Many people feel overwhelmed by life’s activities and obligations such as a job, housework, children, aging parents, etc. Added to the “to do” list is the recognition that you should eat healthy and be active. With all the obligations and time that are required to complete tasks, it is sometimes hard to fit in personal time that is just “for you!” When there are other appointments to attend to, children’s school events, etc., it can be a real challenge to take care of yourself! The staff at the Central Ohio Nutrition Center realizes the challenge this presents. The following are some ideas to make more time for yourself! Remember, don’t try to be perfect! Follow the 80/20 rule or, even better, the 90/10 rule. This means 80-90% of the time you are eating smart and following a healthy lifestyle. 10-20% of the time some liberties within reason can be taken with food and activity level.
- Keep a journal of your time. Are there times during the day or week that time is not used wisely? Are there ways you can use that time more wisely? For example, if you are waiting for an appointment, how can you efficiently use that time? Can you do some meditation or deep breathing? If you have a long commute to work, perhaps listening to soothing music or a book on tape can help you relax and give you a sense of well-being!
- If you are having trouble fitting in exercise, many studies show that intermittent exercise is just as beneficial as continuous. For example, if walking 3 miles per day is your goal, you can walk one mile in the morning, one mid-day, and one in the evening. If life is busy Monday through Friday, do your best to get some exercise in during the work week, but commit yourself to exercising on the weekends when you have more time. Always remember to just make the effort to move more!
- If having time to cook is a problem, one helpful technique is to pre-plan. Look at your weekly schedule and identify when time will be available to prepare meals. Plan your trips to the store, and on very busy days, keep your meal preparation simple and easy. For ideas, see your CONCI dietitian!
- Plan time each day to do something enjoyable. It can be 15-20 minutes of reading, taking a leisurely bath, talking to a good friend, or playing with your pet! Having this “me time” is very important!
- Always remember: In order to effectively help other people, you need to take the time to take care of yourself! If you are healthy and feel well, you can help others a great deal more than if you sacrifice your own health!