I can’t believe how long my list is today but after I eat breakfast, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, finish up the laundry, empty the dish washer, I will get to the list. Before I do all of this, I just need to quickly check my text messages, email messages, and social media. I’ll get to the list soon.
Do you ever have days like this?
Juggling work, family, and the home can be very exhausting but it doesn’t have to be. We procrastinate as soon as we get up in the morning and the longer we put off our actions, the harder it is to concentrate to get through our busy days. So how do we figure everything out and get everything accomplished?
Read these tips to help you create a sense of balance in a busy world.
1. Change Your Focus
We say it’s human nature to always think about the negative. Why is it when we are put into a situation of some bad news, we tend to completely focus on the bad instead of all the good that surrounds us. Our negative and positive thoughts are constantly battling it out in our heads and we allow the negative thoughts and ideas to take over our lives. ‘You are what you think’ really does have some meaning as when we think about the bad thoughts we don’t let in the good thoughts. It’s a vicious cycle.
In busy times, shifting our perception of seeing the upside of things can do wonders. Instead of saying, ‘this workout is too hard or ‘I can’t change the way that I eat’, change the wording to something that is positive like ‘I love challenging myself’ or ‘I enjoy trying new foods.’ Too often I hear negative words from clients that constantly say ‘I can’t’ and they end up giving up on their goals. By shifting their mindset and the words they use, not only do they reach their goals but they stick with them.
A tip that I use with clients is to have a positive word or phrase on hand to use when they start with the negative jargon. I get them to replace the negative words with the positive words regardless if they say it or think it. After thinking and saying these words over and over, you actually start to believe what you’re saying and your focus has changed to that of something positive.
2. Lose the Guilt
You can’t be everything to everyone. We live in a society where instant gratification is often requested by many. When was the last time you put away your cell phone to just go and take a moment for yourself or spend some quality time with your friends or family? Remember the days when there were no cell phones and people had to wait to get a response from us? Sometimes giving ourselves permission to take a break is not selfish but selful.
We cannot take care of others if we can’t take care of ourselves first.
We have to learn to let go of the guilt that sometimes as we can’t always accomplish everything we want to in a day. If the ‘to do’ lists don’t get completed, it’s ok. Take a breath and relax. It’s not the end of the world.
3. Get Active
Getting our bodies active is a way to relieve tension and stress. It pre-occupies our minds from the day’s challenges ahead. Working out doesn’t mean that you have to have a gym membership or set aside an hour of your day, it simply means to get the body moving so that you can mentally re-charge your body and mind. Getting away from your desk to simply go outside for a walk even for 5 minutes can do wonders for your creativity and actually help you get more accomplished.
Many of my clients struggle with balancing trying to find extra time in their busy days with work and family demands. How do I help them? I simply point out ways to get active without them even realizing they are working out.
1. Have you tried parking further away in the parking lot at work?
2. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator? If you work on the 21st floor, take the elevator to the 15th floor and walk up from there.
3. If you have stairs in your house, run up them for a few minutes.
4. Helping you children with homework? Try some squats and lunges on the spot.
5. Taking your children to the playground? You can chase them around the playground or create your own playground workout.
6. Go to the bathroom at work? Take the long way or go to the bathroom on a different floor and take the stairs.
7. Go outside for a walk at lunch and take your lunch with you.
I think you’re getting the idea. There are lots of ways to get active but you have to make the decision to get active and moving. If it’s important enough to you, you will find time.
4. You Are What You Eat
If you read my blogs, you know that what you put into your body can impact your energy level significantly. Creating more energy for yourself allows you to accomplish more things in a day. You might think that the shot of caffeine or sugar you are getting in those energy drinks and sodas are providing you with some instant energy, but they are actually making you more tired and helping you gain weight.
Many processed foods are loaded with saturated fat and high in refined sugar. We need to learn to read the labels on processed foods so we know exactly what we are putting into our bodies. If you have no energy to get your tasks accomplished, then start taking a look at what you are eating. Eating more plant base options and whole foods will provide you with nutrients and vitamins minus the calories.
Who has time to eat healthy food? A response I hear frequently. If you have time to purchase a burger and french fries from a fast food restaurant, then you also have time to purchase a whole wheat pita or sandwich with veggies. The choice is yours. Having healthy food on hand to grab at a moments notice instead of a sugar snack will provide you with that boost of energy that your body is craving especially late in the afternoon.
5. Live in the Moment
Taking “do-nothing” days and staycations are important. All work and no play is not a habit to live by. Acknowledge that down time is good and you will be surprised at how much more things you will get accomplished. Do you constantly think about tasks that are a day away, a week away, a month away? Living in the present helps us establish an awareness of how we are feeling internally, and being able to listen to bodily cues. These cues indicate when you need to make a change in your life or give yourself some relaxation time.
Many people meditate, practice yoga, or simply take a few minutes to go outside and take in a breath of fresh
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well!