Remembering to take care of yourself

Lately, I have been feeling a bit more run down, a bit more irritable, and a lot more tired.  Work has been crazy busy, with most people working 10 hour days and sometimes weekends.  Once, a few of the guys had to babysit the software through till 4am in the morning!  Yikes.

Photo credit: Bruce Clay Inc. via Flickr

Photo credit: Bruce Clay Inc. via Flickr

During times like this, it’s easy to let your health slip.  I’ve felt my energy slowly ebb away these last few weeks – not from working hard necessarily, but from not taking care of myself.  I’ve made some excuses – no time to cook, no time to exercise… Blah blah blah.  But it comes down to the fact that I haven’t made time for these things.  So I need to reset some of my most basic goals for myself:

Exercise at least once a week

I had been doing this very well at the beginning of the year, by going to yoga once a week and running and doing pilates sporadically.  But in the summer, they move the yoga outside and I hate doing yoga in the sun.  Factor in the busy work schedule and I’m entirely out of shape!  I don’t have room in the budget for yoga classes, so I’m recommitting myself to some free activities.  I need to attend at least once workout class a week (free through my employer) and I need to start running again.

Hiking, cycling and certain sports might be other free activities you could consider for your summer exercise routine.  Brian cycles frequently and often meets up with friends to play tennis at the nearby public courts.

Eat a balanced diet

Sounds so simple right?  Eat some fruit, pack a lunch, avoid sugar and salts… Well, tell that to stressed-out CF when all she wants is a plate full of tater tots.  *hangs head*  Yes, I ate a plate full of tater tots.  And I dipped them in sweet and sour dip.  It was glorious for all of half an hour.

This week, I’m being more prepared.  I’ve bought fruit and I have harvested a ton of tomatoes from the garden.  If I have fresh fruit and veggies to snack on while I work, I won’t be tempted to buy chips and starchy fried foods from the cafeteria.  I also cooked a few meals over this weekend to make sure that I have healthy lunches packed for the week.  No more Chinese food… I can’t take any more!

It’s also easy to pack things like yogurt or fruit cups – single serving sizes are easy to snack on and helps keep the stomach too full to contemplate the glory of tater tots.  When I have time, I also make granola bars and cookies for afternoon munching.  Chances are, as long as you bring it from home, it’ll be cheaper and healthier than what the vending machine or work cafeteria will provide.

***

Is it enough?  Well, I already feel better after making a nice dinner at home this past evening.  Cajun chicken with garden beans and scalloped potatoes, yum.  And for the last two weeks, I’ve been going to pilates at work.  My back still complains a bit when I’ve been in one place too long, but it’s starting to loosen up.

The hardest part is getting back into a routine.  I’m being careful not to slip up and hopefully, work will cooperate by not imploding on itself and requiring 10h days too much longer.  Wish me luck!

Posted in: Philosophy

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32 Comments

  1. Yes definitely take care of yourself! Consider it an investment in a healthy future. =).

  2. Vicky says:

    Instead of tator tots and sweet and sour dip, mine was a plate of fries with spicy gravy. :)

    It’s always hard when we’re pulling 10 hour days but good luck with your goals!! :)

  3. Excellent advice. I would say that once a week exercising is probably not enough. Try for at least 3 for sure. Start with a few minutes a day until you make it a habit. As far as food is concerned, you hit it on the head. Diet has to be our biggest concern!

    • CF says:

      Once a week is my minimum, definitely. I have a bit of a foot injury right now, but once that is healed, I’m going to try to go running once a week in addition to the one exercise class a week that I go to.

  4. Vicky says:

    Good luck with that! I must admit, I’m trying to do the same right now. Getting to bed at a decent time, making time to do yoga a couple of times a week and I’ve just been checking out the times for the local pool to go swimming once a week too. I’ve found recently that I’m always running round on everyone else’s timetable and I’m not looking after myself properly at all. I think it’s time to consider my own needs once in while too.

  5. Taking care of yourself is very important. You will feel better in the long run.

  6. Good for you CF! Being healthy is so hard when you’re stressed out but it helps so much. Good luck!

  7. I know what you mean, though I certainly haven’t been as busy as you, that one week at that job I did do was so busy my diet and exercise routine went right out the window and followed the next week. This week I’m determined to get back on the health trolly though!

  8. I love tater tots, too. But with hot sauce. Yum. I am always trying to eat healthier, but it’s hard sometimes!

  9. I’ve felt a bit down as well lately, and I’m trying to go to the gym more often and eat better. Problem is that I simply need to get more sleep. I haven’t had enough sleep for a while now and it would be really beneficial to get even 7 hours instead of 5-6 on weeknights.

    • CF says:

      I’ve had that problem too… I have always had a hard time sleeping and it’s worse in the summer when it’s so hot all the time. Hopefully you have time to grab a few extra hours on the weekend at least.

  10. Mike says:

    Your health is one of the best financial investments you can make. Think about how much an unhealthy lifestyle will cost you in bothe terms of money and quality of life.

  11. I do exercise but not regularly. I guess I’d have to work on that.

  12. Dear Debt says:

    I’ve felt so run down lately! I’ve cleared my schedule this week to take some much needed ‘me’ time and focus on my goals and health. I made some healthy gazpacho, which really gave me a nice healthy kick. Sleep, good food and relaxation are so important!

    • CF says:

      Gazpacho sounds perfect for these hot summer days! Yum. I worked on the “food” aspect of healthy living this weekend, and hopefully I can keep it up with some rest and exercise during the week.

  13. Always important to take care of yourself.I have learned that one the hard way. Hoping you get some more sleep soon.

  14. Taking care of yourself is important! Unfortunately it usually gets pushed to the bottom on the “life responsibilities” list. Good luck being more healthy this week!

  15. Getting started is definitely the hardest part. Glad you’re starting with food because that at least can make you feel better and give you the energy to exercise. If I eat like crap the last thing I feel like doing is running. But running then makes me motivated to eat healthy. They work really well together…go figure! Now get out there and get going! :) Said with love!

  16. Oh, this is the story of my life lately! In fact, just yesterday I recommitted too to eating healthy and exercising more. Let’s do this!

  17. Catherine says:

    I know exactly how you feel! I’m going through the same thing. I need to get better about eating and everything else will fall into place!

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