You've noticed the spiral.
Little by little, time for exercise is squeezed out of your day, until it's non-existent. Next, your quiet time, set aside for prayer and Scripture, dwindles, too. You start feeling like there is no time to fully accomplish anything. Your nutrition suffers, because your meal planning is rushed, and you might even be grabbing drive-through items, just to get by. Then, you're feeling tired, worn out, and discouraged.
We've all been there.
Really. We have.
If you have enough time to read to this point, take a deep breath, and stop. Just rest... for a few minutes.
You know what you need to do.
If you truly want to be the most helpful and loving to your family and to yourself, you will do what you know you need to do.
Make a resolution right now.
It might not be January 1st, or the start of any particularly special month or day, but make a resolution.
Decide now that you will figure in a few minutes for prayer and a few minutes for exercise tomorrow.
That might mean setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than normal. That won't kill you. I promise.
It might also mean switching a couple things around in your morning (or afternoon or evening) routine, but you'll survive that, too. Trust me. It didn't hurt me to do it (a time-sensitive person of consistency and schedule), so I'm sure it won't hurt you, even if you're as stubborn as I am.
Here are some ideas for you.
Follow a HIIT, burst, or surge technique, which entails a couple of minutes of intense exercise, several times in a row. This will only take a very short bit of time out of your day, and will have many added benefits, which you can read about in other Mick's up articles. Incorporate these sets into your morning routine.
For example, during a 100-Days of Burpees challenge I took on, with a suggestion from a wonderful trainer's Facebook post, I accomplished my goal by breaking down the large number into more do-able spurts, while fixing breakfast for the family each morning. 15 - 25 burpees (depending on the day's number)... then check on breakfast... 15-25 more burpees ... then check breakfast again... 15-25 more burpees... another peek at breakfast... final set of burpees... and breakfast is served!
As the weather gets more pleasant, getting outside is easier. If you don't think you have time, consider your need to clear your head in the middle of your work day.
If you don't think it's necessary, ask your boss for an opinion. A good boss, like mine, will tell you to take a break in the middle of your day, in order to keep up your productivity. It decreases your stress level, and it allows you to take on a new perspective, when you return to your project. Now, granted, this might mean giving up a few minutes of your lunch hour, but it sure is worth it!
A recent article by Dr. Ben Lerner talks about balance between work and life.
I am so excited to hear friends around me talk about how they are fitting exercise into their days: lunch time walks around the block; measuring how many times around the building equals one mile; at home after work, walking off the stress of the day; getting involved in a "biggest loser" contest at the gym; working extra time one day of the week, in order to take off early on another day that offers a special fitness class; and on and on it goes.
Even my high-school age son knows this. He has been known to take a quick jog around the neighborhood to wake himself up before delving into his homework... or to relieve stress of the week, when he gets home on a Friday. (That makes a mom proud!)
Just the other day, my son and I had a fun, impromptu "date" that included a sort of exercise: We were talking about silly dances, and in his curiosity, while I was mentioning line dances, he pulled up the Cha Cha Slide (after we realized how OLD the Electric Slide is... ha ha! That one is from MY day!).
Think about it.
We can make it work, if we really want to.
"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."