No doubt, the last two week of June tend to ramp up. End of school activities, the beginning of summer activities, making plans for summer, the end of seeding for our farms, and yet we haven't yet found a slower, summer pace. Not only that, but you may be taking care of school-aged children in the summer and will find it a challenge to take care of you.
Being busy and maintaining healthy practices can take time and effort. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the tasks we have to handle each day, leaving little time for ourselves. But it is possible to prioritize some reset & recharge time during busy weeks if you have a plan in place. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay in your healthy mind & body while keeping up with a (possibly hectic) summer schedule.
Plan Ahead Ie. Book. It.
Planning ahead is essential for staying balanced when you're constantly on the go and life feels like it needs every minute from you. Map out 1-2 weeks ahead of time, so you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, and what you need to do for you. Include meal planning and activity/exercise in your schedule so that they become part of your daily routine rather than an afterthought or something you're squeezing in. Planning simple meals can also help you avoid unhealthy takeout and save money.
It may seem counterintuitive to add another thing to an already packed schedule by inserting exercise into the mix. However, it's essential for keeping your body and mind healthy while still allowing plenty of time for other activities. Try breaking up your exercise sessions into smaller chunks throughout the day rather than cramming it all into one session; this way, if something else comes up unexpectedly, you will have already moved your body that day. I also find that if I do even 10 minutes of movement, it sets my day up to feel better than if I roll right into meeting demands.
Finding a balance between work and relaxing activities is essential regardless of how busy your schedule might be. Make sure that no matter how much work needs doing, there is always some time left over just for yourself each day; take a walk around the block after dinner or read a book before bed—whatever helps balance out all of those emails and phone calls from earlier in the day.
Set Realistic Goals & Give Permission to Follow Your Needs
Setting goals and intentions that are doable and reflect your goals and needs are key to staying motivated and energized. If your schedule is too packed with work or school commitments, don't give yourself too much pressure by trying to do too much in one day. Instead of aiming for an hour-long workout daily, give yourself the gift of ease by instead taking 10-minute walks whenever you can or doing yoga stretches before bedtime. Small changes add up over time.
Sometimes we just need to do what our spirits are asking for. Give yourself permission to follow your needs rather than trying to meet outside expectations - especially when it comes to what is perceived as "healthy". If you really notice, what do you need today? A nap? A snack? Time with a friend?
It's important not to overload yourself while trying to stay healthy during hectic weeks — make sure you allow yourself breaks throughout the day - and even breaks from 'working on' your goals. Simply slow down and feel what you need. Take regular stretch breaks throughout the day, or find a few minutes each day to sit down and meditate before getting back into it. Short breaks throughout the day will improve your focus and keep your energy levels up, helping you get through the week without burning out.
Keeping your wellbeing in check during busy weeks isn't impossible - it just requires careful planning and dedication. Thoughtful goal setting, mindful meal planning, and ample self-care will help you stay balanced when life feels overwhelming.