Carolina Poli, a certified health coach, knows from experience how hard it is to always have a packed schedule. She shares her top six tips for busy people to stay healthy and happy, even with the chaos of family and work.
Whether you have young kids or a busy work schedule, it can be really challenging to find time to take care of ourselves - I know from experience. Sometimes, we feel we don't need to, or that we don’t deserve it, and sometimes we just don’t have the time for self-care (of course!). However, as a certified health coach, wife, and mom of two little boys, I’ve learned the hard way: if I don’t prioritize my health and happiness, nobody else will do it for me.
After my first son came along, the new reality of being a mom hit me hard. I had no energy, no time, and I wasn’t being able to connect to myself. I felt like I lost myself trying to embrace so much change. All I wanted was to find a way to take care of myself the same way I was taking care of my growing family.
Although it didn’t happen overnight, I was able to find a few ways to incorporate healthy habits back into my life. I ate nourishing food and supported my body so that I could perform at my best capacity; I believe that when you are healthy, everyone wins. So, please, let’s put the focus back on you!
Here are 6 ways for busy people to stay healthy despite all the daily demands:
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays an important role in our overall health. It helps boost our mood, reduces stress, and repairs and recharges our bodies - both mentally and physically. Although the recommendation for adequate sleep is believed to be between seven and nine hours per night, we know that this ‘ideal’ number may not always be the case for parents. So, when it comes to sleep, my approach is simple: try and get to bed at a decent time every night. That way, your body can have a good chance of getting some much deserved, and needed, rest. The next day, the everyone will appreciate your more relaxed and patient attitude.
Meal Prep or Simply Meal Plan... as much as you can
With so many activities on the weekend, it’s not always realistic to fit a few hours of meal prepping into our my family's schedule. However, when I do take the time to meal prep, the everyone eats so much better during the week. Even just planning ahead and knowing what we will be eating during that week is a huge help in keeping me on track for healthy meals. I like to cook what is season as much as possible, so I always try and take my kids for a fun Saturday stroll at our local farmers’ market.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Even mild dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, and lack of energy. With so many things on our plate on a daily basis, drinking water can seem like one more task, but it is one of the most important. I have personally always struggled to drink 2L of water a day, so I try to commit to 1L of water before 10AM and will spread the remaining amount throughout the day, sometimes through juices and teas. If you’re struggling to know whether or not you’re hydrated, check out this blog post!
Cut Back on Sugar
The more you eat sugar, the more you crave it. This vicious cycle can cause illness and an overall feeling of exhaustion. Furthermore, eating too much processed sugar can lead to weight gain. Try switching sugary snacks for fresh fruits or dates. It might not be easy in the beginning, but once you pass the first days without sugar, the cravings will stop and you will certainly feel a difference in your energy levels. A daily dose of apple cider vinegar mixed in warm water can also help with sugar cravings.
We all know that exercise is good for our body, but don’t forget that it is also amazing for our mental health! Daily activity can increase your energy levels, boost your mood, and help you sleep better. Try to find an activity that you really love so it doesn’t feel like you’re dragging yourself to the gym every day. Schedule your classes in advance and stay committed, like it’s a very important meeting! It that can become your ‘me’ time, helping you connect to yourself and recharge your battery.
Have a Back-Up Plan of Healthy Meals
Having a fridge stocked up with meals that I prepared during the weekend is my ideal situation. But, let’s be honest... That does not happen all the time. However, during the weeknight when hunger hits and I’m just too busy, or too tired to cook, there is nothing better than discovering one of Splendid Spoon’s containers of soup in my fridge. I love the fact that they are made with fresh and organic ingredients. Also, they feel and look homemade, but are sent to you, ready to be enjoyed in a convenient, very healthy meal.