KEEP HEALTHY WHEN IT'S HECTIC
It’s a catch-22. When life’s hectic, you really need to take care of your health — but you’re just too busy and stressed. Luckily, there is a way forward.
1 Schedule exercise time
When life’s busy, it’s easy to put exercise on the back burner. But when you exercise, your brain releases hormones that actually help you cope better with stress. So make sure you schedule exercise into your week. Think of it as your big must-keep appointment with wellbeing. And remember — something is better than nothing.
2 Prepare grab-andgo meals
There’s nothing better than opening the fridge and having something healthy and delicious looking back at you. A little bit of weekend food prep can save time during the week, giving you healthy weekday options when hunger strikes.
3 Practise deep breathing
It almost seems too good to be true that something as simple as breathing can reduce stress, but it can (learn how breathe on page 24). Deep belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us de-stress and relax.
4 Slow cook double dinners
Slow-cooker meals are incredibly convenient and easy — plus it’s always nice to walk in the door with dinner almost ready. If your mornings are busy, prepare the recipe at night and refrigerate; then pop it in the slow cooker in the morning. Make double the recipe and freeze half, so there’s always enough for two dinners.
5 Love your gut!
Evidence is emerging about the close relationship between gut health and mood disorders. Ongoing stress has a negative effect on the balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut, where much of your body’s immune response occurs.
Animal and human trials have found that certain probiotics potentially help with anxiety. Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that add to your gut’s population of good bacteria, while prebiotic foods feed good bacteria so they can thrive.