Being a full-time employee with a side hustle can leave all types of room for excuses to slack on the health and wellness part of life. But it is crucial to implement some type of self-care and health management.
A good health and wellness routine can keep your brain sharp, improve information retention, help you maintain good energy levels, remove brain fog, and improve stress management just to name a few.
These are routines I’ve found extremely helpful and easier to implement as a full-time employee, working your standard 9-5 (actually 5am-2:30pm), 5 days a week, with a creative side hustle and a desire to improve my health and partake in self-development daily.
Since as long as I can remember, I’ve been searching for the best ways to be healthy and practice wellness on my schedule. Over the years I’ve figured out what is more realistic with a busy schedule, what’s crucial to health, and how to make it all fit.
In today’s post, I’m sharing what routines I’ve been able to work in around my job and the hours I work on my creative business.
Short, intense workouts
Did you know that unless you’re training for a competition, you really can get away with 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day? And you’ll still reap all the benefits of working out regularly?
There are a few YouTube videos I’ll link below that got me to give shorter workouts a try.
I love shorter, intense workouts for how quickly I get them done and how much work I get done in that short amount of time. Of course, it’s not as much work as doing two hours in the gym, but it is just as much sweat, if that makes sense.
To get the most out of shorter workouts, I do high intensity interval training or cardio and I do whole body exercises.
For example, when I’m doing cardio, I’ll walk on an incline of 9.0 and do walking lunges for 30 seconds. Then I’ll rest for 2 minutes. Then I’ll do lunges with kickbacks for 30 seconds. Then rest for 2 more minutes. I usually choose about 3 exercises and do the intervals until I reach 30 minutes.
For lifting, I do full body moves for 30 seconds, rest for 2 minutes, and continue the intervals for 30 minutes.
When I finish I am sweaty and feeling like I got a good workout in.
Planning, shopping, and preparing ahead
You knew it was coming. Meal prep.
By far THE BEST thing I do for myself before my busy week gets started is plan my meals, grocery shop, and prep my meals. So much time is saved and on the weeks I miss out, I feel the strain.
Meal planning is one of those very popular, very familiar buzz terms. That’s because it really does work wonders for a busy healthy eater. It cuts out a gang of decision making and simplifies healthy eating throughout the week. I love it.
My planning and grocery shopping days are on the weekends. Usually on a Saturday. I make a grocery list on Google Keep and head to the store. Sometimes I check my calories and macro count using PaleoTrack.com.
On Sunday, I take a few hours to cook food and portion off into my handy dandy meal prep containers. They make it look like my meals are being prepped for me which is cute.
I suggest choosing a day weekly to shop and prep. Or a day to shop and a day to prep.
Simple Healthy Meal Combinations
I am way too busy to be cooking three to four recipes a week. If even just once a week, all at once. I just can’t. I don’t have the patience and really don’t feel like standing in my kitchen like that when I’ve got content to write.
So my solution has been to keep my meal combinations extremely simple. The most I’ve been doing for the past two months has been roasting chicken, steaming kale, boiling eggs, and frying sweet potatoes. That’s it. My salads and end-of-the-day spinach smoothies are easy enough to make as I need them.
I cook things that don’t need me to watch them either. It’s easy to put on my chicken, kale, and eggs and then go deep condition my hair or vacuum my room.
Pot roasts, roasted chicken, steamed vegetables, boiled eggs, and easy to make salads are some good choices to give a try.
Lay out workout clothes and pack the gym bag the night before
I also make it a weekly routine to fold my workout clothes together for the week. I fold my workout bra, pants, and shirt combinations together so I’m not looking for shit at 2:30 in the morning. It’s too early to be confused about what I’m going to wear.
That night before, I pick a workout outfit, fill my water bottle, make sure my towel, weight gloves, and headphones are in my bag, and I’m good to go. In the mornings, all I’ve got to do is get dressed, wash my face, fix my hair, and brush my teeth.
If you’ve been “trying” to workout a routine where you can get dressed and head straight to work after the gym, this method is definitely one you need in your life. Pack your outfit, toiletries, cosmetics, hair stuff, or whatever the night before so all you need to do is get the sleep out of your eyes, brush your teeth and head out.
This is more so a testimony than a suggested health routine. Intermittent fasting has gotten really popular lately, but suggesting you don’t eat because you’re busy is definitely something I’m not here to do like at all. If you hungry, you bettah eat gurl.
For myself, intermittent fasting has made meal prep a much shorter process and I don’t have to take as much to work. I eat most of my meals at home now after work with one meal eaten at work.
I’m spending less time eating which was surprisingly still a noticeable chunk of time even though I only ate three times a day before practicing intermittent fasting. I also have more time for mindful eating when I eat in the afternoon when I’m off of work and between hustles.
Intermittent fasting is also a great healthy thing to do for the body. It gives the body a chance to stop using energy to digest food and instead take time to repair and regenerate as well as remove toxins. It really is a great health tool and gets a lot done for the body even on a busy schedule.
I’ve found doing shorter, intense workouts, meal prep, packing my gym bag the night before, and intermittent fasting has made a health routine something I can stick to despite my busy schedule.
It can take some serious discipline to stick to these routines, but with effort in mind over perfection, you’ll definitely be able to put at least one of them into your routine. I suggest giving the healthy meal combinations a try first. Can’t outwork a crappy diet.