“On an average day, I have to get the kids ready for school, drive them to school, go to work, workout, pick the kids up, bring them to their after school activities, grocery shop, do laundry, make dinner, do the dishes, finish up work for tomorrow, get the kids showered and ready for bed, and eventually try to shower and get own body in bed before collapsing.”
Susan Sadid’s average day reflects the schedule of many women in today’s society that requires women to assume both domestic and financial responsibilities, Rebekah Fedrowitz replied at a Wednesday Wellness breakfast at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Grocery Store in September. And men are equally busy.
People today know more about pharmaceutical drugs, exercise, psychology, and supplements than ever before, yet we are more obese, sedentary and stressed out than ever before. Seventy percent of all cancer cases, 80 percent of heart disease cases, and 90 percent of type 2 diabetes can be attributed to lifestyle choices, as reported by the Journal of American Medical Association, showing that our society’s priorities are having severe consequences on our health. Fedrowitz suggests that time is the way to bridge this gap between what we know and what we do.
“The problem is, is that with so many responsibilities and things to do, people forget to schedule in time for their health. So that is what we will be discussing today: how to take time for your health,” Fedrowitz introduced the topic. “It has to be something you want, both emotionally and mentally, but hopefully with my 4-step plan, it is something that can be done.”
First, always have a plan.
Make sure that you define what your healthy behavior or goal is and how much time you estimate it to take. Make a detailed plan either in your head or scheduled by the hour, or even by the minute, of what you will be doing on a given day. Complete the most important things first and be realistic about how long tasks will take. Add chunks of time into your schedule for your health goal and make sure you attend that health behavior as if it were an appointment that you cannot miss.
Second, Unrush the mind
Panic comes only when you are unsure of what is next—always plan and always have a buffer. Take time to breathe deeply, relax, and reflect. Think what do I have to do and what are the actions I must complete to do it. Work and workout in the moment, do not worry about the future or the past. Just choose one and get it done because EAST (everything at the same time) is least effective.
Third, Recruit help.
Make notes of who can help, with what tasks and when. For example, have your children’s chore be to do the dishes after dinner so you can have time for the gym. This simple, small delegation would save you around 20 minutes a day, 140 minutes per week, and 560 minutes per day—which is a lot of time you can dedicate to health. You can also recruit friends and family members as health buddies to benefit them and increase your adherence to your health plan.
Find time for you and put your needs first!
Rushing and never-ending to-do lists lead to a diminished quality of work, life, and relationships. We decide where in life to prioritize, and more of our priorities need to center around ourselves. Many people feel selfish and guilty about this notion of “putting themselves first” but when you give yourself me-time to mentally clear your mind, you function better and everyone benefits in the end.