You’re working longer and harder but that doesn’t mean your wellbeing has to suffer as a result. Staying balanced when you’re burning the candle at both ends might seem like an impossible feat, but unless you start prioritising your health you might find yourself on a one-way trip to burnout town. Here’s how to avoid that:
Reaching for unhealthy snacks is all too tempting when you’re running on empty (we naturally crave sugar when we’re tired), but staying hydrated and well nourished is essential if you want to stave off sickness and be at your best.
Try: Putting your ‘you time’ allocation in surplus without damaging your diet by using Youfoodz – a fresh food delivery service that’s quick, healthy and tasty, that also has all your dietary requirement on lock (that means you, paleos and dairy-free devotees). Even Zoe Foster-Blake is already an avid fan.
The kicker though? Not only is the service delivered straight to your doorstep or desk for free, delivery time can be within twelve hours and, if you still don’t find the time to tuck in that same day, it stays fresh up to nine days. And it’s not just meat and two veg – the menu also includes items like protein balls and cold-pressed juices.
“Why wouldn’t you want more time in your week? Why wouldn’t you want a range of healthier alternatives that are ready to eat straight from the fridge?” Youfoodz’s General Manager Kane Sala points out. “We put a lot into every meal so you don’t have to: ultimately we just bring it back to basics. Less of the bad stuff, more of the good stuff and make sure it’s delicious.”
It doesn’t take long for all of life’s little issues to snowball into an avalanche. The thing is, you really will never get to the end of that to-do list, it’s just about managing it. Allowing yourself to accept that not everything can be ticked off at one time is incredibly liberating and takes the pressure off. As the old adage says, one step at a time.
Try: Writing a to-do list in order of priority before you go to bed. That way, whatever the following day throws at you, you can revert back to your list and regain your focus. Additionally, to save overwhelming yourself, for however many task you write down, charge yourself with achieving a minimum of three – the most important – and with leftovers you can’t get done, add to the next day’s list. That way, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at what you’ve already achieved while feeling focused on the tasks you’re still yet to do, all while getting rid of that guilt of not achieving it all in one go.
Learning something new
When something amps up (work, family life, studies), it leaves you little room for anything else, which is exactly how the stress builds up. Believe it or not, you can make time for yourself and when you do, fill it with something non-work/non-study related. Learning a new skill is the perfect way to keep your attention away from whatever is draining your energy levels, especially because you’re concentrating on something a little unknown.
Try: Picking up a new podcast on a subject you’ve always wanted to discover. Is it your dream to master trivia? Try the always entertaining No Such Thing As a Fish. Ready to uncover the cosmos? Try Startalk Radio. Or learning a tactile new skill like pottery, woodworking, knitting will quickly rid your mind of thoughts of the thing you’re trying to escape (especially if a jigsaw cutter requires your attention).
Think about taking a break in a different way
You might think powering on through lunch is the best way to get that task finished but as the day rolls on, our brain’s capacity for completing intense cognitive tasks decreases. You might be finding it testing to take time a good chunk of time off though, (of course you are, that’s why you’re busy!) there are other ways to squeeze in a break and restore balance to your day without you needing to step away from your desk fro an entire hour.
Try: Getting creative when thinking about incorporating breaks into your day. The Pomodoro technique, created by busy entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo takes a more varied and novel approach to the idea of breaks. The technique requires you to work in ‘sprints’ rather than getting yourself bogged down in one thing for long periods of time. Then, take a short break and start the process over again. For example, set a timer for 25 minutes for a short burst of work, then take a five minute break. Repeat, until you’ve finished four ‘Pomodoros’, then take a fifteen minute break. Times can be varied to work with your schedule but always remember to break frequently – it’s what keeps you on track. It‘s also a good idea to Inform your colleagues you’ll be working to this system and try out a Pomodoro timer app to help you keep on track.