So many options, so little time, how do I decide?
There are a millions of ideas of how to become a more healthy version of yourself, I think we can all agree there are no shortage of options available. But let’s be honest, who has the time or energy to invest in trying out all these new concepts? We all live busy lives, filled with our career, kids, grandchildren, partners, friends, volunteering, the list goes on & on. I was asked by a friend, how to become more healthy with the limited time she has available? Here are my go-to’s for simple options that can help shift your overall wellness.
5 Minutes of Movement: I’d love to make a 60-90 minute yoga class a few times a week, but is that possible to fit into my life of raising a family, working full time, going to school and starting a business - for sure not! This brings up a question, what if we reset the exceptions around movement and made it doable in our routine? Look for 5-10 minutes where you can incorporate exercise. If you’re a morning person, sneak in time before the rest of your household is awake. Not a morning person? How about fitting it in between meetings, at lunch or before dinner. If you have young kids, I love the idea of involving them in the goal. Not only do those little ones cling to routines & hold you accountable, but they also see the value of exercise first hand, and see that it’s a priority for you. The same can be said for a partner; the best way to motivate someone else to adopt positive routines is to do it for yourself and for them to see how great you feel. So go easy on yourself, start at 5 minutes and see where it leads you.
Meditation, Breath Work and Stillness: In all candor this has been one of the toughest routines for me to explore and stick with. It’s not for lack of interest or desire, but for me it can be the easiest thing to push off the to-do list each day. However, once I was able to ease up on my perfectionist ways, and realize that I didn’t have to find the perfect meditation practice and stick to it daily, it all shifted for me. I learned when I was gentler with myself, and able to step back to see that tiny changes could have an amazing change, it has become far more achievable. Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious? Try taking 10 slow deep breaths, breathing as slowly as possible on the inhale and exhale (ideally to a count of 8) and explore how this can reset your feelings. If you are curious about meditation, or find consistency challenging, I have two suggestions. First, schedule it on your calendar. If you have an appointment scheduled you’re far less likely to deny yourself the time. Personally my favorite time to enjoy stillness & meditation is as I’m waking up in the morning, before I commit to getting out of bed, but am just entering consciousness. I find it to be the easiest time to easily slip into stillness, and those secretive 5 minutes before anyone knows I’m awake are cherished.
Meal Planning & Preparation: My advice in this area is two-fold. First, the more you’re able to plan ahead, the easier having homemade meals will be. Take a look at where preparation would be helpful for your life. You could grocery shopping in bulk for a full week, plan your menu for 3-4 days, or prepare portions of meals on the weekend so its minimal pieces that have to be prepped on the day they’re going to be served. Look at your circumstances and experiments with what time savers could help in your routine, with the goal of enjoying home cooked meals. Secondly, ask for help. Maybe you’re like me, and this doesn’t come easily; I like to think I can do it all, but the reality is that if you’re fortunate enough to have people willing to help you - take them up on it! Can your spouse assist with the grocery shopping or meal prep, can your kids be involved with putting away groceries or cutting veggies, would you try using frozen veggies instead of fresh to make the prep work less? Also, let’s not forget the wonderful digital age we live in. Be honest with yourself, and if using a grocery delivery service would be do-able and save you time, give it a try. My recommendations would be Thrive Market or Instacart. Taking this idea one step further would be the idea of pre-prepped meals, which you could incorporate a few nights a week. Great ones to check out are Hello Fresh and One Potato. The keys is to search for ways to simplify your routine, and ask for help along the way.
I hope these micro steps can help facilitate positive change in your life. If you have other suggestions for ways to incorporate wellness with limited time resources, please comment below, I would love to hear from you!