Three years ago I was not in a good way.
I was tired, run down, overweight and everything was a struggle - starting with motivating myself to get out of bed!
My work was suffering too. I was not motivated, I found it hard to focus and I felt overwhelmed.
I was in a rut and I was not happy or healthy.
Supplements from the doctor did little to change my situation. Then a friend introduced me to a nine-day nutritional cleanse program that turned everything around. The results were truly astonishing!
Of course, you can’t transform yourself and achieve lasting change in just nine-days, but it gave me the energy and motivation I needed to get myself back on track. It jump-started my healthy habits and helped me start making some much-needed changes to my lifestyle.
With hindsight, I’ve realised that Health and Entrepreneurship go hand in hand. You can’t run a successful home-business at the expense of your health and wellness. Sooner or later, something will give and you’ll put both in jeopardy.
With this in mind, I'd like to share with you some of the small changes that have helped me refocus and achieve better health and balance - I hope they help you too.
9 Simple Ways You can Improve Your Health
...even when you're too busy!
When I worked in an office, I used to get in an hour earlier than anyone else so I had some quite time to focus on the important things before all the fire-fighting began. I realised that I could do the same thing at home and start my day strong.
I started slowly, setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier and just taking some time to drink water and stretch before the kids woke up and chaos ensued. Now I wake up one hour earlier, do a 20-45 minute workout and watch a motivational video and start preparing for the day. It makes an incredible difference to the outcome of my day! I want to start incorporating meditation into this time too.
To get up earlier in the morning and have more stamina throughout the day, the simple solution is, of course, to sleep more. I was never very good at getting to sleep early, but now I set my alarm to remind me when it’s time for bed!
I also try and take one-two ‘Nana Naps’ a week. Taking 20-40 minutes to have a little snooze after lunch. At first, I felt very lazy doing this, but it really helps my productivity levels, so taking some time out actually helps me get more done!
Take time to be grateful
There is so much in life we can be grateful for, but we often focus on all the bad things that happen in our days. Since I’ve started to take time out in the mornings and evenings to think of 5 things I’m grateful for, I found I’ve been a lot happier about life in general and that a lot more good things are happening every day. It takes less than a couple of minutes every day, but it has made a big difference.
Ditch the car
Whenever possible, I walk the kids to school in the morning. To make it harder for me to make excuses and drive, I offered to walk a neighbour’s kid too!
Getting out and having fresh air first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day and I notice the difference in my ability to focus afterwards. It’s also a really special time to spend chatting with the children about nature, the day ahead and all the other wonderfully random things that young children come out with.
Give the kids a role in the kitchen
The big bonus about starting eating healthier is that the whole family start to eat healthier! I’m concerned about the world my kids are going into. With more and more convenient eating choices out there, I want to help them gain first-hand knowledge of what healthy eating looks, feels and tastes like – so I involve them in the kitchen.
My girls help me choose our menus, make salads, cut and wash fruit and vegetables, put breadcrumbs on fresh fish and chicken, mix the ingredients in soups and one-pot dishes etc.
It’s a great way to spend time together and I’ve noticed that when they are involved, they eat a lot more of the healthy food on their plate afterwards too! They’ve also come up with some of their own recipes too! Not all have been successful, but toasting sunflower seeds in a pan with a drizzle of honey has been a big hit!
Get active during activities
Around four afternoons a week I take my kids to their various leisure activities. Previously, I’d wait around in the coffee shop and read a book. This was a nice time to relax, but now – then the weather is nice – I take a walk instead and listen to an audio book.
Book active dates instead of coffee dates
I used to feel guilty about taking time out of my busy day to meet friends for a coffee. But I now recognise that this is an important part of maintaining a healthy balance. But instead of meeting friends for a coffee, we go for a stroll along the lake or through the forest. We still get to chat as much, but now we also get in some bonus ‘steps’ into the day!
In the summer we’ll often do an early morning SUP session instead of a walk – if you haven’t tried paddle boarding yet, I can highly recommend it. It’s easy to pick up and a lot of fun.
Drink more water
When I’m busy and focused, I used to forget to drink enough water. Ideally, you need to aim to drink around 2 litres of water a day – the equivalent of 8 standard glasses of water, but I was having about 2!
I’ve been able to turn this around by drinking 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning, keeping a litre bottle of water on my desk at all times, always taking a bottle of water in my handbag when I leave the house and keeping water by my bed too.
In the winter months I find it harder to drink water, so instead I drink hot water with fresh lemon in the morning and I keep a flask of herbal tea on my desk. I like the Aloe Blossom Herbal Tea as it has a lovely subtle blend of flavours and one teabag is enough to fill my 1.5 litre flask, so one box lasts me a month.
Forgive your slip-ups
While I have incorporated all the above into my lifestyle – I am human and I do slip up. There are some days when I just can’t get up early enough to exercise, or when I forget to take water with me, or I really want to sit and have a coffee. And I’ve learned that this is fine.
Getting healthy is a decision; it requires us to focus on choosing healthier options as much as we can. But it also has to be fun. And if we want that slice of cake occasionally, then why not!
So if you work for yourself, then you really need to take responsibility for keeping yourself healthy too!
It takes 21 days to build a new habit and everything is difficult before it’s easy – but when it comes to your health, it really is work making the effort.
And as you can see from the changes I’ve made, you really don’t need to do anything dramatic – just start making simple healthy swaps and before you know it, you’ll be fit, focused and highly successful : )
What help you stay healthy? What changes will you make?
Let me know in the comments...
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