We all know what it’s like to juggle work, life, family and the demands that pop up in our day-to-day lives.Whether your a stay at home mom, a working mother or even someone fresh out of college working to build their career we all find ourselves at times wondering how we will get it all done. Today I’m sharing a post I wrote for TheLadders for how I maintain a healthy and active lifestyle despite our hectic agenda and the demands of day-to-day life. By no means am I perfect at this but these are some things that work for our family. I would love to hear other suggestions for how you balance it all as well.
Food Prep/Menu Plan: Each weekend (usually for me it’s Friday) I like to sit down with a list and plan out a menu for the weekend/week ahead. I know by doing this we tend to have more well-balanced and satisfying meals and it keeps me from staring aimlessly at the fridge come 5:00 wondering what I can throw together and call it dinner. Having veggies and fruits washed and cut up in advance allows for easy and healthy snacking. I always have homemade granola on hand for snacking or adding over top yogurt and smoothies for breakfast. This recipe is my favorite but we switch it up occasionally with this one. Homemade muffins and waffles are also some of my favorite things to make and then freeze for a quick and healthy breakfast option.
If you don’t currently use your crock pot often or it only makes an appearance in the colder months, learn to embrace it! I love my crock pot and I use it year around. There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day with your dinner cooked, ready and waiting for you. Again that requires planning in advance but if you know ahead of time you can prepare the crock pot in the morning before you leave.
Make working out a priority. At the beginning of each week think about the week ahead and plan out when your going to workout each day. I like to have a general idea at the beginning of the week what workout I’m going to do each day and when I will get said workout done. These workouts are not set in stone and they do change on occasion based on my mood or how I’m feeling. At least I have a plan in place ahead of time. I like to work out in the morning to get it out of the way but it also helps to set my mood for the rest of the day. Back when I used to work an 8-5 job I would wake up at 5 am to get in my workout because I knew by the end of the day I would be too tired or something else would come up. Even if you only have 20 minutes to get in a workout take advantage of that time by taking a walk or quick jog or search online to find a HIIT workout. This is my favorite resource for these workouts and Gina shares a lot on her blog as well. If you have an office job and find that you sit for most of the day, set a timer each hour as a reminder to get up and move for at least five minutes. Walk around, stretch, do squats. Whatever makes your heart happy, but regardless try to get up and move.
Find a fitness partner and/or activity(ies) you enjoy. There are so many fitness classes these days that it’s almost impossible not to find something you don’t enjoy. Find a group of friends who have the same interest as you and start doing these activities together. Working out with friends not only is a great time to catch up (because again life gets busy) but it’s also a good motivation tool for getting yourself out the door. I like to schedule walks with some of my other mom friends at local parks. It’s a good way for us to talk and afterwards the kids are able to run around and play for a bit. It’s a win win for everyone. I usually do classes like Orangetheory and Yoga on my own but its given me a chance to meet other women who share the same interest as me.
Take time for yourself: I prefer to get in my workouts before my daughter wakes up but that’s not always possible. This means that some mornings I take my daughter with me for walks or runs in the jogging stroller. She loves to go with me and I get in my workout but too many mornings of this in a row is not ideal. I consider working out “my time” and it’s nice to have that 45 minutes to an hour to myself when I can get it. Once a week I have a sitter come over for a few hours. This is when I like to get in errands, schedule appointments and I always take advantage of this time by going to yoga or an Orangetheory class. This time allows me to recharge and I feel like I’m a better wife and mother because of it.
So tell me, what things do you find helpful when it comes to balancing work and life while also staying healthy and active?