9 ways to stay healthy when you have an erratic schedule

Tuesday, March 27 2018

9 ways to stay healthy when you have an erratic schedule

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Healthy eating and an ever-changing work schedule hardly go hand-in-hand. Most days, we eat without paying attention, hurry out of the house without saying bye to family members, and struggle to sit at the table without peering into our smartphone. We’re all guilty of not living mindfully when we have a laundry list of chores to get through on a daily basis. With commitments at work, social engagements and the darn traffic, staying healthy can seem like an insurmountable feat. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips vetted by doctors, holistic health experts and entrepreneurs for staying healthy despite a crazy schedule. We’ve divided this into three categories—mind, body and food—so you can find the tips that work best for you. HEALTH TIPS FOR YOUR MIND -Unplug
Allow yourself some time without the beeping of all your devices—and this includes your Kindle too. Enjoy an hour of the day without gadgets, and you’ll find yourself unwinding. You’ll have time to reflect on your day, spend time with your pets or even have a face-to-face conversation with a family member. Resist the urge to look at your phone before bedtime if you have trouble falling asleep—the flurry of notifications can wait till the morning. -Journal
Journaling is an age-old technique of writing down your thoughts, and it’s regaining popularity in a big way. If your life has got you feeling overwhelmed, pull out a diary and write down the things you are grateful for; things that bring you joy and things you have learnt in the last few months. By focusing on the good stuff and reflecting on what you have, you’ll be less flustered, and readier to take on whatever life throws at you. -Tune out
Since Mindspace came on the scene for its guided meditations, there have been plenty of other apps that are free, easy to use and extremely crucial for those of us that get overwhelmed or anxious with crazy days. Our current favourite is Insight Timer. It allows you to tune into a lecture, repeat affirmations and listen to some guided meditation before bedtime. Dr Kiran Lohia Sethi, a Delhi-based celebrity dermatologist, swears by guided meditations because it allows you to become more aware and mindful of your breath. HEALTH TIPS FOR YOUR BODY -Get bendy
Even if you are feeling extremely nervous and anxious, push yourself to try some restorative movements. A long walk in the park, a leisurely swim or a yin yoga session will help you more than just plopping yourself face down on your bed, no matter how much you’d prefer the latter. Remember, any movement is good. The light exercise will release feel good hormones, (yes endorphins, we’re talking about you) that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Plus, the exercise will allow you to wind down so you can sleep better at night. -Hug it out
We cannot stress on this enough—hugs work like magic at lifting the spirits, allaying fears and worries, and promoting oxytocin, along with the other hormones responsible for making you feel happy and safe. We know it’s normal to leave the house without hugging your partner or parent, but try it for a week, and you will notice a pivotal difference in how you feel. -Salt baths
Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulphate, are chemicals that are especially beneficial for inflammation and stress. If you are feeling tired after a long week on the road, or feeling overwhelmed after a manic day, add some Epsom salts into a warm water bath and soak in it. The bath will help alleviate stress, reduce inflammation and calm those fraying nerves. HEALTH TIPS FOR YOUR DIET -Meal prep
We know this sounds like something only fitness enthusiasts would do, but this will really simplify your life. Prep your meals and put them into boxes the night before. Then, all you need to do is grab them on your way out in the morning, and there, you are eating healthy even on the go. If you are craving a #SmoothieBowl in the morning, put some bananas into a bag, and stash them into the freezer the night before. Make yourself a bowl of overnight oats too, so you don’t have to worry about brekkie when you’re running late. You might be tempted to skip a meal, but eating nutritionally-dense foods can help you think and feel better, says Sumaya Dalmia, a Delhi-based celebrity trainer. -Don’t overdo the coffee
When we are stressed, our body is already in flight or fight syndrome. This means your muscles are tense, your shoulders are feeling stiffer than usual and your chest is heavy. By adding stimulants like coffee and aerated drinks, you are forcing your body to go into overdrive. Resist the urge for caffeinated beverages and sip on a herbal tea, lemonade or veggie juice instead. They will provide you with the antioxidants you need to help you deal with your crazy days. You’ll be able to resist the urge to binge eat if you have a healthy veggie juice, too. -Get with adaptogens
It turns out that some herbs and spices can actually help your body deal with stress better, and help fight free radical damage. But how do you reap the benefits? Grab some fresh, organic turmeric and whip it into your smoothie. Or muddle some tulsi leaves into a pot of tea in the morning. You can also add a tiny bit of ashwagandha to your almond milk before bedtime for a peaceful sleep. Remember to check with your dietician or physician before you start using adaptogens, or any other form of dietary supplements, for contraindication and dosage instructions.
Jia Singh is a Delhi-based travel and wellness consultant and writer. Find her at Wanderingforwellness.com
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