Too busy with the business of life?
In my view our ‘normal’ days are not so normal for our general wellbeing. The culture we live in, to a certain extent, determines how we live our lives from what we eat, when we eat, how we work, the friends we make and how we spend our 'free' time.
I hear this type of tiresome routine from my clients all the time:
- Rudely awakened by your alarm - get up! Start the day!
- Hurry down some toast, (or nothing...!) - run around half asleep trying to remember if you've got everything, everyone and what you need for the day.
- Drink coffee to 'wake up', a quick sandwich from the cafe for lunch, and then too busy to eat until your 10-12 hour day sitting in front of a computer comes to end.
- You pick up a takeaway on the way because you're too tired to shop or cook by the time you get home.
- Watch some TV and head to bed to begin to begin the process for the next day - dread looms.
- You hate your job. Every day!
- And why are you so tired all day?
- Only to then get get your 'second wind' (not sure if you ever had the 'first') at 9pm. Great. Now feeling "tired and wired"!
- Tired mentally, but feel physically you just want to 'sit down' - and your brain is not letting you wind down.
- Toss and turn through the night until the alarm goes off and here you are feeling like you've only had 10 minutes sleep.
And so it goes... on and on and on. It's EXHAUSTING just reading through it! And this example doesn't even factor in family life or small children! How ARE we coping?....
Our demanding, sometimes overwhelming schedules can cause us to shift towards over-drinking or eating for ‘reward or stress relief’. It can lead us to over-working, under-sleeping, under (or over) exercising - yes, too much exercise can be just as bad. And consciously, or not, we're putting our wellbeing at the end of the priority list… We need to squeeze our wellbeing back in so we feel more balanced, positive and empowered to de-clutter our overbooked schedules.
Some ways to start to rebalance
Starting small will lead to great habits - here's a few small changes you can do now that I recommend my clients to start with, and which over time can make a big difference to many factors in your life - like positive physical and mental state, higher energy, increased libido, and more. Every action has a reaction so try to keep it positive:
1. Plan, plan, plan.
Try to plan how the day might go before it starts so you feel you're one step ahead.
Be prepared for almost every situation (might end up stuck in a meeting? Always carry a small bottle of water and some raw nuts to snack on.)
Planning can take time to begin with but then it becomes routine and saves you time in the long run.
Not all plans work out perfectly but if you plan how you will eat well today, how to give yourself 30 minutes for a workout, and plan how you will ensure you'll get to bed early then you're much more likely to achieve these simple yet hugely important goals.
2. Get off the hamster wheel.
Don't try to fit it all in, if you don't have time to exercise during today then DON'T plan for it.
Focus instead on your wellbeing through positive thinking and ensure physical movement DAILY, such as maximum 'incidental' movement, either on your own, as a family or with friends.
Then make time for a more focused exercise routine at the weekends when you might have more time…. Get out, kick a ball, ride bikes, climb trees with the kids - get active - anything!
Unstructured exercise it great.
3. Take it easy on yourself.
Try to prioritise YOU, what's important for you and your health, and make conscious healthy choices that will make you feel good.
If you're wired at the end of day - chill out. But not in-front of another screen, literally 'switch off'.
Listen to music, read a book (not work related), stretch, have a long soak, get some fresh air… anything that winds you down and relaxes the body and the mind before sleep.
Easier said than done? Well start trying some of it out and see how you go… you might surprise yourself!
Thanks for reading, see you next time.
Be Healthy. Be Happy.