1. Trade out Reactive for Proactive (Set an Intention for your day)
You aren’t chasing the day you are ahead of it, creating more margin and significantly reducing stress allowing you time to be present in the moment.
I know life isn’t predictable but with a proactive mindset, you will be better able to handle the odd things that come your way.
2. Set aside a day of the week for meal planning & grocery shopping.
Another huge time saver…it works, the 30-60 minutes it takes saves hours of stress during the week. It takes less time the more often you do it. Involve your family to ask them their favorites and plan meals out making them events to look forward to instead of a last-ditch effort solution to a busy schedule.
3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Take tasks off of your plate that someone else can do and focus on the ones that only you can do. Like exercise, personal development prayer and meditation, and healthy eating, spending time taking care of family and nurturing relationships, or a job that you specialize in or have committed to.
Hire a teen or young adult to do errands for you, so you can pick up kids, go to their sporting events and activities, have lunch with a friend or get your workout in.
I know it’s hard sometimes to ask but maybe just start with a few things and see how much better it is for you.
4. Cook a little Extra.
Cook a little extra dinner and pack it up for lunch the next day.
5. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Remember 80/20. 80% whole healthy food, 20% other. Extremes ad expectations that are too high will lead to self-sabotage such as following a strict diet. Food is meant to enjoy and is part of bonding in social gatherings as well as nourishment your body. To live out your best self.
6. Aim for lots of color in your meals.
Eat like the classic Mediterranean, mostly plant foods with some animal protein, limiting red meat and sweets to 20% or less of your diet. 1-2 times per week. Getting in healthy fats and oils and limiting alcohol to 1-2 glasses of red wine and occasionally (2-3/month). Plenty of fiber and nutrients (vitamins ad minerals)
7. Stash healthy dry snacks in your car or purse.
Keep a “gas can” in your car or purse just in case you run out of time or are hungry between meals and need an emergency snack. Dried fruit, granola bars, apple or orange, nuts, dry cereal/granola, and a bottle of water.
8. Have a plan for eating out before you go.
Be intentional think of what sounds good, balanced what is good for you. Look at the menu in advance if you can. Be intentional.
9. Eat a hearty breakfast.
Be ready for the day with energy and puts you ahead of the game. Avoid getting too hungry and eating way more than you normally do or differently than you normally do, causing you to become sluggish or sick to your stomach.
10. Work out smarter not harder. Be intentional.
Unless you are training for an endurance event your workouts do not need to exceed 30-40 minutes at a time. With focused effort you are efficient and workouts are effective and creates longevity. Balanced by cardio and weights or total body workouts. Making sure it is fun and makes you want to come back for more.
11. Live Mindfully, focus on what you want.
Be in the moment it is the only one you’ve got. I know we have a lot on our minds and a lot going on, but when you are driving just drive, when you are at the park with your kids listen to them and enjoy where you are at. Just be. Our busy minds cause stress especially when we are trying to negatively predict the future, causing anxiety. But what if the future is peaceful, joyful, easy, fun, and uplifting. Check what you are meditating on and the visions you create.
Cynthia Ray, MPH, RDN, LD, HFS
Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Fitness Specialist