It happens to me every day. I’ll ask a friend how her day is going and the chances are her response will include the word busy or stressed. How did that happen? Just how did our lives become too busy? Busy can be good, but too busy rarely is.
I believe that the four key drivers of our overall health and well-being are nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress. Being too busy drives the wrong behavior in all four of these key drivers, assuming that we are aiming to maximize our health and wellness. Many of my clients come to me with concerns that they are too busy to take time to plan meals, grocery shop and cook while allowing time for exercise is seen often as a luxury. Many people are plugging away at their computers late into the evening, not only killing that valuable melatonin, but also missing an opportunity to relax and spend some quality time with loved ones in the evening. All of this happens because we are just too busy. Too busy to feed ourselves and our families properly. Too busy to get what we need to get done during the day so we spend our evenings catching up, which in turn deprives us of sleep and all of this drives our already high stress levels to an even higher level and encourages poor exercise and nutrition habits. Too busy can, and often does, lead to a downwards health and wellness spiral. Imagine if you could no longer use the words “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” as an excuse for not eating well, exercising well or going to bed on time—why not set yourself this challenge for 2015?
For 2015, my biggest piece of advice is to get the too busy out of your life. As a nutrition consultant, you may expect me to suggest a cleaner diet or certain types of superfoods, but to me, that comes second. There is no point in fine-tuning if the machine is fundamentally broken! I was trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, which firmly believes that lifestyle factors come first in improving health and wellness. With the levels of stress and the busy lifestyles my clients are telling me about, it makes absolute sense for an individual to begin the journey to better health with a strategy to regain control in his/her life.
Here’s a winning strategy to regain control:
Take out the meaningless work and activity and only do the beneficial.
Adopt this strategy in every aspect of your life, including work, kids’ activities, volunteering, etc. Challenge yourself to make some choices and remove the meaningless work and activity from your life. This will drive out the “too busy,” free up some time and enable you to regain control. The New Year is upon us; grasp the opportunity to make these changes!
So, now that you have taken the “too busy” out of your life, take each of the four key drivers of health and wellness and commit to a level of improvement in each of these for 2015. Aim for stretching, but achievable, realistic and sustainable. For instance, with nutrition it may be too much to plan meals for a week as often circumstances change, so plan for three or four days at a time instead. If you currently only manage to exercise twice per week, then aim for four times. All too often, New Year’s resolutions are based on an extremely improved diet and exercise regimen, but they soon fail because nothing else in our life has changed and we cause ourselves additional stress by trying to fit the good intentions into an already bursting schedule. You have to set yourself up for success and often this means taking out the “too busy.”
It has somehow become the social norm to be busy and stressed. I say, let’s shun society in 2015, get the “too busy” out of your life, regain control and allocate time to better nutrition, more exercise and getting to bed earlier. At the end of the day, our personal health and the health of our families is the most important thing of all, so make it your priority in 2015.
Claire Moscrop is a Sports Nutrition Consultant and Certified Health Coach based in Barrington, RI. Claire offers programs in Sports Nutrition, Personal Wellness, Pre- and Post-Natal Nutrition and Children’s Healthy Cooking Classes. Claire can be contacted via her website www.clairemoscropnutrition.com, email address: [email protected], or phone 401-536-5141.