Figuring Out the Fundamentals (Staying Healthy When You’re Busy) – The thing about taking care of oneself is that it’s a really time-consuming affair.
Back in the day, when Sporty and I had not an inkling of the healthy path we were destined to follow, time seemed to stretch out before us like those delicious long stringy dangly strands of cheese that remain stubbornly and insistently connected to the pizza as you lift that first slice out the box.
There was never not enough of it.
Which was hardly surprising when you consider that all we ever did was smoke cigarettes, drink instant coffee and eat cheese rolls.
We had no responsibilities outside of work either, so our lives were ridiculously carefree and easy.
Fast-forward 13 or so years and the picture is somewhat different.
We’ve since learnt the value of juicing our greens, making super-food smoothies for breakfast and exercising (a lot).
In addition to this we’ve also chosen to be vegan, which is pretty challenging when you live in a country that thinks chicken is a vegetable.
Our lifestyle, as you can imagine, is busy (hectically so).
It’s clear the effort is worth it.
Compared to the pasty couch potatoes we used to resemble, we definitely look and feel a whole lot better.
The problem is we’re finding it harder and harder to fit everything in.
Especially as, in addition to Sporty’s day job and my freelance writing, we’re now working on our blog and first launch product as well.
We also meditate daily, need to find quality couple time, time for ourselves, and time to work on our personal growth projects.
Oh ja, and then we went and joined Toastmasters as well didn’t we. Oy vey.
So what’s the solution?
It’s simple actually.
All we need to do is decide what is most important and ditch everything else.
That, as it turned out, was easier said than done because as far as I was concerned everything had merit.
But as I ran through our daily chores in my head I realized that I wasn’t being reasonable (no? really?). It was time to figure out the non-negotiables, those fundamentals that I absolutely could not do without on a daily basis.
I narrowed it down to three: exercise, meditation and healthy eating (in that order).
Not only do I get grumpy if I don’t manage to work up a sweat on a daily basis, I’m also less productive.
There’s something about the endorphin rush that sees me through the rest of the day.
I used to have an on-again off-again relationship with meditation, but it eventually dawned on me that every time I felt shitty I could trace it back to not having meditated in more than a week.
Sitting quietly on my ass and visualizing Kundalini energy or white light or whatever guided meditation I’m currently enamored with has a calming effect on my acid monkey brain.
If I don’t eat properly I can feel the effects almost immediately.
I get tired, grouchy, bloated; my blood sugar levels go awry.
It’s not pretty or pleasant.
So taking the time to prepare nutritious food is vital to my wellbeing and Sporty’s sanity.
But then I had this quiet, almost nondescript, epiphany yesterday.
I realized is that I can in fact get by with a lot less than what I’m currently doing and still feel good.
So for the foreseeable I’ll focus on my three fundamentals.
As for everything else, it’s sayonara. Goodbye juicing*, swimming and anything else that’s taking up too much time, stressing me out or not producing tangible results.
The activities that don’t fall into either of those categories will just have to become the “middle child” for the while.
Which is to say they’ll still get their share of attention, just not as much as their siblings.
*Thank God the hippies live in the southern suburbs where they only have Internet every alternate Thursday, because were they to read this they’d likely be too flabbergasted to juice themselves.”
What are you doing that if you were to stop (even temporarily) would afford you a whole lot of extra time that could be better spent elsewhere?
Figure out what your fundamentals are and cut yourself some slack regarding everything else.
And remember, there’s a vast chasm of difference between important and imperative.
Only one of them will keep your sanity intact. 😉