3 Quick Tips for a Busy Schedule
With back to school season approaching and people beginning to go back to work, it’s just a matter of time before we all get caught up with the intricacies of life all over again, and while we're out grinding and chasing our dreams, it’s easy to put physical and mental self care on the back burner when life begins to get busy. I’m a big believer in taking sufficient time and putting some well deserved energy into caring for yourself, but sometimes it all just becomes a little too hectic to be having entire spa days dedicated to taking bubble baths, making elaborate breakfasts and binge watching your favourite show all day. It's just not realistic. Here are 3 quick tips that every hustler can incorporate into their lifestyle to help their body physically and mentally thrive, even when their schedule starts to get fractic.
Journal/Meditate for 15-20 minutes a day
It’s a well known fact that acne/breakouts are a common symptom of stress. Infact, a study conducted by Dr. Alexa Kimball, a professor of dermatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her colleagues on the relation between the stress levels of university students during examination periods and acne determined that “subjects who had the greatest increases in stress during examination periods also had the greatest exacerbations in acne severity.” This principle can be applied to people at all stages of their life with stress from all aspects of life, but the base line is that stress strongly correlates to issues you may be experiencing with your skin. Why? Well, your body’s always got your back. Your skin essentially goes into “defense mode” at the very first sign of stress and anxiety, which results in hormones like cortisol and adrenal androgens being released to protect you. As a result, the sebaceous (oil) glands are triggered and inflamed which can cause flare ups in breakouts and acne.
So the goal is: do your best to reduce and relieve stress, however you feel most comfortable. If you feel as though you currently have nothing that necessarily relaxes you or relieves stress, I’d strongly recommend experimenting with journaling and meditation to see what works for you. Journaling is an activity that simply consists of writing out your thoughts and feelings to allow for more mental clarity. Another alternative to journaling could be meditation. Both of these habits are personal practices, thus they may look different for each individual and should be done on an as-needed basis, whether it be every single day or a couple times a week, both of these habits are highly beneficial as they help relieve stress.
Some general benefits of journaling specifically are:
Can reflect improved cognitive processing, the development of a more coherent narrative over time, and helps with overwhelming emotions by expressing yourself in a healthy manner.
Aids with managing your mental health, and can manage anxiety that may come along with overwhelming feelings
Helps you prioritize various aspects of your life, track patterns within your feelings to identify triggers, and learn better ways to control them. Also provides an opportunity for positive self-talk.
All of these factors come together to provide you with more knowledge about yourself, and reduce overall stress.
Always keep yourself hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated is perhaps the easiest step you can take towards taking care of yourself, and it certainly does go a long way. Each individual should be making use of the 8x8 rule which states that you should be drinking 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water daily. Adequate hydration aids in all aspects of your health, such as digestion, absorption and excretion. For the oddballs out there that might not necessarily “enjoy” drinking water, infused water is a great alternative! Infused water is simply water with immersed fruits, herbs, vegetables, or a combination of the three. Doing this allows for a slight flavour and aroma, along with the benefit of natural antioxidants from the fruits, veggies and herbs. With most of us walking around dehydrated without the slightest clue of the harm it can cause our body, making a conscious effort to constantly be drinking water is important. And yes, this is me telling you to go splurge on the cutest, best quality reusable water bottle that you can find, because it shall become your new best friend from now on.
Water/Infused water presents you with an endless list of advantages:
Your body is able to transport nutrients and oxygen better
Water helps optimize your body temperature
Hydration can lubricate your joints, thus decreasing joint strain
You have more energy in your muscles (aka less muscle fatigue) allowing for more energy and strength while exercising
Improved digestive system
Toxins will be flushed from the body
Improves skin health
When the outermost layer of skin doesn’t have enough water, your skin will begin to lose elasticity and feel rough, leading to dry and flaky skin.
Consuming healthier snacks
You know those Cosmo brownies you've been taking along with you as a snack since the first grade? Yeah, throw those in the trash - it's time for a health reform ladies and gentlemen. While it may be convenient to pick up a bag of chips or a bottle of juice as you rush around in the morning to get out the door, taking 10 minutes the night before to pre-plan some healthy snacks is so much more worth it when you begin to notice the results, both inside and out! Good skin nutrition requires cutting down on sugars and other simple carbohydrates, and adding more protein and produce. Omega 3 fatty acids are also essential in locking moisture in the skin
Here are some quick and healthy snack alternatives to the unhealthy snacks that may seem more convenient to reach for as you pack your food for your day:
Bell peppers, cucumbers and baby carrots with hummus/ranch
Brown rice cakes
Apples and a nut butter of your choice (eg: peanut butter, almond butter, etc)
For an intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, incorporate foods such as salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and soybeans into your meals, and swap your usual oil for canola oil!
These 3 tips are the perfect combination of efficiency, effectiveness and ease; they're not difficult to execute but are beneficial, quick and accessible. I'd definitely recommend keeping them in mind, especially in the moments where you're constantly on the go but want to take the extra step towards improving your skin, health, and wellbeing.
Overall, I strongly believe that although life can get absolutely chaotic sometimes and we often begin to skim over important personal care steps and routines, it's still important to set aside at least 30-45 minutes per week where you're not in a hurry. To take care of your wellbeing, the balance is an absolute necessity.