Guest post by Vanessa of Brunch n Grind
Brunch n Grind is the brainchild of two food and fitness addicts, an award-winning blog bringing you the best experiences in London and beyond.
At Feedr, we’re all about encouraging wellbeing at work. As explored in our recent panel discussion, one of the best ways to do this is to have your work/life balance on point, and having an employer who encourages you to do so, too. Maintaining those work/life boundaries is a key way to keep work-related stress at bay, and performance in the office high. We partnered with life balance guru Vanessa, aka one half of the award-winning food and fitness blog Brunch n Grind to bring you 5 top tips for staying fit and well when you’re busy.
Everyone’s got a side hustle these days, right? Emma Gannon’s latest book The Multi-Hyphen Method is all about the rise of the ‘slashie’ – the new buzzword for us talented millennials who refuse to be pigeon-holed with one job title. Instead we claim an array of strings to our bows: digital editor / content creator/ events planner. But with all this multi-tasking and the fast pace of London life, it can be really tricky to find balance, not to mention something resembling a social life.
Take it from someone who knows… I’ve been juggling a demanding full-time job while also growing my wellness business with my friend and colleague Kat, for almost two years and it hasn’t been easy to maintain my health and fitness goals at the same time.
By day I’m digital production manager at a leading newspaper and morning, noon and night I run Brunch n Grind, a website and social community, which covers the hottest yoga, fitness and brunch events in the capital and beyond. From new studio openings to activewear launches and restaurant reviews, there’s so much to cover and fitting it all in with my own fitness takes precision planning.
So if you’re feeling stressed, frazzled and too busy to workout, here are my top tips for looking after yourself on a tight schedule:
1. Plan, plan, plan
Every Sunday evening, set aside some time to plan the week ahead. Take a look at your diary and plot in your workouts for the week around other commitments. I find that booking classes in advance makes me extra committed and less likely to flake out on the day.
It also helps to form a weekly routine, for example if you’re aiming to get a spin, yoga and weights session in each week, try and keep these consistent and sign up for the instructors you love to train with to make sure nothing puts you off last-minute.
Flexibility is key though. Keep a minimum and maximum guideline in mind. For example, I like to train 3-4 times per week, but sometimes I might only fit in two if I have a lot of work commitments. It’s important not to beat yourself up if you miss a session or two, just make a concerted effort to focus on your fitness the following week to get back on top.
2. Train smart
I’m not naturally a morning person and used to struggle to get up in the morning, wasting time snoozing or scrolling on my phone. I’d try to fit my workouts in the evenings, but after a long day at the office I found I had much less energy and either skipped the workout or, if I did turn up, I didn’t train as hard.
When I finally bit the bullet and tried morning workouts, it changed my life. Getting up that hour earlier means you can fit those all-important endorphin-boosting sessions in before work and you arrive at your desk feeling alert and energised. When you sit down to start your working day, you’ll feel like you’ve already achieved so much and the evening is yours to do with as you wish!
If you’re still struggling to get on board with a 6am start, find a gym buddy to train with. Make a pact and stick to it, you’re much less likely to talk yourself into another snooze if you risk letting a friend down.
3. Breakfast prep
Some call it the most important meal of the day, so you wouldn’t want to miss out! Often I’ll arrive at work at 9am and I’m thrown straight into non-stop meetings until lunchtime, so if I don’t get my breakfast I’m a very hangry person indeed.
Prepping ahead means you can have a nutritious meal to start your day, keep your mind alert and stay on track with your goals. I like to have a huge bowl of chia seed pudding in my fridge at all times. Mix the seeds in with a milk of your choice overnight (mine is coconut milk) and pop in some fresh fruit for added flavour such as berries, mango or drizzle with honey. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fibre, iron, and calcium so they’re a great alternative to sugary cereal or toast.
Another favourite of mine is to prep a boiled egg, quarter of an avocado and some spinach leaves. Just embrace the Tupperware life, it’s the only way!
4. Maximise your lunch breaks
Working in an office environment and hunched over a laptop plays havoc with our posture, so make a point of getting up and out on your lunch break. Just a twenty-minute stroll around the block will clear your mind and give you a much needed boost of Vitamin D. Take the opportunity to listen to a podcast, my favourite is The High Low, or if you really want to switch off, find a quiet spot to sit and try the Will Williams meditation podcast.
5. Bedtime rituals
The single most important thing to remember when you’re hustling this hard is to get a good amount of sleep each night. After eight hours in the land of nod, I feel fresh and sometimes even wake up naturally before my alarm, but as a natural night owl it’s taken discipline to get my bedtime routine right.
Firstly, create a screen ban. After 9pm try to put down your phone, turn off the TV and commit to no late-night working on your laptop. All that blue light stimulates your brain rather than getting it ready for a deep sleep.
The air in my flat is quite dry, so to get it around the recommended 45% humidity, I have a small room humidifier next to my bed. I put it on an hour or so before bed with a few drops of essential oils such as lavender, jasmine or cedarwood, which are said to promote relaxation and promote better sleep. If my mind is busy, it helps to write a list and park those thoughts for the morning. Then reach for a good book and before I know it I’ve drifted off…
In conclusion, with the right discipline and planning, you really can have it all. So set a goal, prep your breakfast, and buddy up, and you’ll start reaping all the good vibe rewards in no time.