Life these days has become as fast-paced as it can get. Balancing work life and social life, along with a family has become a full-time job with no time to spare in between.
With so many things on the plate, staying healthy gets pushed down to the bottom of the list of priorities. Jumping from one responsibility to another leaves no time for any personal improvement.
A consistently busy schedule is not only physically strenuous but also mentally taxing, making it all the more important to take some time out for our health.
People take their health for granted because they assume that it’s the least important matter on their to-do list, since it offers no immediate tangible rewards.
But avoiding caring for your well-being comes at a steep cost. In addition to causing mental and physical ailments, failing to prioritize your health directly affects your productivity at work and the quality of your social life.
You can’t work your way through your to-dos if you are feeling sick. An oft-neglected aspect of your overall health is mental health. Only in the UK, 70 million workdays are lost due to mental health problems.
Now that you know about the disruptions of ill health on your busy schedule, it’s important to know how you can balance staying healthy along with everything else on your plate.
Here are some tips to help you stay healthy when you have a busy schedule:
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is especially important for people with a non-sedentary lifestyle or work requirements.
Construction workers or healthcare professionals, especially those leading a team of nurses, should pay special attention to their water intake to effectively fulfill their duties and stay healthy.
Keeping yourself hydrated is integral to a healthy and functional body. No matter how busy you are, you should develop a habit to drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
Drinking that much water regularly may sound like a lot at first, but if you incorporate the habit with time, you will see an improvement in your energy levels, health, and appearance.
Keep a graded water bottle at your desk to remind yourself of your last intake and encourage yourself to drink more.
2. Get Enough Sleep
When projects pile up and deadlines loom over your head, the first thing that usually gets scrapped is sleep.
Pulling consecutive all-nighters may help you meet a few deadlines, but in the long term, it increases your stress and fatigue levels while lowering your patience levels, causing you to be irritable and less fun to be around.
Sleeping not only provides a much-needed respite from a jam-packed schedule but is also highly imperative for a functional body.
According to NIH, sleep deprivation is linked to a plethora of chronic health issues, like obesity, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
So, make sure that you get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to stay healthy and in good spirits.
3. Avoid Ultra-Processed Food
You are what you eat. It’s common knowledge that a balanced diet full of the macro and micro nutrients improves gut health, while a diet that consists mainly of added sugars, hydrogenated fats, and starches does the opposite.
Yet, people tend to incline toward fast-food options and unhealthy snacks, why? The simple answer is lack of time.
People these days simply do not have enough time to shop for a healthy meal and then cook it. Busy schedules steer people toward more time-effective fixes, like fast food.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that hard to consume cooked food in a workplace. Adopt any of the following practices to eat healthier when you’re pressed for time:
- Search for restaurants or food joints near your office that serve freshly cooked food
- Prepare your own meals and bring them to your workplace in Tupperware
- Employ services of a food delivery company that prepares and delivers cooked meals
4. Stay Active
A sedentary lifestyle is the primary cause of many health issues. You don’t need to run a marathon to stay fit – you only need to move.
When it comes to staying active, the key factors are incremental growth and consistency. Mark your starting point, and every day, try to do better than your previous mark.
Transitioning to an active life can be a tedious process – follow the advice listed below to make it easier on yourself:
- On the night before your run, take out your running clothes and put them beside you on the bed
- If you are glued to your desk, set timely alarms to take a short 5-minute walk
- If you cannot take frequent walks, try to do simple stretches right at your work station
These tips will make it easier for you to develop an active lifestyle and stick to it.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
After a day of back-to-back meetings and countless errands, a warm meal in a cozy bed with your favorite show sounds like a real treat.
But what if you resisted that temptation for a while and indulged in something else. Something that is not only relaxing but also rewarding. That’s where self-care comes in.
Self-care is far more than indulging in your guilty foods or trying out an extensive skincare routine. It can be anything that truly resonates with your soul and makes you feel cared for.
Every day, try to take out some time to practice self-care. Not only will it make you feel good but it will also boost your self-esteem and make you value your own company.
6. Reduce Stress
Work environments often induce stress, especially if they are toxic. Work factors like a pay cut, job security, uncooperative peers, and strict bosses also cause our stress levels to spike.
Stress could also come from certain family and personal situations. No matter the circumstances that lead to stress, it is highly important to manage it and keep it within healthy limits.
Try the following methods to manage your stress:
- Communicate your concerns respectfully, but assertively
- Meditate everyday
- Meet your deadlines
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and other drugs
- Set realistic goals and expectations
- Avoid obsessing over control
Our lives have become busier and our surroundings have become highly stimulating, making our days seem shorter than they actually are. Often, there’s too much to do in a very little amount of time. Taking some time out for healthy activities amidst such a busy schedule may seem impossible but with the suggestions given above, it can be done effectively. Prioritizing your health will make sure that you have the right mind and an able body to tackle all your challenges in the best way possible.