5 Ways to Carve Time Out for Your Health
One of the biggest barriers to living a healthy lifestyle I hear people complain about is TIME.
- "Yes, I know eating at home is healthier, but I don't have time to cook."
- "I don't know how to cook."
- "I don't have time to exercise."
- "I'm too tired to cook when I get home."
- "I can't get 8 hours of sleep with all the chores I have to do."
I totally understand. I don't love to cook a full meal at the end of the day, and working out for an hour a day isn't what I want to do when I'm tired. However, I want you to know that TIME isn't your barrier. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day, and it's your choice how you spend this time.
If you prioritize your health as important to you, you will make the time to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are my top tips on finding time for health.
1. Take Inventory on your Time Now
How do you spend your days currently? Do you wake up late, then rush around all morning trying to get to work at home? Do you stop for breakfast, or go out for your meals? What do you do when you get home?
The big question - How much time do you spend on social media like Facebook or email? It's probably a few hours a day. Ask yourself:
- How can you better spend your time?
- How do you want to spend your time?
- How will you make time for those activities?
If you want to spend your time doing yoga, cooking at home, or getting more sleep, you will need to find space in your schedule. Take a look at the activities that don't add value to your life, especially if you tend to over-commit yourself and say yes to all events. It's okay to say no.
2. Meal Plan & Preparation Time
By far, one of the best ways to save time, money, and have healthy food available, is by using a meal plan and preparing food on the weekend. One day a week, take time to create a meal plan that works for you, grocery shop, then prepare food. If you're signed up for my email newsletter (here), you'll get a free meal planning sheet to use today. Otherwise, it will be on my website in the next few weeks!
Take time to make breakfasts like a baked egg dish or egg muffins, roast up a squash or a bunch of veggies, chop veggies, mix together a big salad, or make a large soup or stew. If you take the few hours on the weekend to prepare food for the week, it will be in your fridge when you get home after a long day. It will be available to grab a quick breakfast, or have meals to pack for lunch. It also saves your time for cooking during the week and prevents food waste. If you want ideas, head on over to Lindsay's weekly food prep blogs.
3. Move More
You don't have to exercise to be active. I would argue moving more during the day is MORE important than doing a strenuous workout for half-hour a day.
Research shows that sitting more can shorten the length of your life and contributes to risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, weight management, and just general health. I know if I sit all day, I get so tired compared to if I'm up and moving around. The harmful effects of sitting are not counteracted with daily exercise. Those who exercise daily still need to move during the whole day.
Move more by getting out of your chair and walking around. Take a break from work and do a set of squats or jumping jacks. Take short walks during the day. Take walking meetings. Use a standing or treadmill desk. You could use a FitBit or pedometer to monitor your daily steps.
4. Give yourself a Bedtime
Seriously, we're sleep deprived in this country. If I get poor sleep, I'm cranky and exhausted. Good sleep is essential for health to recover and rejuvenate. We need to love our bodies enough to let them rest, rebuild, and refresh. Just think about how you feel after an amazing night of sleep!
Set an alarm for your new bedtime, and use it. I try to be in bed by 9:30, so I can read for a little before getting to sleep, and I get around 8 hours of sleep nearly every night. If you're reading this late at night, I'm lovingly asking you to stop, and head to bed!
5. Make Time for Yourself
Give yourself self-care and self-love time, whether that's a bubble bath, yoga, reading, or a girls' night out. When you take time for yourself, you're able to refresh and re-energize, so you have energy to give to others. You should have time to get to know and take of yourself in order to be your best self at work, home, and with others.
Make a list of your favorite self-care activities, and schedule it into your day. This should be non-negotiable!