It’s easy to put off maintaining a fitness routine due to a busy schedule. And if we do manage to make fitness a priority, it’s just as easy to put off other forms of self-care. However, there are ways you can effectively incorporate both into a packed schedule.
Balance Your Schedule
Unfortunately, this all comes down to planning. If you feel stretched too thin already, working out may seem like just another thing to accomplish. But it is worth taking time to exercise because it may help you feel more energized to tackle the projects left on your plate each day. Try sitting down and detailing what you do Monday through Sunday. After establishing how much extra time you have in each day, pick a few days and times of the week when you’re not as busy and enter it as a repeating appointment on your schedule. This will reduce the risk of over-scheduling and help you visualize and mentally prepare for the workouts. If you schedule time in the morning, even just 30 minutes each day, you don’t need to worry about being active after work. You might even try making going to and from work part of your workout, or you can save time driving to the gym by creating an in-home gym.
Don’t Forget About Rest Days
If you have a sparse amount of free time, you may spend those minutes or hours working out. While being active is important, having fitness dominate your “me” time is a mistake. If you don’t take time to rest, not only can your physical health actually decline, but you may miss out on an opportunity for other acts of essential self-care. Obsessive fitness can lead to poor sleep, sickness, mental fatigue, and a whole host of issues that one usually assumes exercise combats. Remember, moderation is key. You can occupy your time doing something else you enjoy or starting a new hobby.
Take a Self-Care Class
It may sound too good to be true, but you can combine your fitness with self-care. Many are realizing that learning how to unwind is just as important for health as staying active. These classes are designed to help give you balance. Not only do they focus on fitness, but also meditation and learning how to ground yourself in stressful situations. You might also take a yoga class with an emphasis on meditation. If you want something more athletic, a dance class can provide a fun way to boost energy and stay fit.
Spend Time on Yourself
A big part of fully caring for yourself is finding and making time for enjoyment. While you may or may not enjoy being physically active, a fulfilling life requires more than work, working out, and sleep. As often as you can, schedule yourself a portion of the day to do something you truly enjoy. It does not need to take an hour a day to have a satisfying pastime. You might spend 15 minutes taking pictures of the sunset or 30 minutes hiking in a nature reserve. Swimming also allows you some time alone while also focusing on fitness. If you do not have a hobby, try to experiment with something new every week until you find something that brings you happiness.
Schedule Alone Time
Between social media, work, and often our own private lives, finding time to be by ourselves can seem impossible. Finding some space to yourself can be cathartic and good for your mental health. If your schedule is bustling, you can treat your workout as “me” time. Plug in your headphones, listen to your favorite music or podcast, and be by yourself. Go for a run in the park, or, if it is a rest day, take a relaxing stroll through your neighborhood. If you have a workout buddy, maybe spend 10 or 15 minutes in your car meditating before heading into the office.
We all have busy lives. Balancing our hectic schedules can take precise planning. And yet, if we include fitness and some self-care practices, we can be healthier and happier for it.
This article was written by contributor, Sheila Olson, from fitsheila.com.
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay