The world is fast-paced and constantly changing. Careers, family, school, and relationships might pull you in several directions, making it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, regular exercise schedule, and adequate sleep. However, all these things are important in order to achieve your own best health.
So, how can you maintain a healthy routine when life seems too hectic? First, look at your day-to-day life right now. Do you have a consistent routine? Do you wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends)? Do you eat meals at the same time, exercise on a schedule, and go to sleep at the same time each day? When building your healthiest routine, it’s best to start with those simple actions. Taking the time to schedule out mealtimes and time for exercising can help you make them a priority. However, try not to over-schedule your routine. Avoid packing too many actions into your day or being so strict that you do not allow any flexibility. Be sure to schedule some time to relax and decompress each day to avoid burnout.
We asked some of our employees how they maintain balance and a routine in their daily life. One of their top tips was to make healthy, delicious meals ahead of time. “Every two days, I cook a big meal and then portion it out to eat for the next two days. It helps to not have to worry about cooking every day!” recommends one employee. However, be careful not to cook one big meal and portion it out for a whole week. Even if refrigerated, micro-mold may start to grow in cooked food after about 48 hours.
“I like to incorporate a 10-minute light yoga routine into my mornings. It feels great to get the blood moving just a bit and to practice mindful breathing,” recommends another employee. She even keeps a yoga mat at work for this very purpose: “I might use part of my morning break to get these stretches in.”
But what can you do when life gets really hectic? You might be faced with a situation where you have less control over your surroundings. Events such as traveling to visit family, working extended hours, going on business trips, or planning and attending a big event can all lead to disruptions in your daily routine. These disruptions may be short-term, or they can require you to change your schedule drastically for a few days. These disruptions can throw your mealtimes, sleep schedule, and exercise routine completely out of order.
Our employees weighed in on their routines during busy times in their lives as well. One employee recommends using modern conveniences to save time: “If I know I have a busy week coming up, I plan easy meals ahead and even order groceries online. It saves me time from going to the grocery store, plus I don’t purchase anything that I don’t need.”
Another employee discussed her efforts to reign in technology: “I try to set limits on the amount of screen time I have, and I make an effort to get outside every day for some fresh air. I also set a timer for work and a timer for play, so that I know when to look away from the computer.”
When you are faced with a disruption to your schedule, tackle the problem head-on. Look at the disruption carefully to see if it can be moved to a more convenient time or divided between several days. If it cannot be changed, maintain your structure by prioritizing the aspects of your schedule that most benefit you. For instance, you might skip a workout on a day with a big event planned, but you can carefully plan your meals to compensate. Likewise, if going to the gym is a priority because it allows you to de-stress, you might opt for quicker meals in order to have enough time to get a workout in. Planning these events in advance can help you handle disruptions better.
Returning to your routine after these disruptions is the most important thing. If you take a vacation, be sure to jump straight back into your daily routine once you’ve returned home. Establishing a healthy routine can help you live a healthier, more enjoyable life, but the routine will only work if you stick to it!