10 Days to a Healthier, Happier You When Life is Moving at the Speed of Light

Balance Your LifeSometimes, the speed of life and the speed of light seem synonymous. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out in terms of scheduling and balancing your efforts, a new responsibility or curve ball is thrown your way. When life’s pace gets a bit too wild for your liking, how do you manage to keep all of the balls you’re juggling in the air?

For me, the solution is as simple as having a 10-day plan. Each time I feel like the days are moving at the speed of light, I make a concerted effort to institute 10 small changes, one day at a time, to slow things down and help ensure I’m tackling all of life’s challenges in a healthy, happy way. At the end of the 10-day period, I’ll often find that the small changes I instituted were so simple that I can easily repeat them again & again until they are part of my routine.

Much like with finances, making small, manageable changes to your daily routine and habits can have a huge, positive impact on your overall quality of life. In turn, this can help you smoothly navigate the roughest of scheduling and balancing waters. Here’s how I make the 10-day plan concept work for me:

Day One: Manage my sleep habits better.

Whether it’s going to bed 15 minutes earlier, practicing relaxation techniques before bed, or sleeping in 15 minutes later, I find a way to increase my amount of quality sleep.

Day Two: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

I’ll make an effort to drink as much water as I comfortably can throughout the entire day. Staying adequately hydrated helps stave off headaches and fatigue so love your water!

Day Three: Manage my meals.

I make sure to have at least 3 quality meals or 6 quality mini-meals throughout the day; no matter what the timing may be (Hello, 3PM lunch hour!)

Day Four: Be fiber-licious.

I’ll incorporate one extra veggie and/or fruit in at least one of my meals.

Day Five: Find my Zen.

Or as I say, the Jen Zen Zone. Deep breathing, meditating for 5 minutes, stopping to actually smell the roses in the flower beds. Whatever it takes to chill out for even a minute or two.

Day Six: Manage social connections.

When I begin to work crazy hours, it’s really easy for me to throw socializing to the side. This effort on day six ensures I’m keeping my bonds strong. A text, an email, a short phone call; I make sure to reach out to one or more of my friends on this day.

Day Seven: Prioritize my responsibilities.

Perhaps that PowerPoint deck for next week’s meeting can actually wait until tomorrow. Maybe I don’t need to triage all of the 300 emails in my inbox. I’ll quickly figure out the must-dos for the day, finish those, and let the rest wait.

Day Eight: Get my exercise on.

This one is easy for me because I typically bike to/from work instead of driving. But on day eight, I’ll make sure to add something in addition to my daily bike rides. Abs, stretching, a quick run; they’re all fair game.

Day Nine: Daydream.

I’ll literally schedule in 10 minutes where all I’ll do is sit (outside is ideal if the weather is cooperating) and let my mind wander. You’d be amazed how refreshing this is and I highly suggest you try it–right now!

Day Ten: Take stock of my success.

I’m a firm believer in evaluating your mistakes AND successes. Make a quick list of all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished and post that list somewhere visible. Mine is usually a Post-It note on my bathroom mirror. I’ll re-read the list while I’m brushing my teeth as a quick way to remind, encourage, and motivate myself.

As you can see, none of these things require a ton of effort, time, or resources. None of them are rocket science and all of them can be stand-alone changes you make in your everyday life. Additionally, all of them are easy ways to help you feel more in control when life is hell-bent on sending you out of control.


What are some ways you manage to keep your balance when life seems to be moving at the speed of light?

 

Photo credit: winifredxoxo

The Happy Homeowner

The Happy Homeowner

We're a team of freelancers who are on a mission to inspire others to live a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Work from The Happy Homeowner has been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo! Finance, Wisebread, Lifehacker, The Dr. Oz Show, Good Housekeeping Magazine and many other outlets.
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19 thoughts on “10 Days to a Healthier, Happier You When Life is Moving at the Speed of Light

  • July 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm
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    It's great your breaking it down into manageable chunks. I need to get back to step one, since this last week I've been staying up late, which affects me overall performance/motivation the next day.

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    • July 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm
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      Small, manageable chunks are the key here–none of the things I've listed above take much effort but all can have a huge impact on quality of life!

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      • July 12, 2012 at 8:48 am
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        I agree! You need to take care of yourself first!

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  • July 11, 2012 at 10:26 am
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    This is a great way to manage. I let most of these things fall to the wayside when I'm busy which, unfortunately is most of the time!

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    • July 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm
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      Same here! I'm trying to make some permanent changes this time around though :)

      Reply
  • July 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
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    I like this plan. I think I will have to try it sometime.

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  • July 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
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    These are great tips! Especially the healthy eating and getting enough sleep. If you aren't taking care of yourself properly, you can't be efficient in other areas of your life.

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    • July 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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      So true! Taking care of yourself is paramount–above all other responsibilities. Unfortunately, it's always a struggle to keep this in the forefront of our minds when things get so busy…

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  • July 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm
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    These are great tips! I've been finding that having 15 minutes of me only time (okay plus my cat) does wonders for my mood. I just wake up 15 minuetes early and do little things. This usually results in me going to sleep earlier too.

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    • July 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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      I love it!!! I bet those 15 minutes are some of your favorite minutes all day long :)

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  • July 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm
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    I just try to take care of the most important things first! That is the best way in my opinion :) Just make sure you keep your health at the top of the list.

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  • July 13, 2012 at 12:59 am
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    One of my favorite inspirational sites.. Zenhabits.. regularly posts about not attempting to many life changes at the same time, because individual changes need time to soak into your lifestyle. If you jump to quickly, the earlier changes could easily revert back …. Personally , I think there is a lot of wisdom in this :)

    Jefferson

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  • July 13, 2012 at 11:02 am
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    I like the daydream tip. I'm going to do that today! Great post :)

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  • July 14, 2012 at 8:03 am
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    "Much like with finances, making small, manageable changes to your daily routine and habits can have a huge, positive impact on your overall quality of life."

    Holy crap! I have written this sentence (or a version of it, anyway) in my blog about a zillion times in the last year or two. My major success story was getting myself to floss every single night. Over two years later, and it is a firm non-negotiable in my evening routine. I am on the hunt for more of these little life-changing habits! This month, I'm concentrating on getting my 8 hours of zzz's each night. So far so good! Good luck in your quest as well.

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  • July 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm
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    I prioritize daily. I get done the 3-4 most important things and see if there is any time left for anything else. Usually this means that I hang out with friends or family as planned, make sure my business emails are caught up, and then make sure my blog is up to date with posts. If there is any time left, I move to the secondary list. :-)

    Reply
  • July 18, 2012 at 9:46 am
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    For me its all about staying active. It could be a 30 minute run or 2 hours of surfing. But I make it a point to get some sort of exercise each day, especially when I am really busy.

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  • July 18, 2012 at 11:38 am
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    I love this 10-day program!!! It makes it so much easier to do all of them instead of reminding yourself to do everything all at once. I'm going to bookmark this.

    Reply

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