Have you allowed “I am just too busy!” to become an excuse for ignoring your body, mind and spirit? It is all to common with today’s hectic modern pace.
To make the most of your day, whether spent with family or while accomplishing your career goals, prioritizing your health is important.
Here are 5 tips to help even the busiest people get wellness back on the menu:
1. Plan Healthy Snacks
It is 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and your “power lunch” just pooped out and you still have three hours to go before the dinnertime meal. At this point, a snack isn’t even optional. Without a plan, you are very likely to grab whatever is around, and chances are, it is going to be junk food out of the vending machine in the break room.
Having an abundance of healthy food choices ready for the inevitable mid-afternoon (or midnight) munchies is one of the best ways to avoid the worst offenders of the modern diet: Greasy potato chips, empty carb filled pastries, and sugar dense candy.
When you sit down to draft up your grocery shopping list, make sure you have a full week of healthy snacks on the menu. That way, when you are hit with an unexpected snack attack, you have a plan.
If you can, make sure each snack includes some protein and healthy fats to increase the staying power of each bite and to prevent blood sugar spikes and dips.
Here are a few great snack ideas:
- Sliced apple with almond butter (or other nut-butter)
- Hummus with veggie sticks
- Avocado and a boiled egg
- Yogurt (low sugar) with fruit
- Nuts and cheese
- Pack a mini salad in a jar of fresh veggies, feta cheese, with extra virgin olive oiland balsamic dressing
2. Integrate Movement into Your Routine
A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post on “The Sitting Disease.”It reviewed some new research that suggests that even with regular schedule exercise, sitting for prolonged periods can independently put people at higher risk for chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
What does this mean for busy people? Well, if you are already up and moving around as part of your work and caregiving responsibilities, you may already have this base covered. (Yay moms!)
However, if you are a desk jockey, integrating movement into your schedule at least once an hour is an important for your overall wellness.
Set an hourly timer and get up and move around for 3-5 minutes. It doesn’t even have to break a sweat. The point isn’t to fit in a mini cardio routine, rather, just get the blood pumping and circulating to reap the health and energy benefits of this micro workout.
Think you don’t have time to move throughout the day? Here are some ideas to dovetail integrated movement with your productivity goals:
- Stand up at your desk while you take phone calls.
- Walk to your colleague’s office rather than sending that email.
- Enlist a friend at work to join you with hourly movement to stay motivated.
- Talk to your HR department about the wellness benefits of a standing desk.
- Take a 5-minute break each hour, walk a few flights of stairs, and enjoy improved energy and focus for the next hour.
3. Self-Care: Make it Mandatory
Busy people tend to be so engaged with what is going on outside themselves that they can miss one of the most important aspects of overall wellness: Self-care.
Making time for ourselves can feel selfish, inefficient or wasteful. Some of us can guilt ourselves out of making time to relax and enjoy the moment. However, no matter how amazing you are, ignoring your own needs is a recipe for poor health, loss of productivity, and ultimately, burnout.
When you fail to take care of yourself, you will eventually let down all of the people that rely on you – a busy person’s worst nightmare. Instead, make self-care an item on your to-do list and bang it out just like you do the rest of your tasks.
What recharges one person’s battery might be exhausting for someone else. Make a list of the activities that make you feel energized, spiritually grounded, and emotionally renewed. As you plan your week, block out at least 4 hours of self-care activities.
One thing all self-care time needs? TURN OFF YOUR PHONE! Give yourself permission to unplug during this valuable opportunity to give yourself a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Here are some ideas to get you started on your list:
- Write a short story
- Outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking or camping
- Gratitude list
- Drawing, painting or other crafts
- Cook some comfort food from your childhood
- Take a free online college class
- Plan a day trip
- Take some photographs
- Get a manicure
- Binge a new show
- Try a new restaurant
- Do something special with your pet
- Fill the tub with a hot bubble bath
4. Multitask: Exercise and Family Time
Teaching the kids to enjoy an active lifestyle can have lifelong benefits for their health. By making the most of your family time with fun activities that get your blood pumping, you are serving two critical needs at once: exercise and family bonding time
Need some ideas? Start by brainstorming with the family to give everyone a chance to put their interests on the table. Try to accommodate a passion to learn whenever possible, for example if one of the kids wants to grow a garden.
Look for those ideas that won’t have a huge upfront investment, so you can test the waters before spending a lot of money. For example, before going all out on overnight camping gear, start with a day trip to the local lake and enjoy a picnic lunch and an afternoon swim.
Want to jumpstart your list? Here are some ideas:
- Find out what programs are offered at your local community center and/or state and national parks. They often offer activities that will get your blood pumping and get the kids learning about something new.
- Take a day trip to the pool or local swimming hole.
- Volunteer at the local Animal Shelter taking the dogs for a walk or playing some fetch outdoors.
- Drive out to the country and pick your own strawberries, blueberries or raspberries at a local fruit farm.
- Work on a project around the house that will get everyone moving while improving your home. Examples include organizing the attic, cleaning out the garage, or throwing a yard sale.
5. Schedule a Visit with an Upper Cervical Care Chiropractor
Your spine is the absolute cornerstone of your central nervous system and it plays a vital role in overall health. At the top of your spine lies the Atlas vertebrae, the most vulnerable bone in the entire spine since it lacks the spinal disks and facet joints that protect the rest of your vertebrae.
The upper neck is also the location of where your brain leaves the skull and transitions to your spinal chord via the lower brain stem. This is the very heart of the nervous system, a vital junction where your brain and the rest of your body communicate with each other.
Improper posture (such as sitting at a desk all day), old injuries, and even everyday wear and tear can create small twists or bends in this area of the spine, blocking the neural highways needed for the optimal functioning of the rest of the body’s systems.
Upper Cervical Chiropractors use the latest in imaging technology to precisely assess any misalignments in this sensitive area. Then they perform gentle micro adjustments to correct these subluxations, working to help the patient hold the correct alignment.
When your spine and neck are in proper alignment the health benefits are wide ranging and include improved digestion, better circulation, optimal immune system response, decreased pain and soreness and even better sleep.
If you happen to live in the greater St. Louis, Glen Carbon or Maryville area, give Upper Cervical Care of Glen Carbon a call today at618-692-6992 to schedule a free consultation.
Our Upper Cervical Chiropractors Drs. Thad Vuagniaux and Matt Strazewski approach health from an overall wellness perspective, helping you prioritize your wellbeing with a focus on restoring your body without overprescribing pharmaceuticals or relying on invasive surgeries. You will be treated like a member of the family by our caring staff of dedicated professionals.