You’re always busy, I know how you feel because for the last two decades I’ve been the owner of a small business which has meant juggling so many balls that I’ve lost count! There are times when a hectic work schedule can take everything you’ve got and leave very little time - or energy - for yourself. Of course, you tell yourself that you’ll slow down on the weekend, catch up on some sleep, eat healthier or fit in a yoga class, but how often do you really follow through on the promises you make to yourself?
I’m guessing not always, which is absolutely normal, especially when you’re busy. But, neglecting our well-being puts our mental and physical health at risk. You might already be feeling the impact; mood swings, not sleeping well, feeling overwhelmed and possibly more negative than usual.
Even if you feel like it’s impossible to slow down and create more time for yourself, I want to share a few habits that you can easily use during your work day to create moments of calm, reduce stress and even boost productivity…
SNACK OFTEN - Eat often but keep it healthy. This helps keep your energy level consistent and stops you from reaching the point where hunger takes over and unhealthy food choices seem like a really good idea!
Reach for snacks such as fruit or a small number of nuts; both are easy to carry and can be eaten on the move if you really have to. Bananas are a favourite of mine, they’re sweet and curb any sugar cravings but more importantly, they’re high in potassium and help to keep your mind and body in great shape.
There are plenty of choices but try and pick the ones that you enjoy the most and then you’ll be much more likely to eat them.
SLEEP WELL - It’s often said that a great day starts the night before and this means getting a good night’s rest. If an early night isn’t possible then try and make the hours that you manage really count. There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep. Start by reducing your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, especially in the evenings. Avoid blue light from screens for a couple of hours before bed because it disrupts your circadian rhythms, making it more difficult for you to drift off and reach the restorative deep sleep that your body needs.
It also helps to turn your bedroom into a sanctuary; clear any clutter, enjoy soft clean sheets and remove the tech.
Here are a few more tips for getting a great night’s sleep.
PAUSE - This might seem counterintuitive to boosting productivity, but respecting our natural ebb and flow of energy - called ultradian rhythms - can help us get more done in less time and with less stress!
So every 60-90 minutes when you begin to lose focus, feel hungry, sleepy or restless, take a break. Ignoring these natural rhythms with the help of caffeine, sugar or carbs isn’t the answer and simply doesn’t work in the long term. But, please remember that the break is to restore your mind and body and so please don’t reach for your phone or scroll online - take time to move, listen to music or mindfully enjoy the moment.
DRINK MORE - I’m talking about water of course! Staying hydrated not only helps to keep our incredible bodies healthy but it also boosts focus and tackles fatigue. Try swapping your refillable coffee cup for a large refillable water bottle and get started today. There’s no doubt that it’ll have you visiting the bathroom a little more for the first week or so but your body will get used to it!
START WELL - While there are many parts of the day we can’t control, we can choose how to start our day. And, we all know that a positive start can make all the difference. So, if your mornings aren’t the calm and uplifting start that you’d like then make a few simple changes.
Start the night before by writing down your main priority for the day, think of 5 things that you’re grateful for while you take a shower, eat a nourishing breakfast, stretch your body and avoid reaching for your phone! Most importantly look in the mirror, compliment yourself and smile because you’re here to enjoy another day.
These are all simple but please don’t underestimate how powerful these simple changes can be to help you boost the level of self-care in your day and even increase productivity along the way. Let me know in the comments which one you’ll be starting this week.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.