Like many millennials in today’s world I wear a few different hats when it comes to my career. Currently, I work 2 different regular jobs while I chase my dream of a full time writing business on the side. Essentially working 3 different jobs at one time obviously keeps me really busy, especially when those jobs leave little time for workouts, my family or my relationship. Between paying rent, the seemingly endless train of bills, and your friends and family wondering where the heck you have been, sometimes it feels hard to even breathe. So the question is how do you manage to take care of yourself, particularly when you juggle more than one job or have a side gig?
1: Meal Prep Ahead of Time
How many of us start eating like absolute crap when we are in a hurry? Your meeting at work gets moved up which causes you to have to cancel your doctor’s appointment you booked months ago, oh and you have to pick the kids up from soccer practice. When you finally get home, do you really feel like whipping up a healthy dinner ? If you are anything like me, the answer is usually no, thus resulting in not so great food choices. With not so great food choices, you end up gaining weight and feeling sluggish and icky. I have discovered that meal prepping is the way to go. Pick a day out of the week and designate it as Meal Preparation Day. This is the day during the week you will plan and cook your meals for the next 5 to 7 days, then store them in your fridge or freezer. By doing this you already have your meals done for the week, and it is one less thing to worry about.
2: Get In A Work Out
Now I know this isn’t something everyone is a fan of, but let’s face it, the body is an intricate machine that is designed to move. It has been proven that generally speaking, the more you move your body, the better you feel, both mentally and physically. I know to some people the idea of working out brings up images of sweaty gyms, musclehead guys, and personal trainers yelling at you to try to motivate you. While some of those things may be true (in extreme circumstances), general physical activity doesn’t need to be that traumatizing. Working out can look like lifting weights (my personal favourite), taking a walk, getting out of town for a hike, swimming, dancing, or yoga. The key to being active is find something you like doing, because then you are more likely to continue doing it. So get up and MOVE! Your body will thank you.
3: Mid-Day Meditations
One thing I have implemented into my busy schedule is various forms of meditation. Contrary to popular belief you don’t always need a dark room, candles and incense burning while you chant in order to meditate and refocus yourself. By taking time to refocus at different times during the day, you can begin to stem the tide of stress that has a tendency to over take us all at some point. Personally I have found deep breathing exercises and quick 5 minute audio meditations once or twice during my day to be extremely helpful. Taking a break before the stress hits you full blast is key.
4: Bedtime Routine
Sleep is a beautiful thing. Not only is it the body’s way of relaxing and escaping the daily grind, it is completely necessary for the body to repair itself. As we age, sleep seems to become more of a luxury instead of a necessity. It is this growing lack of sleep that often seems to be tied to the increased rate of burnout in society. It was not until I really started to implement a consistent bedtime routine, that I started seeing improved quality of sleep and a boost in my productivity. My personal routine consists of a bubble bath, reading a book, and listening to some sort of relaxing audio until I fall asleep. Successfully training your body to unwind at a certain time can help give your body the rest it requires to fully recover and take on a new day.
There are many other ways to make sure you take care of yourself while balancing all aspects of your life. Some of these include going to get a massage, go on a weekend getaway, or simply stay home curled up with a glass of wine and a movie. I have found that doing things that truly bring you joy is the easiest and best way to care for yourself. Granted that is harder when you have multiple jobs, or kids, or endless commitments, but it is the most important commitment you should make is to yourself. Organize your time as best as you can learn to find joy in the little things in your day; You just might find that it can make all the difference.