Having a newborn about 3 weeks ago and an active 17 month old is proof in itself that you never HAVE time to keep up with healthy living you have to MAKE time. With Emma (my 17 month old) I constantly felt so busy and pressed for time but despite the time constraints I committed to a healthy lifestyle for both myself and my family. All I could think about during the end of my last pregnancy was “Oh man how the heck will I be able juggle all of this in addition to a newborn?” There was definitely feelings of anxiety, panic and not to mention self-doubt… how was I going to do this!?!? Needless to say my son was born and extra time did not come wrapped in a little gift box with ribbon. What I feared was impossible was indeed difficult but nevertheless POSSIBLE. I had to make time… for everything especially maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The only way that was getting done was to better MANAGE absolutely everything. I had to take a break… put a pause on everything that didn’t matter like the pile of dishes in my sink and make a plan. I then realized and hope you will too that there is nothing in your present day life you cannot handle nor manage. The real question here is are you managing it? Are you even trying to OR are you just going with the motions, going through the day to day feeling uncontrolled and losing your mind? Once we manage ourselves by better managing our time, we can dominate whatever life may hand us… we can manage anything and everything. When we are in control of our own lives we feel good… we feel resourceful and that in turn allows everything else to fall into place. It may not be easy. Some habits may need to be broken and new ones created, some things put on pause and others started and some excuses will need to be let go while reasons to make a change are more clearly defined. However it does start with you. Incorporating a healthy living that consists of clean nutrition, physical activity and freedom from stress into your hectic lifestyle is where it begins. Below are a few suggestions to change your perspective and set you up for success to better manage healthier living.
Change the Conversation
We have enough of the outside world telling us what we need, what we are not doing, where we lack, what we need to do to be good parents and so on. Your own voice does not need to chime in with more negativity or more importantly with excuses for why you cannot make time for what’s important. If you constantly tell yourself you do not have time to be healthy then hey that will sadly always be your reality. A simple change in your self-talk will make a heap of a difference. It takes a transition from the overused “I don’t have time” excuse to a solution based comment such as “where can I make an adjustment/change in my day to day so I have time”. If your self-talk is action orientated you will find that it changes your thought process and that is what leads to effective changes in detrimental behavior.
Assess Your Day to Day
Okay so we’ve switched up the conversations that holds us back from healthier living. The next step is self-assessment. Make (notice I didn’t say find) some time to sit down and write out your day to day. Define your current schedule, priorities and responsibilities in detail. What do you spend the most time on? What can be done more effectively? What on my day to day isn’t much of a priority and can wait? Where is there time each day to fit in at least 20-30 min of physical activity 4-5x a week? When is a good day to do clean food shopping and prep for the week? What makes me feel the most stress? The answers to these questions allow for you to not only create an actualized schedule for yourself but it also allows you to eliminate what isn’t a priority and what doesn’t contribute to your overall wellness and ability to manage healthier living.
Setup for Success
“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”. In your assessment you ask “what can be done more effectively”…. really hone in on this one! When you put away the groceries are you squeezing in time to prep then and there so you don’t have to do this later? Have you researched the healthiest and most convenient foods on the go and stocked your fridge and cabinets? I personally like to buy on the go portion containers and fill them for the next 2-3 days with clean meals so I don’t have to worry. You can throw the proper measuring cups/spoons in a box of oatmeal, bag of chia seeds, snacks and anything else that makes it easier to grab and go. Portion out some snacks for the week and put them in baggies. Portion out meals and leave them ready in your fridge to grab and go. Surround your social media with healthy living content. Cater to your schedule by choosing a workout you can realistically do with the allotted time you have. Write down your meals and physical activity regimen for the week with exact times and treat it as appointments that cannot be missed. Preventative management is more successful than reactive management when trying to actualize time for healthier living.
What Can Wait Should Wait
If it doesn’t contribute to your overall wellness then it can wait. Don’t let the small things like cleaning, laundry or errands take over what’s most important…. Your well-being. Too often we become too comfortable with using these excuses as a crutch. When changing the conversation you have with yourself slowly begin dropping some of these excuses. Also, some of us tend to overcommit to duties or responsibilities even when time does not permit for such commitments. Please remember that sometimes it’s OKAY TO SAY NO. What you gain is usually more than what will be lost. When you are better able to manage yourself you are of more use to others anyway. If you do not have time for other obligations then commit when time DOES permit. If in order to accomplish this some things need to be put on the back burner then so be it!
I hope some of this content helps and please don’t be so hard on yourself. We tend to be our worst critics. Take an internal inventory of all you are and have been able to do and appreciate your mind body and spirit for all it’s done. Commit to treating the three better if you can use improvement in that department and maintain a well-balanced healthy lifestyle. You cannot be resourceful to anyone at home work or anywhere else if you are not resourceful to yourself. Stay Well.