Black hair dye dripping down my forehead, sipping on a smoothie for a hands-free breakfast while designing a flyer for my church ministry with an audio book for my graduate class plays in the background and notifications popping off on my phone. Sometimes life is crazy like this, a compilation of responsibilities and unexpected, critical situations. We all have seasons of busy, so how do we sustain healthy lifestyles and find balance despite non-stop, 20-hour days? Here are 4 tips:
- Sleep. Back in November my doctor asked me “are you getting enough sleep?” I laughed a nervous laugh as my mind was flooded with images of 20-hour days and the ridiculous list of reminders in my phone. Blah blah blah you do all that you can to make provision for a good amount of sleep. I can’t make hours magically appear, but I can make it restful. No counting and obsessing about how many hours I’m not getting. No to-do lists for tomorrow. Phone off. Mind off. Sleep.
- Meal Prep. This keeps me focused throughout the week. Best tip: cut up all veggies at the same time & divide them out. If I don’t prep my meals then subway salads turn into “Yes, cheese. Just today.” That turns into “meh, I’ll grab a schwarma. Just today.” The lack of planning is no good.
- Stretching & Exercise. I’ve moved from comparing my exercise schedule with other people or what I’ve done in the past. I know for certain that I have more energy when I move and stretch. So I fit it in as often as I can. This consists of 15 minutes on my exercise bike while I catch up on emails or sneaking off to do squats and stretches in the kitchen at work. The bottom line is that I know that I need it and that the regimented morning workout schedule will return in a few weeks. For now, I keep doing what I can. The key is to keep doing.
- Mindset. This is the most important so of course I left it for last. What kills energy? Comparisons, complaining, and hopelessness. I have important things to do (and so do you)! Many versions of this arrogant [prideful] meme have been floating around:
I’d like to quote this frequent phrase of my sister (shoutout Nay-Nay) “how is that helpful?” Comparing my life to someone else zaps energy. I’m more busy because of ____. No. Just stop (very counselor of me, I know). And complaining. Yes, I definitely need to talk to others when life gets unbearable but lamenting on social media or whining to every ear that passes my way is not helpful. Also, our hearts and minds scream for hope! “One day it won’t be this busy…My busy season has a purpose…I’m serving others with my busy life.” Whatever the hope, we can remind ourselves of why we are busy.
So, despite this season of loco, I’m working to sustain a healthy lifestyle and find balance. What is working for you? Let us know in the comments!