When we’re facing the pressures of a demanding career and a family to manage, attempts to stay healthy can easily take a backseat. But nurturing ourselves is even more important when our lives are hectic, and if we’re trying to climb the career ladder at the same time, then pressure and exhaustion can creep up on us. Use the five tips below to incorporate some self-care into your day to stay fighting fit and ready for whatever challenges your job (or your kids) throw at you.
Cut Back On The Caffeine
When we’ve got a jam-packed work schedule and want to maintain the pace with promotion in mind, it is the easiest thing in the world to use caffeine to keep ourselves going. The quick energy boost and tiredness-busting effects that a cup of coffee provides can’t be denied; as a result, we may be consuming way more caffeine during the course of a workday than we realize, turning to it whenever we require a quick lift or feel stress beginning to run its sharp fingers down our spines.
However, an excess of coffee can actually bring on a spike in our blood pressure caused by the increase in the hormone cortisol that caffeine elicits. We may feel a caffeine crash afterwards, too, which necessitates a vicious cycle. So, to stay healthy, consider cutting back on caffeine. Ideally, switch it out for water, but if this just doesn’t cut the mustard, then try replacing some of your regular cups of coffee with decaf – you could gradually increase the ratio of caffeinated to non-caffeinated as your system gets used to the new regime.
Eat Your Way To Good Health
Vital to staying healthy, no matter how manic your family and work life, is your diet. Supercharge your immune system by eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, Omega-3 rich fatty fish, ginseng, garlic, and berries. Continue reading for more immune system boosting foods and the reasons behind their culinary clout. It’s not just your immunity that will reap the rewards of eating well; for women particularly, certain foods have significant benefits when it comes to keeping a healthy hormonal balance, such as flaxseeds, turmeric, and avocado.
Try to incorporate as many of these foods into your daily life as possible. Keep handy grab-and-go snack pots in your home and work fridge, filled with berries, sliced avocado and green salad, to snack on throughout the day.
Pause And Breathe
Finding a moment to stop, be still, and ground ourselves is vital to staying well in both body and mind – especially during times of increased stress. Consider incorporating a practice like yoga, meditation, or mindful breathing into your daily life. Learning a few simple techniques from any of these disciplines can be a beneficial way to reduce feelings of pressure and anxiety. Take five minutes in the morning, or just before bed, to practice, and allow yourself to totally focus on the activity and let the stresses of the day fall away as you concentrate purely on your breathwork and inner focus. Although requiring only a small time commitment, you’ll be surprised at the difference these few minutes can make to your sense of wellbeing and quality of sleep.
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Exercise – especially the cardiovascular kind – releases happy hormones into the bloodstream, so by undertaking regular physical activity, we will not only improve health but how we feel, too. A busy work and family schedule can make it hard to imagine exactly how we can possibly fit anything else into our day, but with a bit of creative thinking, it’s possible. Blend workout time with family time by arranging a family swim a couple of times a week or joining in with the kids in games on-screen that involve physical activity, such as dancing. Or see if any like-minded colleagues in the office fancy joining you for a regular after-work run, for example.
It can be easy, especially when we’re trying to build our careers, to let this become the primary focus of our lives – and this is understandable. But, to stay healthy in body and mind, it’s important to recognize our achievements and successes up to this point and not just focus on the career goals that we still want to attain. It’s also common for working parents to get caught up in feelings of guilt, and this is bad news for our sense of general wellness.
To keep perspective, try to have a clear switch-off time when it comes to work: and stick to it rigorously. Be sure, however much your job demands of you, that you make plenty of time for the other things that are important in your life: spending quality time with your family, seeing friends, pursuing interests and hobbies outside of work. These things may feel difficult to do at first, but – especially when combined with the tips outlined above – will serve to boost your physical, mental, and emotional health, and ensure you’re ready, in every way, to take the next step in your career.