Time – this may be the biggest challenge in living a healthy life. This is the #1 thing I hear from clients. . .there is no time to eat well, exercise and enjoy family and friends. Balance is a huge struggle for many of us.
We live busy lives. We never have enough time. I am guilty of this too, but I am working on it. Here are some things that I am working on that may help you too. You can cook real food meals and make time for exercise. Use these 6 tips to make room in your schedule to prioritize your health.
1. Involve your Circle. No time to cook because you haven’t seen your family all day? Get your kids (or spouse) involved so you are bonding while you prepare meals. Everyone will learn the value of good health. Haven’t seen your girlfriends in ages? Plan a day to cook or bake together and stock your freezers and pantries for the week ahead. Or take a walk or run together to catch up.
2. Plan. Plan ahead and always prepare more than you need. This is huge because cooking does not have to mean starting from scratch at every meal. Leftover soup, grains, beans or chicken can go a long way in pulling together a quick meal.
3. Keep it simple. Take the pressure off. There are plenty of nights that our ‘home-cooked’ meal includes roasted vegetables, beans, some leftover quinoa, rice, squash or sweet potatoes and I throw some fruit on my kids’ plates. Most of this meal is re-purposed. It’s not exciting. But on a Tuesday night when you get home at 6:30, this works. It’s healthier than frozen pizza! Figure out your easy go-to’s that taste good and be okay with it.
4. No is okay. Start saying no where you can. I am guilty of always saying yes, but I am working to improve. At least buy yourself time before you commit one way or the other. A thoughtful response is better than a quick yes. There was recently a committee at church that I almost signed up for when I realized, there is no way I can do this. I am already borderline overscheduled. Adding one more thing would push me over!
5. Consider Outsourcing. Can you hire someone? It is not financially feasible for all of us to have a live-in chef and maid (wouldn’t that be amazing!), but sometimes there are things you may be able to pay for. Can you pay your teenage neighbor to mow the lawn so you can have family time on Sunday afternoon? Or hire someone to come in once a month for a deep cleaning of your home so you don’t spend so much time scrubbing toilets on the weekend? Or maybe it’s the convenience of pre-sliced fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. I peel and cut butternut squash myself because it’s cheaper and I don’t mind it so much. But if you need the time, buy the cubed squash that you can throw on a baking sheet in 30 seconds!
6. Relax. Your best friends don’t care if your house is overflowing with toys and mail you still need to look through. They come to see you. And they love you anyway. I used to make sure my house was perfection every day. Now I roll with it and try to catch myself when I make apologies for the state of my home. I have three crazy kids and a house full of energy and love. I’m okay with a little mess now and then. (This is a huge one for me because I don’t function well in chaos! But I can let go of some dust.)
Do any of these tips resonate with you? Anything you could start today? If you would love a little more detail on something that stuck out to you as a possibility, contact me. Let me know how I can support you and I will be happy to answer any email question!