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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