The world has sure gotten busy hasn’t it? Almost weekly, if not multiple times a week, most of us are experiencing that overwhelmed feeling with our “to do” lists. Trying to fit three days worth of “to do’s” in one day? When you have days like this, what are the first things to be sacrificed from your list?
How can we circumvent this issue and still have enough hours in the day (and sanity in our minds) left over? Consider starting each day with a 2 minute planning session:
1- Ask yourself how you want to feel at the end of the day?
2- What are the steps you need to take to accomplish this?
3- Is what you’ve planned or listed for the day realistic and achievable?
The last thing that you want to do is roll your eyes and say “I don’t have time”. Give this a try, and see if it makes your life easier. The idea behind this is not to over stuff your day, it’s so you’re able to focus on the things you really want/need to do. If you’re wanting to finish your day with having been able to say that you ate well, got a workout in and spent time with your family; then what things can be taken off of your to do list (maybe even delegated to someone else), so you can finish your day feeling accomplished and are able to get a good night’s sleep without worrying about all the other things you still have on that list.
Exercise, eating well and getting a good night sleep are key components to leading a healthy life. When we take care of ourselves, we are more successful in almost every other aspect of our lives. Over-stuffing your day isn’t going to make you feel more accomplished or good at the end of the day. It’s going to leave you feeling spent and frustrated.
You’ll be surprised by the improvements to everyday life you can reach when you make even a small amount of exercise a priority. A recent study in Denmark involving 2700 members of the workforce from different employment backgrounds practicing 1 hour per week of intelligent physical exercise training (exercise that is customized to work exposure, health status, and physical capacity) found:
~Significant improvements in health outcomes (improvements to mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing)
~Neck pain was reduced among office workers, dentists, lab technicians, healthcare workers and fighter pilots
~Cardio-respiratory fitness was improved in all involved (A major indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk)
~Productivity increased as muscle mass increased and BMI decreased 
I know that busy lives happen, especially when you have people in your life that depend on you. If you’re a parent, maybe your kids have their own activities they’re involved in. Or you’ve been dreaming of upgrading your bathroom and you’re excited to DIY (do it yourself). Then it’s time for you to sit down and a have a strategy meeting with yourself or with your spouse. When you share your goals with others and put them on paper (making them real), you typically gain their support or at the very least, they have an idea of what’s going on and what you want to achieve.
When you have that day or that week where it’s a mad scramble from dawn to dusk, hopefully self care won’t be the first thing that gets taken off the list...maybe it’ll be the dusting or the vacuuming. Being overwhelmed is a part of life, but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. Remembering that you and your health are most important and are the priority, helps to put the “other stuff” lower on the list.
Gisela Sjogaard et al, 2016, ‘Exercise Is More Than Medicine: The Working Age Population’s Well-Being and Productivity’, Journal of Sport and Health Science, vol. 5, no. 2, pp.159-165.