Keeping Healthy in A Culture Obsessed with “Being Busy”

A lot has been written regarding the semantics and the psychology that goes with constantly being busy. We office workers tend to brag to one another about how “buried” we are with work.

The loads we bear professionally bring pride into our lives, but they are also unhealthy, causing undue stress on the body and the mind, crippling us from reaching our full focused potential. You have to remember to take care of yourself.

I’m no stranger to this. Working in the media, in any capacity, is a fast-paced and constantly evolving job. Throw travel into the mix every couple of weeks, and it can seem pretty impossible to keep a healthy lifestyle together.

Since I picked up my half marathon training in July, I’ve stopped tracking my macros/calorie intake, and am sorting out some issues with my Misfit Shine fitness tracker which has been on the fritz for about a month. The fact that my health has not completely derailed is astounding to me, and I credit my “bare minimum” health habits for keeping me sane and slim during these trying times, even without exercising as often.

Now that my birthday is over I’m starting to feel okay about organizing, re-prioritizing, de-cluttering and getting my workouts and diet back on track as I start thinking about next year’s fitness and life goals.

I work full time, attend after-work networking events and out-of-town conferences, take care of pets, AND write a blog on the side. If I can keep some kind of grasp on health throughout the week, so can you.

Tips:

  1. Drink water. If you’re glued to your desk all day working on timely projects, it can be tough to find time for lunch, but you have absolutely no excuse not to drink water! You should be getting at least half your body weight in ounces (140lbs=70oz of water per day). Get a reusable canteen that holds 20+ ounces and you’ll barely have to get up to refill it…unless you really want to.
  2. Make leftovers happen. Avoiding frozen food is one of my habits I’m most religious about, but at times, eating fresh can really take it out of my budget. My boyfriend and I try to always make a lot of extra food at dinnertime to save for lunches during the week. While I’d love to get into hardcore food prepping, I’m not there yet, and making a little extra dinner barely takes any time.
  3. If you do have to buy lunch, make a walk out of it. Okay, so you forgot your lunch at home, or didn’t have time to prep one. It’s okay to slip up, but you better make yourself work for those expensive calories. A brisk walk at lunchtime always helps me re-center for the rest of the afternoon – even if I do just bring my takeout back to the desk to eat.
  4. Always keep orange juice around. If you’re a tornado of destruction like me, you haven’t done serious shopping for produce in awhile, because you’re never around to eat it before it goes bad. I’ll admit, I’ve accidentally gone days without a piece of fruit before. Pure 100% orange juice is one of my staple groceries because it gives me a fruit fix in a pinch – plus, maybe it’s a placebo, but chugging a glass or two seems to help me beat the feeling of starting to get a cold.

Things I’d like to start doing:

  1. Set aside daily meditation time. Over the last six months, I’ve increased my weekly meditation time by a lot, but still am not cool enough to find time every day. I’m looking to pencil in a consistent 15-20 minutes per day at the same time, either before or after work.
  2. Become an early riser. I’ve been working on this one for 24 years, and still nothing to report on my progress. Probably the best time to workout is in the early, half-asleep hours of the morning, so I hope to crack the sleep code and start doing morning swims or runs.
  3. Food prep on Sundays. Having a personal chef would probably make this a lot easier. At the very least I want to prep breakfasts for myself – that’s what I tend to splurge on the most when I’m desperate.
  4. Start riding my bike to work again. A few office moves have landed me back within cycling distance of my employer. Happy dance! Now to find a shower I can use downtown for free…
  5. Get a standing desk. The most expensive of all the options, but in my line of work, it’s essential. Sitting is the new smoking, after all, and with the new advancements in ergonomics it’s getting easier to improve posture and concentration while at work. I hope to go with the ReadyDesk soon.

I’ll get it sooner or later. What are you doing to mitigate the drowning feeling that comes with being super busy?

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