The week is half over and you haven’t met your deadline at work, so you skip lunch to get ahead. You also skipped breakfast because your kid missed the school bus and had to be taken to school again. You haven’t gone to the gym in a few days, simply because you don’t have the time. As the weekend approaches, you have laundry to do and errands to run, so you cancel your plans to go to that party you’ve been thinking about all week. Then your week starts again.
A lot of us think of self-care as a luxury. It is something we are lucky to be able to focus on every now and then. With work, school, and other projects, it’s tiring to even think about adding something else to your already full plate, right? However, taking care of yourself should not have to be tossed on the back burner. Your mental, physical, and social health need to be put on top of your list of priorities. Of course, you can’t easily change your routine, but you can certainly take small steps to doing so!
A very easy step to take is meal prepping. Plan out your meals and prepare them for the week. It can be something light and simple, and it will definitely help you avoid having to choose fast food. You could try some easy chicken recipes with veggies, or maybe some tuna salad with hard-boiled eggs. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination (and appetite). Eating healthy will not only improve your diet, it will in turn help you feel more energized throughout the day for longer than an energy drink and a protein bar. Happy belly, happy day!
Work can be stressful more often than we would like. Deadlines are a mean little monster that hounds us on a regular basis. Busy schedules become so tight, it’s difficult to get a break from it all. When it comes to scheduling, however, it should be you who is in control. Give yourself a little extra time between tasks so the little deadline monster doesn’t pay you a visit. That gives you the ability to pace yourself, and if you finish your tasks with a little extra time, use it to do something as simple as breathing deep, even for a few minutes. Let out a big sigh and smile!
“I’m too busy to go to the gym!” is an overly used sentence. Nevertheless, exercising goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating. Put both together, and you will power through your week like a champ. Take a few minutes to stretch in your office, or walk up and down a few stairs to get the blood flowing. If your schedule allows it, squeeze in a quick trip to the gym. Maybe you could meet up with a personal trainer to help you get a plan ready for home workouts if gym life isn’t your thing. Whatever your path is, it’s up to you to keep it consistent.
Taking care of yourself is only as difficult as you make it. So take it easy, work hard, and love yourself!
Eliut Morales is a Front Desk Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.