I have found, the more I dive into the business world and going after my dreams, the harder it is to find balance and control over my health. Loving what you do can be all consuming and so fun, but it is important to find a sense of control and hold on your health. Taking care of ourselves can especially be pushed under the rug during crazy weeks and lots of deadlines.
While working, traveling, and stressing out last year I gained weight, felt sluggish, and really out of control of my own well-being. This is not abnormal for anyone who begins a business, starts a new job, and/or is thrown in a new direction in life. During my own time of craziness, I crafted a couple ways to make myself feel better, think differently about my time, and still find a way to care for myself.
Today, I wanted to start the month off with these 5 things, that may seem small, but have made a huge difference in my life. They have helped me to feel healthy, energized, and to stay fit even when I am working 80+ hours.
1. Use Your Off-Time Wisely:
When I find myself with an insane week ahead and I know there is a possibility of just caving to bad foods, I try to focus on preparation for what is ahead. This means I spend about 5 hours on my Sunday running to the grocery store and prepping food for the week ahead. I stock the fridge with fresh veggies and fruits that are easy to have on hand. This means you will find piles of apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and other grab-and-go items that provide nutrients and are not processed but instead whole foods. I also make a healthy, simple soup (such as this one, this one, or this one), they make a great quick lunch that doesn’t result in me eating something I will regret. Stress eating can be very harmful and really cause problems, especially over a period of time. Then I line up 5 SUPER simple dinner recipes that force me away from the office, but only for enough time to clear my head. Finally, I try to prep a few jars of juice as well. This means if lunch is not going to happen, I can still get all my nutrients from a great green juice. Preparation can mean the difference between eating poorly and eating healthy even amongst the insanity. Focusing on getting as many raw nutrients you can when you are under stress will help you stay awake, aware, and focused. Fuel your body properly.
2. 10 Minute Workouts:
We all know that when things hit the fan, hitting the gym can be hard, but the 10 minute workout sessions from the guy behind P90x are great. He is super annoying, but the workouts are great. Once you’ve done the workouts enough, I suggest putting him on mute and putting on a great playlist :). We CAN all find 10 minutes in our day, no matter how intense it gets. What I have found that even 10 minutes a day in a stressful week can make a huge difference in my body. Sneak it in just before you warm up your soup for lunch or first thing when you wake up in the morning before you shower. Working out keeps you mentally stimulated and you will feel good about your body during the day as well. Working out also increases endorphins, which can fend off stress and also bring confidence to your day. I highly suggest buying these or even using this app on your iPad as well. The little things can make a huge difference.
3. Stay Hydrated:
When I am working I try super hard to work with a bottle of water next to me. Staying hydrated means healthy skin and less cravings for bad things. Also to keep from drinking too much alcohol, which can be a major downfall when I am stressed. I instead keep the fridge stocked with sparkling water and limes, it makes me think I am having a G&T, without the calories or headaches. I also try to eliminate caffeine during the hard times, I know that sounds insane, but really it will help. If you need your fix, opt for herbal tea or even green tea. They will not spike the caffeine levels in your body and leave you with the slump a few hours later.
4. Make Lists and Stay Organized:
To make sure you are not overworking yourself or spending too much time at the computer beyond what is necessary, focus on making lists that are organized by delivery dates, client, and necessity to feeling successful that week. By doing this it will keep you on task and focused, which insure that you am not wasting time where you don’t need to. This means you can finish faster and get more sleep or spend a little time doing something for myself. Those things make for great rewards when you thought you would never get a chance to grab that time with a friend or get a moment to enjoy the outdoors that week.
5. Sleep Whenever Possible:
A crazy week can mean late nights and early mornings. A very wise business owner friend of ours, who also travels a ton, once told me that whenever possible get sleep as much as you can and rest your eyes when you can’t. This means that by helping myself stay focused results in more sleep that week than I expected and less dark circles under my eyes. I do not allow myself guilt for taking 3 hour naps midday if I stayed up late to finish something, slept for 3-4 hours, and presented at 9 Am the next day. For instance, after we launched Obaby, Mike and I took showers and then went to bed without guilt and slept till we woke up 5 hours later. You have to give your body what it needs in order to restore itself again.
These are all ways I have found to keep that feeling of clarity, positivity, and control over your health in check during some very stressful weeks and even months. I have wasted too many hours that could have been better spent asleep or in a yoga class. As part of making both myself and our business better I have tried to make all these things a part of my work week. Learning to value the small things in your health can make for a larger successes down the road. When you feel in control of your health and don’t feel as if you are sacrificing yourself, even during times of stress in your work, it means you will be more confident in what you do as well as feel confident to set bigger goals for yourself.
What are ways that you have found to help yourself stay healthy when your week feels out of control?