We are constantly bombarded with images and ideas of what it means to be “healthy”, on social media, in magazines and on television. Not all of these representations of “healthy” are legitimate, nor are they attainable. It is very important for our physical and mental wellbeing, to ensure that we are balancing our professional and personal commitments, with a commitment to look after ourselves, in body and mind, to maintain our health.
Below are some tips and tricks to ensure that no matter how busy you are, you can take care of yourself everyday.
Particularly if you work long days at a desk, it is very important to move your body everyday. The best way to incorporate this into your day is to get moving as soon as you wake up, in case that afternoon meeting runs overtime, or before anything else can consume your time.
Choose something you enjoy doing, otherwise you will never get up when your alarm goes off. Group fitness classes are a great option, as you can often book in which creates a sense of commitment. Your choice of movement doesn’t have to be an intense sweat session everyday, instead be kind to yourself and listen to your body, some days just walking the dog will do!
No matter how busy your day gets, you know that you are going to need to eat, so you need to allow yourself time to do this, and to make sure that you are eating food that will fuel your body and your brain so you can get the most out of your day. Preparing meals for a couple of days at a time is the best way to ensure that you have something healthy on hand, no matter how short your lunch break may become. Cooking extra servings at dinner so you have lunch for the next day is helpful too. This way you will be eating nutritiously and will have enough to eat, so that you can stay in control of your energy levels and food cravings.
Slowing down at the end of the day to practice gratitude is a way of protecting and enhancing your mental wellbeing. Don’t just roll from the couch to the bed in the evening. Instead, take 5 minutes before turning out the light at night to write down 3 things that made you happy that day. This is incredibly effective at making you think about positive things that have happened, and once in the habit of doing this, you will spend the day noticing all the positive things that happen around you, so you can keep a note of them for your evening writing.
Although most days may be very busy and you may be working long hours, take time for yourself at least once a week to really slow down and do something for yourself. This may be a Saturday morning yoga or mediation class, or a Sunday afternoon session reading your favourite book with a glass of wine. Time to just be quiet and do something that makes you feel balanced,
and will release any sensation of stress, even if only for an hour, is very beneficial for your wellbeing.
Be Kind to Yourself
The worst thing you can do when trying to improve your health and wellbeing, is put too much pressure on yourself to be “ultra-healthy”, to avoid all junk food, to exercise intensely everyday and to stress yourself out when you don’t meet one of these goals. Putting too much pressure on yourself to be healthy to a point that causes you to feel disappointment in yourself when you miss a workout, or to stress when you haven’t brought a healthy lunch to work, is detrimental to your wellbeing. Be kind to yourself. Achieving a state of wellbeing and balance is a process: everyday is going to be different, with moments of success as well as challenges.
Maggie is a commercial lawyer who lives in Sydney. In her spare time she is a freelance blogger with a particular interest in writing about nutrition and wellness, and how to balance the two with a fast-paced lifestyle. She is also a yoga and F45 enthusiast.