What if there were just a few things that you could do every day to make your life easier and less stressful? The following 4 easy things will make you happier and healthier.
I warn you that all these require a little bit of planning. It won’t take hours… it only take minutes to plan the weeks meals or schedule in some exercise in your calendar.
If you’re not much of a planner, try scheduling in 20 minutes on Sunday to add these to your week. I think you’ll see the results and it will be even easier to do it for the next week.
1. Eat Breakfast
We all have it engraved in our brains that breakfast is the most important meal. If we already know that, then why is it so hard for some of us?
I don’t wake up hungry. I actually need a few hours with tea or juice before I tackle eating breakfast. My problem is that I get caught up in work and don’t realize I’m hungry until it’s too late. I know something is going on because I lose focus, get easily frustrated, and lose patience with everything.
What helps me and could help some of you get on the road to work a little faster is to have a few ‘grab and go’ breakfasts to grab out of the fridge.
My favorite is to have some overnight blackberry mojito oats or a soy yogurt waiting in the fridge. If you are more of a warm breakfast person, you can make one of my slow cooker oatmeal recipes or a scrambled tofu burrito and breakfast will be ready when you wake up.
I also find that prepping a large container of cut fruit to eat during the week is a huge help. Plus, it’s there if you need a quick snack or a light dessert.
2. Have a Plan for Dinner
Good days or bad days, the dinner dilemma will be waiting for you at home. I find that if I plan a menu or throw something in the slow cooker early in the day, it’s much easier. However, if I let it catch me by surprise then the path of least resistance is simply to go out and eat.
There’s nothing wrong with going out if you want to, but it’s an expensive habit to get into. Also, chances are you will eat healthier at home and are less likely to overeat. Saving money and being healthier can be wonderful motivators to plan ahead.
Before you go to work, throw dinner into your slow cooker. Think curries, vegan butternut squash mac and cheese, and you can even make a batch of not-refried black beans to make burritos when you get home. You can get even more slow cooker recipes in the archives.
Of course, you can always make something quick once you get home. These curried pumpkin burgers come together in a flash and then bake in the oven leaving you some time to tidy up or read instead of standing in front of the stove. For something that will be ready to eat even faster then you can try these collard green quinoa tacos.
3. Move Your Body
It’s important to do some sort of movement every day, especially if you spend most of your day sitting down at work. I tend to get into the ‘all or nothing’ mindset. I either go to the Y six times a week or just stay home and watch tv.
I need to remember that exercise doesn’t mean you have to prepare for a marathon or a zombie apocalypse. It can be as simple as taking your dog for a walk, mopping or doing yard work. You can even listen to an audiobook while you are doing it.
I’m good with routines once I’ve established them. The hardest part for me is to stop working and just do it. Cheryl and I are adding some yoga and NIA classes at the local YMCA to our schedule. That will make it easier to show up. There are other ways we have been getting exercise – Cheryl is doing all the mowing this year instead of hiring a service, and I deep-cleaned the house for 5 hours on Monday. Just remember, it all counts!
4. Take Some Time for Yourself Every Day
If I don’t plan some time for myself, it just doesn’t happen. Honestly, I tend to overschedule my life, and I almost feel like I’m running behind. Even on days that I’ve set aside some time, life will happen; the dogs will be extra barky, the cats will have a fit over something, or every yard in the neighborhood will get weed whacked at the same time.
I need to remind myself that taking time can be as simple as quietly sipping tea and thinking about my day, taking a mindful walk alone, or sitting on the deck enjoying a glass of wine after work. The key for me is to be left alone with my thoughts.
I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I love people, doing demos and answering questions. But after that, I have to have a lot of alone time. But I think if I had a little alone time every day I could deal with anything life throws at me a little better.
What About You?
What’s your grab and go breakfast or made-in-a-flash dinner? I’d love to know your secrets for fitting in exercise and time for yourself. I need all the help I can get!