We are coming in to that crazy busy time of year. Work is winding up before it begins to wind down. Families are all around us. I get it – it can be hard to stay focused on you and your wellbeing when all around you is chaos.
If anyone knows this pain-point its me. A part time non-for-profit job, owning and running a business, being a mum (to 2 puppies) and trying to be a present girlfriend / friend family member plus keep my house and car clean. It’s a lot. Add in something like Christmas and I’m bound to get off track.
So, this post is as much a reminder for me as it is for you. I’m here walking this full AF journey with you.
What I do know for certain is that to tick off all the things on my to-do list I need to make sure I don’t go without a few things.
What are they? Nourishing food, moving my body, sound sleep and some kind of mindfulness practice.
So, let’s start with food:
Meal prepping –I know these might be dirty words for you but planning and prepping your meals ahead of time really does save you time, money and hassle (aka stress) later. I hate the idea of spending half of my Sunday preparing for a week of work ahead, so I get the hesitation but let’s try to keep it really simple. What does that look like? Planning dinners ahead of time and then making enough for lunch the next day. Grilling 1kg of chicken, roasting some vegetables, boiling some quinoa and keeping it in the fridge for easy access later. Investing in a slow cooker and making at least 1 slow cooked meal a week to keep on hand. See what I’m getting at?
Keep an inventory of snacks at home and in your handbag. Think nuts, berries, fruit, hummus, boiled eggs, raw balls – whatever it is that you love that is also portable. If you are out and about and feel the hangry happening, you can start with these before you get tempted by fast food.
Let someone else do the hard work. In Perth we have so many meal delivery options. These are my go-to’s for really busy weeks.
- Wholistically Healthy and Pure and Nood – ready made meals
- Dinner Twist or Hello Fresh – make your own pre planned meals
- Organic Collective, The Little Big Store and my new faves Roly Poly Farm for home delivery produce.
Ok, so that’s some food sorted – but what about movement?
I don’t know about you but when I’m busy my exercise plans are one of the first things to go out of the window. What do I do?
Schedule movement in– even if it’s a 3 minute (aka 1 song or 1 Fitness Marshall video) break for dancing. Lock it in and make it a priority. Research shows that taking a break at least once every hour makes you more productive the next hour. This is amplified if you go outside for some fresh air.
Walk it out– most of us spend 70% of our day sitting down, at the computer, in our car, on the bus / train, watching tele. So, the more that you can sneak in a quick walk the better. My tricks for this include parking at the edge of the carpark or opposite end of the shopping centre from where I need to go, taking the stairs and getting off the bus a stop early.
Get stretchy with Netflix– I get it, TV is important and as each episode rolls on it’s more and more exciting. So, why not work your way through a stretch sequence while you watch.
Ok so we are eating good, moving more let’s get to the nitty gritty of mindfulness.
Breathe– It sounds simple, but it really is so damn important to just breathe consciously. Take a moment to lay on your bed or sit in a chair, place a hand on your chest and one on your belly and just feel the breath rise and fall across both. Guaranteed to bring you a dose of calm.
‘Peace begins with me’ mantra. This technique is taken from Kundalini yoga – and it’s a fast, simple and effective solution for releasing anger when people piss you off or you are feeling super stressed. You can practice this anytime, anywhere. This is how it works;
- Gently press your thumb against your index finger, then your middle finger, then your ring finger, then your pinkie finger.
- When you touch your index finger say: PEACE
- When you touch your middle finger say: BEGINS
- When you touch your ring finger say: WITH
- When you touch your pinkie finger say: ME.
- Breathe as you say each word. Go as fast or slow as you like. Use this technique anywhere (at work, home, the bank, the shops, in the middle of a fight).
- Repeat until you notice the shift.
Too much to do for those? Some of my fave somewhat productive mindfulness practices include watering my plants, having a long shower, walking the dogs, laying in the grass, listening to a guided meditation – this girl is my all time fave for those.
And last but definitely not least – let’s talk about sleep.
During times of stress it’s even more important than usual that you get your 7-9 hours of sleep. Make it a priority and only sacrifice it for emergencies (and maybe travel).
Keep electronics outta the bedroom<- I’m still working on this one.
Read a book before bed instead of watching TV or scrolling your socials.
Listen to soothing music or a guided meditation or whale sounds – whatever gets you in the mood to snuggle and snooze.
And of course, with all this in mind, sometimes life / deadlines happen. We all have those weeks where there is no other option than to order uber eats and just survive so you can GET SHIT DONE. We have all been there. Let yourself off the hook and know that you’ll have time to prioritise you again soon.
You got this.
I got this.
About Kerryn Nilsson-Linne: Kerryn is a Holistic Nutritionist and Eating Psychology Coach with a passion for supporting women. Her consulting and workshops aim to help women navigate away from the unattainable pursuit of ‘perfect’ and allow them to develop – and sustain – empowering approaches to eating and taking care of their bodies.