If you work eight hours per day and sleep eight hours, you still have eight hours every day to spend how you want. So why does it feel like we’re always short on time? While commutes, child care, and chores can eat up a good chunk of that time, if you’re struggling to find room for self-care, it may be time to reassess your schedule. Read on for ways to fit healthy self-care habits into your day, no matter how busy you are.
It’s so easy to resort to fast food after a long day, but you’re not doing your body any favors. If you don’t fuel your body with proper nutrition, you risk feeling sluggish for days. Maintaining a healthy diet when you’re busy requires planning ahead, but it’s perfectly doable.
Meal planning takes the effort out of deciding what’s for dinner by coordinating and prepping meals at the beginning of the week. By setting aside Sunday afternoon for grocery shopping and meal prepping, you can create a week of meals and snacks in a few hours. Pack lunches in microwave-safe containers, divvy out snacks into grab-and-go portions, and chop ingredients for dinner so all you have to do is fire up the sauté pan. If even that is too much, consider signing up for a meal kit subscription. You’ll still have to cook, but the planning, shopping, and prepping is done for you. Not all meal kits are created equal, so read reviews from Epicurious to find the best fit for you.
The best way to get enough exercise is to make it a habit. If you have aspirations of exercising but don’t schedule it into your day, your workouts will be sporadic at best. You don’t have to find a two-hour block of free time; workouts can be as short as 10 minutes if you schedule several throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble finding the time to exercise, write out your daily schedule. This will make it easier to identify openings, however brief, for physical activity. Plexus suggests, “After establishing how much extra time you have in a day, pick a few days and times of the week that appear best to you and enter it as an appointment on your schedule as a repeating appointment. This will reduce the risk of over-scheduling and help you visualize and mentally prepare for the workouts.” When you have a workout planned every week at the same time, it becomes a lot harder to make excuses.
When you slump onto the couch after a tough day, hours can pass without putting a dent in your stress levels. If you’re crunched for time, skip the vegging in favor of high-impact relaxation strategies that only take a few minutes.
In the middle of the workday, turn to five-minute de-stressing strategies like holding a yoga pose at your desk, closing your eyes for a visualization exercise, or stepping outside for a quick walk. When you’re home and have a bit more time, find a quiet corner to slip into a meditative state, work on your hobby, or pen notes in a journal. It’s not always easy to find motivation for tasks like these when you’re stressed out, but you’ll never regret making time for yourself.
It’s hard to prioritize self-care when there are work deadlines looming, chores to be done, and kids demanding attention. But if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s only a matter of time before you burn out. When you follow these tips, you can enjoy all the benefits of self-care without adding stress to your busy schedule.
Author Bio: Caleb Anderson developed an opiate addiction after being in a car accident. He’s in recovery today and wants to inspire others to overcome their addictions.
Image via Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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