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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work-Life Balance

10 Easy Ways to Take Care of Yourself Even When You're Super Busy

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I get it, you’re tired. Work is long, the kids are demanding, and housework never seems to stop. The daily grind can end up just that, and you may wake up increasingly tired each day. While a weekend getaway might be awesome, if you can’t work that into your schedule, what are some ways you can be good to your body and your spirit on a daily basis?

1. Stay Hydrated

We all know being dehydrated is detrimental to your health, but did you know it also contributes to feelings of stress? Bring a bottle of water to work with you and try to finish it by lunch. Sip while you work until it becomes a habit. If you’re having trouble drinking enough water, invest in some tasty herbal teas and drink them without sweetener for a hydrating treat that also gets you to take a walk away from your desk for a moment.

2. Keep Lists

Feeling like you’re working through a fog lately, and your brain is not as active as you’d like? You may have overworked it. Give your brain a break by actually writing down all the thoughts you have whizzing around in your head. Bonus: You can avoid that feeling of “What am I forgetting?” because you have a handy checklist to remind you.

3. Journal or Write

Maintaining a reflective writing practice is a useful task for reducing overall life stress and anxiety. This could be as simple as writing down your thoughts over lunch, maintaining a public or private blog, or keeping a formal journal you write in each day.

4. Eat a Meal Away From A Screen

Looking at your computer screen or phone during lunch is likely contributing to your waistline by encouraging you to overeat. In addition, that is valuable reflective time you are losing. Have you ever eaten a sandwich for lunch and then not been able to remember what was even on it? Pay attention to your food, enjoy it, and enjoy the simple act of reconnecting with your body and your senses while staying unplugged for a few minutes.

5. Set a Movement Timer

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can literally shave years off your life. Get an egg timer that will ding every half hour and remind you to stand up and take a few steps—maybe refill your tea or water bottle—before sitting back down. If you are the type who likes to track your movement throughout the day, you can set wrist pedometers like the Fitbit or Jawbone to buzz, reminding you to get up and move if you’ve been inactive for too long.

6. Use Your Vacation Days

Do you forget to use your vacation days? Even a single mental health day or a short trip out of town is restorative to your health, so use your vacation days before they roll over!

7. Replace Some of Your Coffee

While coffee is truly an ambrosia from the gods and has multiple health benefits, overdoing it can quickly lead to headaches, anxiety, and a general frazzled feeling. Not to mention, coffee is dehydrating, so undoes your efforts to stay hydrated. Cut back slowly by replacing some cups of coffee with a soothing or energizing tea.

8. Pack Your Lunch

Chances are, wherever you’re going out for lunch is more expensive, less healthy, and less tasty than packing it yourself. Pack yourself a bento box or other lunch goodies the night before work for a healthier alternative.

9. Take a Breathing Break

Why do smokers get the benefit of getting up and going outdoors once an hour, and why don’t those of us who don’t smoke do the same thing? Stretching your legs and taking a breather outside keeps your blood flowing, improves your immune function, and boost happiness. So get up, go outside, and have a non-smoking break. Your body and mind will thank you!

10. Have a Hobby

Having a hobby can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and learn new skills. If you find yourself getting caught up in the monotony of daily life, try adding a hobby to give yourself something pleasant to think about. The results may surprise you!

Honorable Mentions

  • Green tea is surprisingly awesome for you. Drink it all day with none of the side effects of nursing the coffee maker!

  • Exercising regularly is, of course, one of the best things you can do to take care of your body. Even taking the stairs helps. Every little bit of physical activity is useful.

  • Dancing exercises your brain and your body by having you engage with following a rhythm, or when partner dancing, using your limbic system. So turn up the beats and get grooving!

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