Thanks to Brad Krause of selfcaring.info for providing another guest blog!
Maybe your day runs like a clock — everything is scheduled, planned and prepared for. Or maybe your days are more spontaneous — you don’t even know where you are going when you get behind the wheel. For most of us, it’s something in between. There’s a plan, and we often stick (mostly) to it, but there are some impromptu curveballs that must be addressed. This can, undoubtedly, get stressful — and where there is stress there can be poor coping decisions.
You may think you are far too busy to go to the gym, make a home cooked meal or soak in a warm bubble bath everyday— and some days you are right. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make time for health and happiness. You can incorporate simple, quick and easy head-to-toe health strategies everyday without adding hours to your calendar. Best off all, these tips are totally flexible, so even if an unexpected deadline comes up you can still make you a major priority.
Weekly Meal Prep
Meal prep is a growing trend among busy families and professionals to ensure they have quick access to healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One day a week, you should set aside two to three hours to cook and store all your meals for the week. Even though you’ll be eating roughly the same types of food each day for the week, you can get surprisingly creative. Meal prep not only saves time, but it saves calories as well. By using measuring cups and a digital scale to focus on portion control, you can manage the number of calories you consume each meal, which is ideal for people trying to manage their weight, train for a running or biking event or want to eliminate certain foods from their diet. If meal prep still takes too much time, let food delivery services such as Blue Apron, Home Chef or HelloFresh deliver your ingredients right to your door.
15-Minute Exercise Routines
When you exercise in 15-minute spurts, you can squeeze in two to four workouts throughout the day, eliminating the frustrating interruptions that might prevent you from getting a straight hour in at the gym. Start your day with a 15-minute walk, jog or yoga routine. Not only will this give your metabolism a healthy boost, but it will also help your mind get ready to navigate stress and anxiety with more ease. When you have extra time in-between meetings, you can pull out some dumbbells and do 15 minutes of circuit-training ladder exercises. During another break, consider a cardio blast with HIIT or Tabata-style exercises. Another great way to sneak in some quick fitness — walk the dog. Close out your day with a post-dinner stroll with man’s best friend.
Balance Social and Solo
Spending time with friends and family can bring essential balance into our lives. Humans are social creatures and we often don’t realize how much we need the support of our social circles. That being said, we also need downtime to recharge and recover. Part of a healthy and happy life is not overcommitting. If you struggle to strike a balance between social and solitude, then you may want to be more proactive about your time commitments. For example, schedule in a few solo date nights where you take yourself to a movie, read a good book in a local park or enjoy a leisurely bike ride. Also, when you are out and about with friends, choose locations that are comfortable and fit your style — like chatting in a coffee shop versus dancing in a nightclub.
Roughly 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—that’s almost 10 million, or 4.0 percent —experiences a serious mental health condition that can seriously limit their ability to enjoy — or even participate in — some of their favorite life activities. Making a happy and healthy life a priority may not be easy all the time, but if you try out some of these simple tips it doesn’t have to be hard.