Prioritising Your Health & Wellness When Living A Busy Life
Being healthy and happy should come naturally. But when you’re working eighty-hour weeks and the only time you go outside is to walk to your car, it doesn’t alway happen that way. You’re just too busy focusing on getting stuff done. Wellbeing takes a back seat.
But should it? Arguably not.
We’re not here to lecture you about being healthy. You’re passionate about your goals and you want to achieve them – that’s totally understandable. But you should know this: being healthy and prioritising your wellbeing helps you achieve much more than if you neglect it. It’s non-negotiable.
From an evolutionary standpoint, most busy people are living crazy lives. They’re spending all day sitting in chairs, getting stressed over emails, and eating whatever food they can grab quickly – the polar opposite of the conditions in which our species evolved.
In the short term, can your body deal with this kind of punishment? Sure it can! But over the long haul? Not so much. Burnout, exhaustion, chronic pain and other health conditions can soon weasel their way into your life and eat away at your success.
The benefits of prioritising your health and wellness when you are a busy bee can be extraordinary. You can:
- Lower your healthcare costs
- Be more productive while you are working
- Reduce the amount of time that you need to take off
- Feel better while you’re working
Don’t be one of those people who says, “my work is too important for me to focus on my health.” It doesn’t work like that. Both go hand-in-hand, according to Oxford Online Pharmacy.
So, with that out of the way, how can you actually improve your health and wellness while you’re busy? Here are some actionable steps you might want to take:
Figure Out Why You Want To Be Healthy
Being healthy is all well and good, but to really motivate yourself, you’ll want to figure out why it is important to you. There has to be some overarching reason that makes all your effort worthwhile.
If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or executive, your motivation for being healthy could be to progress further in your career. You might also value your ability to serve others, please customers or keep your enterprise on the straight and narrow.
You could also do it for other reasons – things like having more energy for friends and family or being more successful on the dating scene. Finding something that really fires you up to succeed makes it worth slotting wellness into your busy schedule.
Do The Most Important Thing First
You don’t have to live like a health freak to experience improvements in your wellbeing. Even small changes can make a world of difference.
Think about the most important change that you could make in your life and do that first. Small changes that make a massive difference include:
- Eating more fibre for breakfast (such as oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts instead of sugary cereal, white toast or white-flour pancakes)
- Walking or cycling to work (instead of driving or taking the train)
- Quitting smoking
- Spending fifteen minutes practicing your breath or meditating when you wake up
- Skipping desserts after your evening meal
- Avoiding snacking late at night
- “Eating the rainbow” by eating foods of many different colours
- Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day
- Celebrating your successes and always being grateful for what you have
Schedule Your Time
Trying to shoehorn healthy practices into your day when you have meetings and projects galore doesn’t work. There is always something more important than you could be doing with your time.
Blocking time for wellbeing practices in your calendar, however, changes your psychology. Suddenly, it becomes an official part of your day – something that you won’t compromise on, no matter how busy things get.
If you keep adhering to wellness practices – such as cycling in the early morning – you’ll soon find that you need them just as much as your morning coffee. They become a positive habit, helping to calm the mind and making you feel better. Eventually, prioritising them actually becomes natural, not a chore.
View Your Energy As Your Success
According to behavioral economist and psychologist Daniel Kahneman, people think too narrowly about their lives. They focus on one thing at a time – for instance, their work – instead of all of the things that support it.
Your ability to do work relates to your energy, and your level of energy relates to your overall health and wellbeing. If you feel tired and stressed all the time, you’re not going to get anything done. By contrast, if you feel as energetic as a child, you can work every waking hour.
Remember, being busy is not a goal in itself. The only reason you have so many things to do is because you want your life to go places. But to do that, you need your health.
Try to view your life success more broadly, as suggested by Kahnman. Avoid narrow thinking.View health and wellbeing as tools that support your goals.
Don’t Make It Complicated
We have a habit of making health and wellbeing more complicated than it needs to be. There are so many influencers, speakers and thinkers all voicing opinions on the subject that it can make your head spin. When things appear too complex, it makes us want to throw our hands up in the air and give up.
Don’t fall into this trap. There are certain things that we know work that you can do right now. The evidence in favour of quitting smoking, eating fruits and vegetables, getting regular activity and sleeping well is overwhelming.
The idea that you can’t prioritise your health and wellbeing because you are busy is a myth. Famous busy people such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, actor Mark Wahlberg and Instagram star Kim Kardashian all take time to focus on their health. It’s a platform for everything else in their lives. And it can be the same for you too.