Working self-care into a busy schedule sometimes seems impossible.
How am I supposed to really carve out time to exercise after a long day at work?
Can I really meal prep healthy meals for a whole week?
When will I ever find the time to try something new for myself?
These are a few of the questions we ask ourselves when we’re on the daily grind.
If we’re being completely honest, the way we look at self-care as a privilege and not a right is one of the main reasons why we struggle to include it in our busy schedules.
But really, the opposite is true: self-care isn’t something to simply include in your life, it’s a core function of it!
However, everything is perfect in theory, but not always, in reality, so don’t feel too bad if you’ve been lagging on creating and building healthy habits.
With all of this in mind, maybe it’s also time to take a different, more realistic approach to take good care of yourself when life is too busy.
Don’t know where to start? Let me walk you through some key points and solutions.
Eating Healthy — Create the convenience you desire, don’t look for it.
Recently, tons of people have been completely turned off by the idea of meal-prepping, and it’s completely understandable.
So many of us believe that it’s time-consuming and unrealistic for the lives we live.
However, it’s definitely time to shift the perspective.
Because let’s be honest here—genuinely healthy foods are rarely found in convenient packaging.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t turn this into an easy and convenient experience for yourself. So, get creative.
Instead of trying to make 3 or 4 different meals in one day and package them away for the week, just focus on the essential elements.
Chop your vegetables for meals in advance, and then place them in the fridge for whenever you need them; Portion out a week’s worth of snacks into baggies so they’re ready to grab on the go; or even get into the art of making one-pot meals for quick, healthy cooking.
Just find a couple hours out of one day of the week to help yourself make life a little easier, and I promise it’ll make all the difference.
Building Routines — You’re too busy to reinvent the wheel. So don’t try!
Way too often, we believe that building healthy routines means we have to overhaul our entire life and this isn’t exactly true. We’re not going to turn into yogis who juice every morning, workout every evening, and jump into new wellness routines overnight.
Let’s call the idea that we can live a completely different life today than we did yesterday, exactly what it is: unrealistic. Change takes time, and that includes your daily habits.
So instead of trying to reinvent the wheel as a whole, simply make small changes and alterations until you notice some big results. Now, this is going to take more time and commitment, but you did say you were busy right? So you can probably afford to slow it down, anyway!
The easiest way to implement healthy habits into a busy schedule is by altering your current habits before you develop new ones. Some examples of this:
- Journaling your feelings before bed.
- Swapping out your daily products for healthier versions (i.e. investing in natural deodorant or using reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones)
- Gradually cutting back on sugar and salt.
- Walking to nearby places instead of driving your car.
Make small improvements every day and then give yourself 3 months. I can confidently guarantee you’ll notice some major changes in your life.
Physical Activity & Body Love — Aim for quality, not quantity.
Fitness is certainly not a priority when you’re busy. Yes, we might know how important it is, but that doesn’t mean other important things in our lives don’t come first. We have jobs, children, daily self-care, and a whole host of other responsibilities that make it difficult.
That’s why it’s key to remember that exercise, as well as other body-love like stretching, yoga, and even sleep, is all about quality more than they are about quantity.
If you feel like you need to workout for 90 minutes every day after sleeping for 12 hours and going for a run just this morning— oh baby, you are so far from the truth!
It’s not about the number of minutes and hours you put into your physical routine, it’s about the quality of effort.
An intense 15 minute workout right before work is better than a lazy, half-effort hour long one.
A solid, interruption-free 6 hours of sleep is better than 10 hours of tossing and turning. Do you catch my drift?
You don’t have to feel the pressure of managing a busy schedule along with superwoman-levels of productivity.
It’s simply unnecessary. Do what you can, when you can, but always remember to make it your best effort.