If there’s one thing I’ve come to know is that creating healthy habits and sticking to them is extremely difficult especially when you are juggling one hundred things and life is coming at you in ten different directions. Once upon a time before I got married, started working a full time “big girl job” and going to university simultaneously, I worked out religiously and maintained a very healthy lifestyle.
Although I’m only in my late twenties, I’ve come to the realization that my body doesn’t function the way it once did a few years ago. I remember the days when I could eat burgers and fries like it was going out of style and not gain a single pound! I now have to make a conscious effort to watch the foods I eat, drink tons of water and to make sure that I’m moving my body and breaking a sweat regularly.
The hardest part about implementing healthy habits is amount of time, dedication and planning it takes to execute this mastermind plan we have in our heads to be the best version of ourselves! I’m learning not to be so hard on myself so long as I can continue to make small changes daily, my body will thank me and I will reap the long term benefits. I’ve comprised a list of three healthy habits for busy women that can be a great help for those who are looking to make small but significant improvements in their lifestyle and create beneficial routines that will ultimately make you feel and look better (if that is your goal, of course!)
Take Control of Your Day
If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed easily and likes to plan out your day, this is a great place to start. I strongly believe that planning ahead and creating lists allows you to feel in charge and stay a few steps ahead, that way you don’t feel as though you’re hanging on by a thread and doing things on a whim. This way you’re also not rushing to get things done last minute or forgetting altogether.
We often overlook our sanity when we’re considering healthy habits to create and knowing what is to come daily and weekly can help you better prepare and hopefully prevent stress and overwhelm before it happens.
I prefer to plan my day or week in the morning while I’m enjoying a cup of coffee, using a physical planner. I really enjoy writing things down on paper and crossing out tasks as I complete them – this gives me a sense of accomplishment. My favourite planners are from Indigo, they so many to choose from! I’m currently using the Hobbry 17-Month Planner. If you don’t have a planner, a simple to do list on a piece of paper that you won’t lose or on your phone is perfect!
Pack a Lunch for Work
For me personally, packing a lunch from home allows me to prepare (see, here comes the planning I was talking about earlier!) and make good choices when it comes to food. I find that if I go to work without a packed lunch, I’m more likely to make a poor food choices out of convenience and hunger. It’s so easy to go to the drive thru and pick up a fast food meal but I know how sluggish I end up feeling afterwards and regret the decision shortly afterwards.
I try to make sure that my lunch consists of protein and vegetables, I try to stay away from having carbs such as bread, pasta and rice as it leaves me feeling incredibly full. By the time my lunch ends I’m ready to call it a day and go home to nap- I can’t be the only one who feels this way!
My favourite lunch combinations are baked salmon with green beans and oven roasted brussel sprouts and homemade greek salad with grilled chicken. These dishes can be easily kept refrigerated until they’re ready to eat so I like to make big portions to save me time during the week. I’m also a big snacker and like to have something to small to eat throughout the day, I think more so out of habit than to curb hunger. Some of my favourite healthy snacks are Quaker Oats rice cakes, Harvest Snaps green pea snap crisps, and Good to Go low carb keto bars. I keep these in my bag or in my desk drawer at work for when I’m in desperate need of a treat!
Go for a walk and get some fresh air
Many people find the concept of working out and going to the gym overwhelming and a tad intimidating. You don’t always know what to do when you get there and you end up with more questions that solutions. Which machine should you use? How many reps are you suppose to do? How much weight should you lift? Is your form correct? Are people watching you and thinking you’re an amateur? These are all things I’ve asked myself in the past when I first started going to the gym so if this is you, you’re not alone.
As my life has gotten busier and finding time has become increasingly difficult, I’ve started taking short walks whenever I can throughout my day. Since I work in an office and I am stationed at my desk all day, getting up and moving is so important. I try to spend 15 minutes of my one hour lunch walking outside, even if it’s just walking to get some coffee. I bring a pair of comfortable shoes that I keep in the car that I can change into before I head outside. I have a FitBit which helps me keep track of my daily activity and lets me know when I’ve been inactive and should get up from my desk and take a lap. It reminds me to move every hour, even if its taking a stroll to fill up my water bottle down the hall.
Now that summer is coming back around, it’s not completely dark outside by the time I get home so a short walk before or after dinner works for me too. This also really helpful with unwinding after a long day, disconnecting from life’s demands and catching up with my husband if he joins me for a walk. We like to throw on our comfy workout gear because working out isn’t just going to the gym and who says being active can’t also mean being fashionable. Even if I am alone, it’s amazing to take the load off and bring myself back to refreshed place both physically and mentally. Sometimes I use this as the perfect time to catch up on my favourite podcasts by Goal Digger, Elevation Church and Thrive!