We are all busy. We all have a lot of things happening on any specific day or week. Whether it’s work, hobbies, kids, family, social events, getting to the gym, etc., many of us do not have the luxury of having a lot of free time to do things every day such as cook fancy meals, do laundry, clean the house, relax and read, take a bath… you get the idea. But, just because we are busy doesn’t mean that all of our health and wellness goals have to go out the window. All it means is that we have to put a little more planning into these things- sometimes, even when we don’t want to.
For me, planning or prepping for the week includes:
- grocery shopping
- planning out my teaching schedule
- plan out my workout schedule and any classes I want to take
- meal prep- whether specific meals or just veggies and protein so that I can mix and match throughout the week
Even though I may not WANT to do any of these things throughout the weekend, especially on busy weekends, I know that even if I can just do one of them, or some of a few of them, I will ultimately feel less stressed throughout the week because I don’t have to worry about figuring out how to get it all done. I thought it might be helpful if I share my “pep talk” or “if/then” scenarios with you in case you’re in the need for some motivation to get sh*t done.
- When I’m feeling sheer dread about doing something (ex: “I realllly don’t want to prep food right now” or “Ugh. I just wish someone would go to the store for me” or “Can we hire someone to clean our apartment please?!”), I try to think about how I’ll feel AFTER I do it. (Side note: this is also something I do when I don’t feel like working out!) I know that later on in the week I will be SO HAPPY to not have to go food shopping or prep food or do laundry or clean the house. And the great thing is, usually once I think about the feeling of finishing something, I’m more likely to dread the activity a little less.
- Give myself a timeframe. Let’s say I really don’t want to prep food. If I say that I will just do it for 30 minutes or 1 hour, it seems so much less daunting! And while I may not completely finish the process, whatever I can get done in that amount of time helps so much on the back end. Another perk of this? I usually keep going for a little longer because once I get started, it’s not so bad and the feeling of being done is motivation to keep going! (another side note: this is another technique I use when I don’t want to workout!)
- Asking for help is another thing that works well- team work is dream work, baby! If I’m exhausted on Sunday but know I have a busy week ahead and don’t want the stress of not being prepared to burden me, I ask for help. Often times it will look something like this: I will prep the veggies and RM will cook them the next day while I’m at work or teaching. Or, I will put the laundry in and RM will fold it. Or, we will food prep together. Every little bit counts!
- Figure out what’s most critical- For me, food shopping and meal prepping is the most important thing as it saves me the most time throughout the week AND is a necessity since I don’t want to have to worry about buying breakfast and lunch and dinner out (#expensiveAF). Even if I just hard boil eggs, roast some veggies or do a stirfry using frozen veggies, this will help me out so much during the week. However, cleaning? I’m not going to kill myself to get that done if I’m tired or if I’d rather spend my time watching tv with RM, meeting up with friends, going for a walk, etc. Blogging can also wait. Laundry can be done easily during the week. It’s all about prioritizing, which likely differs from person to person.
I realize that some of you, perhaps those of you who are not Type A ( 😉 ), may not feel stressed if you don’t get your life “in order”before the week starts. In fact, it may very well cause you a lot MORE stress or anxiety to have a weight hanging over you regarding meal prep, food shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc. However, for those of you who tend to relate to the Type A personality (#raiseshand), you may relate in that you find it MORE stressful to try and be easy going, go with the flow, do things as necessary & as they come up, etc. Trust me, I have tried to forget about everything mentioned in this post and while it may be nice on Sunday, it feels 10 times worse for me on Monday when I realize I have a lot of things on my schedule and nothing prepped to help make the week a little easier on me on a day to day basis.
But, I think the biggest thing I want to mention- as well as the biggest area of growth for myself over the years- is that prep work shouldn’t make you more stressed, no matter whether you’re a planner or not. I used to get so worked up if I didn’t prep all my blog posts, do all my laundry, clean, and spend hours doing meal prep (and coming up with new recipes to blog) on Sundays. Thankfully, over the past few years that’s a distant memory. I do what I can, when I can, knowing that any little bit extra that I can do over the weekend will come in handy as the week progresses.
At the end of the day, it’s all about figuring out what works for you, which is likely different than what works for the bloggers you may follow, your friends or even co-workers. And that is totally OK. I hope you realize that I don’t share these things to make you feel as though you should do exactly what I do, but rather, I like to share in case people are looking for ways to simplify tasks and to make healthy living a little easier for busy schedules. That, and I love hearing your own tips/advice/thoughts/preferences/etc. because I’m always looking for ways to change things up and save time.
With that said, I’d love to hear from you- do you prefer to plan and prep ahead of time so that you week days/nights are easier or do you just go with the flow? What’s one thing you do to motivate yourself to get sh*t done when you really don’t want to? What’s your best time saving tip for meal prep or something else?