Whether it’s responsibilities for work, home, or the community, life has a way of getting incredibly busy. And it’s easy to let our everyday physical and mental health slip during such times. So how do you juggle all of your life commitments and still have time for your own needs? Here are some tips for staying all-around healthy—no matter how busy you are.
Keep an Eye on Portions
One thing that helps you maintain your health is to pay attention to the portions you eat.
Yes, what you eat matters, but so does how much you eat. Americans are eating more now than ever before, and the results are easily seen when you look at the obesity rates. A lot of it has to do with the consumer market, such as the servings at restaurants and packaged food from the grocery store. To help manage your portions, consider purchasing a quality digital food scale. These scales eliminate the guesswork by weighing ingredients and dishes. Measuring cups are another great option for keeping track of serving sizes.
Once you have your digital scale and measuring cups, try meal prepping. Pick an evening each week to plan your meals, make a grocery list, and go shopping. Once you do it a few times, you’ll realize it really doesn’t take up a lot of your time, and it’s worth the time it does take because it gives you complete control of how much you and your family eat.
Make Time for the Basics
It is essential to leave room in your day for personal hygiene. It may sound funny, but many people overlook this step when life gets chaotic. Wake up early enough to give yourself ample time to shower, brush your teeth, fix your hair, sit down and have a healthy breakfast and coffee, and anything else you need to do to prepare for your day. It’s not a pleasant feeling to be in the middle of your 10 AM meeting and realize you didn’t brush your teeth.
Make (and Keep) Appointments
How many appointments have you forgotten about or canceled in the past two years? When life gets overwhelming, it’s easy to neglect important checkups and doctor appointments. But these appointments are how we gauge our current overall health, know what changes to make, and stay out in front of critical diagnoses. For example, make a point to maintain your regular checkups with your primary care physician once a year, and visit the dentist twice a year. Get a full-body screen at the dermatologist, see your OB-GYN, and get your eyes examined each year. And if you are a woman in your 40s or older, make sure to get a mammogram once a year.
Making time for relaxation is essential for our mental health. This is when you wind down from your busy life and allow yourself to do something enjoyable (unrelated to work). Maybe this means saying no to working overtime so you can go on a family camping trip. Maybe it means getting a babysitter so you and your partner can go out for a night on the town. Or perhaps you just need to soak in a hot epsom salt bath and listen to soothing music. Whatever it is, you will only make relaxation happen if you prioritize it.
Life gets crazy, but you can still maintain your health. Remember not to neglect basic personal hygiene. Try a digital food scale, measuring cups, and meal prepping to manage your portions. Don’t forget about or cancel important medical checkups and appointments. And make sure to carve out time in your schedule for relaxing. Taking steps such as these will help you stay healthy and bring consistency to your busy life.
Guest Post by Jennifer McGregor @ publichealthlibrary.org