By Erin Laverty
Right on schedule this year as usual, everything seems to be picking up the pace. It can be hard to enjoy the beautiful weather, changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and Fall decor on every porch step. Whether it’s practicing for playoffs, marathon training, projects at work, or preparing for holiday events, you are not alone if life has been feeling extra crazy! A busy schedule can challenge our health and nutrition goals, but it doesn’t have to. Here are six tips to help you continue to meet your health goals when your schedule gets hectic:
There’s nothing more stressful than forgetting your shoes for spin class or having your stomach growling in an important meeting because you forgot to pack a snack. When you are already feeling overwhelmed by the week ahead, taking time to PLAN can also feel stressful. I challenge you to set aside some time on Sundays (or on a day that makes sense for you) to plan. First, figure out what needs to be done to set your week up for success. Maybe it’s buying some groceries or snacks, washing your workout clothes, or packing your gym bag. With practice, you will find a system that works for you to keep yourself organized when life gets busy. This might look like a to-do list on the fridge, post-it notes on your mirror, or a note in your phone. Whatever works for you, it’s sure to relieve some stress to come!
While you’re taking that time to plan, consider picking some meals to prepare and writing down needed supplies or ingredients. If you’re looking to try meal prepping, check out our blog post on our top 5 meal planning tips!
That’s right! While taking shortcuts when running a race is wrong, it’s always okay to find more efficient ways to meet your health goals. An easy place to take these shortcuts is when preparing your meals. Try ordering groceries online or buying pre-chopped vegetables. You can even cook with rotisserie chicken or ready-made jarred sauces and marinades. Think about where you can cut some corners in your life to help you more easily meet your health goals.
Busy times of year are also the perfect time to make your favorite recipes that require minimal effort. Crockpot meals and soups like this Chipotle Corn Chowder are an easy, warming option for lunch and supper. For breakfasts, overnight oats like these Berry Cherry Overnight Oats are a great grab-and-go meal for a busy morning.
If your week is busy and you don’t have time for your usual workout routine, give yourself some grace. Taking some time away from exercise may be the healthiest option for you. Even without a workout, you can still fit movement into your day. Try taking the stairs, walking on your lunch break, or doing 5 minute breaks at your desk every hour. You can always get back to your usual workout routine next week when your schedule calms down a bit.
Getting enough rest is crucial when it comes to having energy to perform optimally throughout the week. It may be tempting to burn the midnight oil to get everything done, but prioritizing 8 hours of sleep/night will assure you can work most productively.
Managing your stress levels is just as important as diet, activity, and rest when it comes to your overall health. Take time during the week to take care of yourself, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe read before bed, call a friend, meditate, practice yoga, or watch your favorite Netflix show. It’s important to have restful breaks so you can prevent burnout during a crazy schedule!
When all is said and done- life happens! You can have a perfect plan in place only to realize you forgot something on the grocery list, or your headphones on the way to the gym. Being able to roll with the punches gracefully and not let them ruin your whole day prevents a small mishap from turning into a bad week. It’s ok if you need to get fast food after soccer practice because your meeting ran late. It’s okay if you miss a workout, or two, or three – just always make sure to treat yourself kindly!