Keeping healthy when life is hectic
Nutritionist Nicola Jackson has the answers for when you are bogged down with busyness.
It’s a catch-22 situation. When life’s hectic, you really need to take care of yourself to avoid getting run down. But when you’re busy and stressed that can be hard to do. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Create some grab-and-go meal options
There’s nothing better than opening the fridge and having something ready and waiting that’s healthy and delicious. A little bit of food preparation can save time over a week and ensure you’ve got healthy options available when hunger strikes. Here are some of my favourite dishes you can store in individual containers in the fridge or freezer so they’re ready to go.
- Overnight oats
- Smoothie bags (freeze smoothie ingredients, then just blend with milk when required)
- Breakfast frittatas
- Hearty soups
- Individual frittatas
- Make extra roast vegetables at dinner and have these at lunch with salad, cold meat, tinned salmon, tuna or boiled eggs
Practise deep breathing
It almost seems too good to be true that something as simple as breathing can reduce stress, but it can. Deep belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us de-stress and relax.
Schedule time to exercise
When life is busy, it’s easy to put exercise on the back burner but, when you exercise, your brain releases hormones that actually help you cope better with stress. The best way to make time to exercise is to schedule it into your week. Think of it as an important appointment that you need to keep for your well-being. Remember that something is better than nothing.
Use your slow cooker and make double dinners
Slow-cooker meals are convenient and easy, and it’s always nice to walk in the door with dinner almost ready. If mornings are busy, prepare the recipe at night and refrigerate, then pop it in the slow cooker in the morning. Make double the recipe so there is enough for two dinners.