As many of you know, I teach full-time, and even though I enjoy the busy nature of it, there are some days when I barely sit down and can hardly strong a sentence together when I get home. In a strange way, I often feel grateful for these days, especially as I spent so long with CFS/M.E in bed- not in an egotistical, ‘yey, I did it’ kind of way, but in a ‘you contributed something today’ kind of way.
However, I also know the flip side of the coin, the side of me that knows I need to watch my energy wisely and prioritise myself, so I can be of service to others. When I don’t look after myself, I don’t sleep well, my heart races and I don’t eat particularly well (if I’m mega stressed, I tend to not eat so much, or push mealtimes back- not great). So, I’ve had to train myself to eat properly, slow down and prioritise. I’m still in training to be honest, but I’m a lot better than I used to be.
Here are 10 ways to stay healthy when you’re busy:
1) Put a dash of Chlorophyll in your water
I’ve been drinking chlorophyll in water for a little while now, and I feel instantly better when I do. I usually drink a glass once a day and also add it to juices and smoothies if I want to up the ‘green-ness’ of them. Grants Liquid Chlorophyll is my favourite.
2) Try Cutting Down on the Caffeine
Some people can handle their caffeine, but I don’t think it does me any favours. I find if I have time to sit and enjoy a nice cup of tea, then the caffeine in the black tea doesn’t seem to affect me as much. Maybe there’s a lesson in this…
If you’re already super busy, you might think you need more of a caffeine hit, but just make sure the slump doesn’t make you feel worse afterwards. Experiment a little bit…
3) Try to breathe deeply the instant you feel how stressed you are
Just take some big belly breathes before you move on. Taking a few seconds to do this now could make you calmer and more productive for the rest of the day. When you breathe in, try and hold the breathe for a few counts before breathing out- it always works for me.
4) Pencil in one ‘fun’ activity and do it
Even if it’s just 15 minutes of reading before you go to bed, commit to some time out and do not back down on it. You’ll probably want to, but you deserve it. If you don’t end up taking the time out, ask yourself why you can’t give yourself this time.
5) Drink Lemon Water and Apple Cider Vinegar in the Morning
My husband often ask if I’m drinking my ‘smelly tea’ again and I’ll proudly proclaim that, yes, I am! As I wrote about here, drinking lemon juice in water has really changed my morning routine and if you have a bit of an angry liver like I do, it can really help start your system up for the day.
6) Prioritise Green Juices and Smoothies
I have to say that I’m more of a smoothie gal than a juice person, basically because I always drink juices super quick and smoothies tend to last a bit longer. (I’m a big ‘savour the moment’ kind of person!) I can also get a bit more creative with smoothies and add in lovely greens, maca and cacao powder. They’re also a great, filling breakfast if you need to run out the door.
7) Get Your Protein
I had a consultation with a naturopath a few years ago and had not idea how little protein my diet contained. As a vegetarian, well, pretty much vegan, I should be prioritising where I’m getting my protein from, but I had been neglecting this for a while. I now make sure I take a proper lunch break and eat a meal centred around organic tempeh, beans and/or legumes, and nuts, especially almonds and cashews for iron, as snacks are great. I have to say, I feel much better for it.
8) Take Magnesium Supplements
I’ve felt a huge difference in my stress levels since I started taking magnesium supplements a few years ago, in fact they featured in this article I wrote about my top 5 supplements for CFS and Fibromyalgia. I tend to sleep all the way through the night now, whereas I very rarely did before when stressed, and incidences of Restless Leg Syndrome have pretty much vanished. Just try it for a little while and see how you go.
9) Plan Ahead
If I know I’m going to have a busy week, I’ll go out of my way to get myself some healthy snacks ahead of time, so I’m not reaching for rubbish or sugary snacks when I’m running around. Nuts are great, as is pre-prepared quinoa, which I can just keep in the fridge and add to salads. Cacao bliss balls and chia puddings, which you can make overnight and leave in the fridge, are special treats of mine. It usually takes me an hour on a Sunday afternoon, and I’m good to go for the week- time very well spent.
10) Know That ‘This Too Shall Pass’
Life ebbs and flows and whatever stress you’re going through now will pass. Choose to see the light and the end of the tunnel, and breathe.
Now, I’d love to hear from you my dears- what do you do to prioritise your health when you’re stressed, busy or even just feeling a bit under the weather? Let us know below!
Love and patience,