When you have a busy schedule, many of us don’t think about practising self-care or prioritising our health, happiness, and mental well-being. Works stress and daily responsibilities may become overwhelming, and we might lose track of ourselves. We may even forget how to start taking care of ourselves if the work-life balance has been out of touch for a while.
This can be particularly true for business professionals who are always running for deadlines, businesses meetings at work and come home to family and friends’ obligations, chores and taking care of the home.
Life is a cluster of hectic work demands and family responsibilities that we overlook or put on pause the most important requirements – your health and happiness. Many of us forget that self-care is not a luxury it is a necessity. However, because we feel so busy and rushed all the time, we may not know where to start or just not be able to find the balance.
Fortunately, life, work, health and self-care are not about picking only one over all the others. Being able to have a healthy mind, body and work-life balance should not be taken for granted. You should not be waiting for something to go wrong before you give yourself the attention that you may have needed earlier.
Intentional action should come from you, and your want to treat your body like a temple that needs enriching and a good support system. The long-term effects of small positive changes would greatly improve your health and well-being if you start as early as you can.
This begs the question of how can we juggle all of life’s responsibilities while still being able to prioritize our health and change negative habits that we may have? Read on for some tips that you can use to get a head start with helping yourself prioritise your health.
It has been noted that the very first thing to be affected by a busy schedule is sleep, which can be detrimental to health. It is good sleep quality that can determine how well you can function while awake. Not getting good sleep regularly increases the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as obesity, depression, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Additionally, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2022) sleep deficiency can affect your mental health and increase the risk of injury at work.
Being able to switch off by setting boundaries around your sleep time will greatly benefit you and allow you to have a full night’s rest.
Between all your responsibilities and errands, it can be very easy to forget to eat or snack or even more importantly – drink water. Our bodies need water to function properly, and a study in 2013 found that even mild dehydration of 1-2% can impair cognitive performance.
According to Harvard Health, people who are considered generally healthy should drink between four and six cups per day. However, you shouldn’t drink it all at once. Try to drink a little bit throughout the day. There are many ways that you can keep track of your water consumption – apps on your phone that send reminders or water bottles that have markings to let you know how you are doing.
This is a no brainer of course, for a long time we have seen doctors, nutritionists, and researchers promote healthy eating habits. However, when you are busy it can be difficult to eat healthy foods. When you’re in a rush you are more likely to grab the easiest option which is usually not the best for you. Or even worse, start skipping meals.
Including a healthy meal plan for the week, or perhaps making food preparation for the week ahead during the weekend would be useful in pinching the unhealthy eating habits in the bud and allow you to not worry about this aspect of your busy day.
Our bodies are made to move. Being still at your desk for a long time can harm your body and health. At work, it would be beneficial to give yourself small breaks and have a little walk around, or perhaps do some stretches to feel more limber.
The CDC suggests that adults aged 18-65+ exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and do muscle-strengthening activities twice per week. Those who are 65+ should also add balancing activities to that list (CDC, 2021).
Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to go to the gym for longer work-outs before or after work. However, finding 15-30 minutes during your day should be easy enough and would be a great addition to your routine and health. Even a small improvement to posture would be good.
Being mindful can be very difficult for those with busy schedules. Finding a quiet moment to be present with our thoughts and feelings can seem impossible. And even if you do find a moment the ability to turn off your mind may not come easy.
However, it has been documented that even brief mindfulness and meditation sessions have a huge effect on people with depression, stress and poor sleep (Wu et. al., 2021). There are many resources online that would help you find the type of mindfulness that would work for you. This includes yoga, breathing exercises, music and various bedtime apps.
Preventive full body check-up
As positive as taking your health into your own hands is, you cannot see everything that is going on with your body. Especially on the inside, and more so if you are not showing any symptoms. This is when preventive health assessments come in to help. They provide a comprehensive image of your health.
However, a busy schedule may prevent you from picking up the phone to book an appointment with your doctor. The thought is usually “I’ll do it later when I’m less busy” but that time never comes, and you get stuck in a cycle that becomes harder and harder to break.
At Echelon Health we understand that our clients lead busy lives. Our goal is to equip everyone with a solid understanding of their health, and as a result, we have created the Evergreen package that helps us in our mission.
The Evergreen package is designed to work around our clients’ busy schedules and as a more cost-effective solution. It offers convenience and peace of mind. Arranged as annual assessments over 3 years, our clients will receive not only the scans and assessments that would usually be available with our Platinum package but also additional annual blood tests, an annual full-body mole check and follow up consultations after each set of scans undertaken.
The full list of scans available (minus the additional tests mentioned above) for the Evergreen Package is as follows:
- Blood Tests
- CT Aorta
- CT Heart
- CT Coronary Angiogram
- CT Chest
- CT Pelvis
- CT Virtual Colonoscopy
- CT Bone Density
- CT Upright Skeleton
- MRI Brain
- MRI Cerebral Artery Angiogram
- MRI Carotid Artery Angiogram
- MRI Prostate
- Ultrasound Thyroid
- Ultrasound Testes/ Ovaries
- Digital Mammogram
- Full Body Mole Screen
Take control of your health at times that suit you, but still, use the best imaging technology to look at your body head-to-toe in extraordinary detail. All results will be analysed by the best experts in their fields to ensure that nothing is missed, and you will be able to enjoy your life – busy or not to the fullest extent.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact our team or check out our brochure for more information on all the health assessments offered by Echelon Health.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2022). What Are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency? Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-deprivation (Accessed 12/04/2022)
Riebl, S. K., & Davy, B. M. (2013). The hydration equation: update on water balance and cognitive performance. ACSM’s health & fitness journal, 17(6), 21.
Harvard Health (2020). How much water should you drink? Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink (Accessed 12/04/2022)
CDC (2021). Physical Activity for Different Groups. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/age-chart.html Accessed 07/12/2021.
Wu, R., Zhong, S.Y., Wang, G.H., Wu, M.Y., Xu, J.F., Zhu, H., Liu, L.L., Su, W.J., Cao, Z.Y. and Jiang, C.L., (2021). The effect of brief mindfulness meditation on suicidal ideation, stress and sleep quality. Archives of suicide research, pp.1-16.