are overloaded and we’re going, going, going, stress is created. Also because of our speed, we miss any little joys in the moment, which only adds to those feelings of stress.
These are the times it’s so important to reduce the effects of the stress by slowing down. Yes, I know, how do you slow down when you have so much going on?
Well, there really are little things you can do to stay healthy when short on time.
To stop rushing, leave 10 to 15 minutes early for your appointment, this will give you a few moments to stop and breath.
Listen to Calming Music or White Noise
Calming music will automatically give you a sense of calm. Also, white noise helps to block out stressful thoughts. I have this sound machine and I love it. I turn it to the sound of ocean waves or the sound of rain as I am working. The soft sounds create a serene atmosphere while I do computer work.
Use the natural scent of lavender to help you slow down and create a sense of calm. Lavender helps you stay healthy when short on time by slowing our heart and your blood pressure.
5. Eat Regularly
This was something I seriously worked hard to improve on. For a long time, my eating was dictated by my schedule. But, thankfully I learned that eating at consistent regular times improves your health. Specifically, by eating at regular times you reduce blood sugar fluctuations. Blood sugar fluctuations can cause mood swings and create stress on your body.
To be more consistent with your eating, carry healthy snacks with you when you know you will be running around a lot. A handful of nuts or a protein bar is easy to keep stashed in your car. Throw an orange in your purse and make sure to bring plenty of water with you. These are easy ways to stay healthy when short on time.
6. Meal Plan
Meal planning is the single best way to ensure you eat healthy balanced meals at regular times. Not only that, meal planning saves so much time and energy when you need it most.
By taking a few moments on a Sunday evening to jot down a plan for the week’s meals, you will know exactly what you will be eating.
You also cut down on your grocery shopping time because you know exactly what items you need to pick up at the grocery store. Another great thing about meal planning is that it helps avoid last-minute trips to the store.
With meal planning, if you know you are going to have an extra busy day, it’s easy to do your dinner prep work the night before and toss it in the crockpot. When you get home, dinner is ready, what an easy way to stay healthy when short on time!
Meal planning has been so beneficial for me that I included a specific place to plan my weekly meals in my calendar. If you are interested, you can download a free copy by clicking below.
7. Reduce Sugars and Processed Foods
When we are extra busy we also tend to be extra tired. It is so tempting to grab a quick boxed item to eat. But these packaged items are highly processed and usually very high in sugars.
Eating a diet consisting primarily of highly processed foods that are high in sugar will indeed give you get a quick burst of energy. However, your sugar levels will fall just as quickly as they rose. The result is the opposite of what you want, a sudden drop in your energy level.
To avoid reaching for those highly processed convenience foods, set aside 15 minutes a week to prepare healthy snacks. If you purchase plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and take 15 minutes to chop and pack them up in containers they will be just as easy to reach for as the processed snacks.
Having fresh fruits and veggies easy to reach for is a great way to stay healthy when short on time.
8. Drink Lemon Water
We know that drinking water is important for our overall health. But there are also added health benefits to adding some lemon juice. Here are seven health benefits from Healthline:
- Promotes hydration.
- A good source of vitamin C.
- Improves your skin quality.
- Supports weight loss.
- Aids digestion.
- Freshens breath.
- Helps prevent kidney stones.
You can read the complete article here.
Having a cute water bottle somehow makes me better about carrying water with me when I’m on the go.
To make sure I am drinking plenty of lemon water, I purchase the gallon water jugs and add about 10 tablespoons of lemon juice, I then store it in the fridge. This makes it so easy to just fill my favorite water bottle with lemon water. By doing this I don’t have to hassle adding lemon, it’s all ready for me to grab and go and I can stay healthy when short on time.
9. Positive Thinking
Did you know that gratitude and positive thinking is actually good for your health? A regular practice of gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.
If you are feeling physically run down, try jotting down a few things that you are grateful for to increase your health.
10. Cultivate Your Relationships
Think about it, most of our happiness comes from our relationships.
People with poor relationships are more likely to suffer from depression and loneliness. This is powerful enough to weaken their immune system. Their blood pressure rises, and they suffer emotionally.
To ensure that you are staying healthy during extra busy seasons, make sure you take some time to cultivate your relationships.
Next time you are waiting in line send a text to that special someone letting them know you’re thinking about them. And in the morning, don’t forget to stick a note in your kid’s lunch reminding them how special they are.
Staying healthy does not need to take a lot of time. You can practice these top 10 tips and stay healthy when short on time. Be good to yourself, you are worth it!
Now live simply, live fully and make each day your Favorite day!