Everyone says the number one way to stay healthy is to plan ahead: your meals, grocery list, workouts, self-care, etc. You have to make it a priority, and schedule it into your planner like you would an appointment.
But what happens when you’ve planned every detail out so you can be your healthiest self, and something comes up that steals all of your time, energy, and focus?
Often the hardest thing about being healthy is staying consistent. Many of us start our wellness journey on the right foot, but life gets in the way and we fall off track. We try to create a routine for ourselves without ever getting the chance to follow it.
Whether it be for an urgent work meeting, family emergency, travel, sickness, or broken down car, these things come up all the time and no matter how prepared we are, our well-intentioned plans go right out the window.
I know there have been times when I’ve scheduled an evening workout only to realize I have a meeting that night for work. And when that’s the case, it also means I won’t get to eat a healthy meal because fast food is the only option around me.
So how can we stay on track when life gets in the way? Today, I’m sharing a few ways we can keep up our healthy habits when things don’t go to plan!
Have a backup plan
When it comes to healthy eating, you want to make sure your environment is set up for success. Think about where you spend most of your time and where you might be able to store backup snacks and mini-meals.
If you’re on the go a lot, it might be that you need to keep some emergency supplies like LARA bars, nuts, or an apple in your bag or car. If you spend most of your time at work, you can keep things like oatmeal and bread at your desk with almond milk and peanut butter in the fridge. Basically, think of the simplest snacks or meal ideas that you can keep for emergencies.
The same goes for workouts. Maybe it’s having one video bookmarked that you know you love doing and can pretty much do anywhere (especially if you’re traveling), or sticking to something super simple like this 10-minute chair yoga routine. You basically want to eliminate all decision-making involved when you’re trying to squeeze in a quick workout.
Take advantage of breaks
Use downtime productively
If you’re going non-stop from the early morning until nighttime, there may not be a chance for you to have a full-blown workout or whatever self-care practice you might be craving. When you’re struggling to find time to squeeze in healthy habits, try taking advantage of those little breaks in between everything else.
See what you can fit into the ten minutes of downtime you get every now and again. It can be tempting to use this time to scroll through social media, but it might help your sanity more to do some squats or meditate.
Do what will make you feel good
If you get a 30-minute lunch break every day, simply go for a walk for 15 minutes of the break. If you were planning to go to the gym after work but now you simply don’t have the time, do whatever you can at home that will make you feel good (regardless of the time you spend doing it). Recognize that something small is truly better than nothing at all.
Get back into a routine as soon as possible
Set yourself up for success
Sometimes the only reason we stop following our normal routines is that we get thrown off for one day and feel as if there’s no point in trying again. If you keep getting sidetracked from your wellness routine and daily habits, first make sure you’re setting yourself up for success no matter what happens.
For example, if part of your plan to stay healthy is drinking green tea, make sure you always have a teabag on the go and just ask for hot water at a coffee shop. If you want to get to the gym early in the morning but feel crunched for time, set everything up (gym clothes, water bottle, playlist, etc.) the night before so you can spend more time actually doing your workout.
Make it work for you
Lastly, make sure your routine is working for you and that you’re not doing it because you think you should. If it’s starting to overwhelm you because you simply can’t find the time to fit everything in, think about what actually feels good to you.
It might be that you’re getting off track because you’re not fully aligning with the routine you’ve set for yourself, so take a moment to ask if there’s anything you could simplify or remove from your routine to make it easier. This could look like removing workout moves you don’t like from your plan, skipping unnecessary ingredients in recipes, or combining your morning run with a guided meditation. Simple is always better when it comes to staying healthy on a busy schedule.