Staying Healthy When Your Life Is In Chaos
Posted on 24 April 2014 by Leonie Satori
When things get complicated, busy or when life throws you a proverbial ‘curve ball’ it is easy to let your healthy diet, lifestyle and exercise routine get off track. While many of us are fully aware that this is the time that we need healthy nutritious food, relaxation and exercise, it can be a real challenge to ensure that these simple routines stay on track.
So, when the going gets tough, how do we keep focused and maintain our sanity and our health? For me, it is all about staying on the middle path and doing little things each day to ensure that I do not deviate too far beyond my own personal beliefs. However, when I get distracted with something that is not beneficial to my health I try not to berate myself, I allow myself an occasional indulgence and reward myself for even the smallest achievement, this allows me to stay focused and re-connect with my long term goals.
When things start to get hectic at work I always have some emergency back-up foods and snacks for days when I haven’t planned my meals properly. I always have some protein foods: chick peas, lentils, beans or some hummous ready to go with my left overs, salad or with wraps. Protein foods help to keep you satisfied, maintain your blood sugar levels, reduce sweet cravings and help to feed your muscles with essential nutrients. Salmon, sardines and tuna can also serve as great emergency snacks when things get hectic. I also like to keep some homemade salad dressing in the fridge at work to go with my lunch, plus I make my own delicious muesli to keep on hand for late breakfasts at work. With a little planning and some simple routines, I find that I can quickly grab some healthy food to eat from my ‘emergency stash’, knowing that I am eating reasonably well most of the time.
We all tend to have our favourite indulgences, whether it is coffee, alcohol or chocolate I would emphasise never buying more than you would want to consume in the one sitting, never buy the budget pack with the intention of spreading your consumption over days, weeks or months, because we all know that you will end up regretting what you ate or drank. If you do get to the stage that you feel the need to go off the rails just a little bit, do it sensibly and within reason, and then ‘pull up your socks’ and keep right on your path. Never use this as an excuse for a daily indulgence though, make sure that these ‘derailments’ are few and far between, staying away from stimulants, as most of us know is an essential component to stress management. Whilst caffeine, sugar and alcohol can give you a momentary lift, in the long term these do not help your health and well being.
Reward your achievements with healthy indulgences, for me this can be a 10 minute self massage with Ayurvedic oils and then a nice warm shower before bed. I also like to ‘reward myself’ with some extra time out in my garden, a weekend trip to the beach or some night swimming. Healthy relaxation, getting back to nature and grounding yourself in your own space can help you to see the bigger picture and help to lift your spirits. I would suggest at least a weekly ‘healthy indulgence’ to keep your energy, vitality and spirit optimal during challenging times.
Finding time to have a good belly laugh on a regular basis helps with manufacturing your own body’s happy high hormones, as does regular exercise. Taking a Frisbee to a local park with a friend or loved one can help to achieve both a good giggle and get you physically up and moving, especially if you are as amateur as I am with a Frisbee. Listening to your favourite music at home and dancing in your living room can help to lighten stresses and melt away the concerns of the day – practising your best ‘daggy dancing’ moves with your friends (or even on your own) is one of the best therapies to create balance and grounding in a busy lifestyle.
Ultimately, it is the little things that we do on a daily basis that can influence our physical and emotional health in the long term – keep it simple, have fun, eat good food and laugh with friends.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her wellness clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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