Multi-Tasking and Staying Healthy
- Thursday, 19 July 2012
For some people, this is supposed to be 'the most wonderful time of the year'. The kids are back in school and life should go back to normal for the next 10 months. The lazy hazy days of summer are quickly fading and so too is your ability to put your feet up and relax.
It is time to don your super hero outfit and start booking schedules on your monthly planner to figure out how you can possibly get home from work, make dinner, walk the dog, get the laundry started, and take the kids to their classes and appointments – often at the same time and in completely different parts of the city.
Multi-tasking seems to be an attribute attached only to the X chromosome, and women have two. Many women are able to juggle work, family, children, friends and housework and still find the time to bake that last-minute batch of cookies. The problem is June Cleaver never took a day, or even an afternoon, to herself. When the stress of reality hits us, it is all too easy to put aside the things you do for yourself. The last-minute appointments added to the schedule all too often are yours. You need to take time for yourself as recharging is a necessary part of staying healthy (and sane).
I once read somewhere that 'organized people are just too lazy to look for things'. That may be a good outlook for those who have time to spend looking for things to fill their day, but when your schedule is full, organization is the answer. Finding ways to track your time is important for your sanity, productivity and peace of mind. I am one of those crazy people that has “making a list” on my list of things to do. A list can help you keep track of everything you need to do and prioritize each task so that you use your time efficiently.
Four things you should never take off your list:
If you need to save time by buying prepared foods, choose the healthier options. Forget the pizza and chicken wings. Instead, try a quick stir fry; they are often lower in fat and higher in veggies. You can even buy pre-packed meals where you only need to add the frying pan. When you do have the time to prepare a home-cooked healthy meal, take a little extra time and plan ahead. Cut your veggie sticks and keep them in a container in the fridge. When cooking your pasta or rice, make enough so you have it ready for dinner in a day or two.
It is usually the first thing to be dropped, because you do not have time and you’re tired, but studies have shown that exercise actually increases energy levels and decreases stress. The fact that it helps regulate weight, mood, and overall health is reason enough not to skip your workout. All you need is 30 minutes a day for good health. If you do not do it for yourself, do it as a good example for your children!
Take time for yourself
When just the thought of a relaxing bubble bath is enough to give you a warm feeling, you know you need time for yourself. When your life is go, go, go to get things done, you have to adopt a more Zen-like approach and take breaks. Take time to smell the roses! You will be amazed at how taking the time to change your perspective can elevate your mood and help you appreciate the good things in your life. Make time for yourself and do things you enjoy such as watching a movie, listening to music, reading, going to a spa, or having coffee with friends. It will help you detach yourself from the worries of everyday life and re-energize you.
Studies have demonstrated that getting less than 7 hours of sleep can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, weight gain, cancer and even your risk of premature death. Your body requires a period of relaxed undisturbed sleep in order to replenish and restore itself so that you can function properly.
Write your list of things to do and post it on the wall. Provided you are not too critical, you may be surprised at how much help there is to get things done. When the kids are older, post a list of jobs they can do every week, like taking out the garbage or cleaning the washrooms. If your list is long, try re-evaluating how important some things are. The world will not end if the kids wear two different colored socks!