Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the busy girl's guide to staying healthy

as most of you know i have a fairly new job where i'm teaching mommy & me classes, and oh boy! is it ever exhausting.  it's 6 nonstop hours of singing, shouting instructions, running, playing, and dancing.  i can barely catch my breath for the 2 minutes between each class.  so with my new busy bee life, i've had to find better ways to stay healthy.  and by "healthy" i don't just mean combatting all the germs one can catch from leaky kiddies {aaah! germs!}, but more so in finding good ways to maintain my sanity.

here are some of the things keeping me healthy in every area of my life.
maybe some of the things that work for me will work for you too?


when you spend the day singing with a
hand puppet, it's important to take time to
challenge the mind and feel like a grown up.
i try to read psychology journals, engage
in deep debates with the mister {we love
good ole fiery debates!}, or listen to npr.
that way i make sure to continue
 expanding my knowledge outside of
singing and dancing with the little ones.
other ways to feel mentally sound are
journaling, continuing your education
through workshops and classes {i hope to
start sign language classes this fall}, or take up
a new hobby {there are so many things i
want to learn how to do!}.


i've found that it's essential to give myself a transition between work and anything else. we do this with kids in a classroom setting, but as adults, we tend to forget this important practice. when i get home i take an hour to do something that helps shut off my "work" brain and gets me ready to fully devote my attention to my personal life. some people like going for a run, cooking, rocking out on their commute home, or reading a good book.  i like to have uninterrupted quiet alone time that involves some sort of entertainment - arrested development, reading hyperbole and a half, or scrolling through beautiful photos on pinterest.  during this time i focus on letting go of everything that happened through the day and laugh as
much as possible so i can feel recharged and
move on to other things.


i really hate schedules, especially when it comes
to things {or in this case, people} that i love.
but penciling in a date with the mister or coffee
with a friend is the only way i can spend
quality time with my loved ones now that i'm
working all sorts of weird hours.  i keep
these dates as i would any other appointment or
work schedule - once it's in the planner, it's not
going to get bumped, because being with
loved ones is probably the most important
way i can spend my time.  some of you suggested
protecting your "people" time by setting aside a
weekly date, like movie nights every monday
or family dinners every friday.
what a fabulous idea!


i make the extra effort to wake up crazy early {5am!!}
so i can sip tea and write out my morning pages
{a type of journalling}.  i absolutely hate mornings, but
taking that time to get all those thoughts out of my head,
focus on my deeper life goals, and dedicate my day to
doing good is so necessary for my overall attitude
throughout the day.  i always feel so much better after
i've chosen to be quiet and listen to my inner voice.
i also try to write out what i'm grateful for at the end
of the day, so no matter what has happened i am
reminded of my blessings.  problems have a way of
seeming a little less troublesome afterward.
other ways to be spiritually healthy are exploring
different religious practices, meditating, or
volunteering for a good cause.


to keep my energy up and avoid getting sick i make
sure i sweat for 30 minutes at least 4 days a week.
i also always get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. this is hard for me because i have to wake up
in the wee hours of the morning, but i'm a total night owl!  so in order to fall asleep on the early side i end
my day with a hot shower and some relaxing yoga.
i use my yoga online to experience guided yoga
and meditation on the cheap in the comforts of
my own living room {they offer pilates, ballet,
and belly dancing too!}.  they have all sorts of
styles, levels, and time limits so you can find a
practice that's right for you in each moment of
the day. other people i know like to fit in an early morning run before work, join an exercise class
at the gym, or take family walks and bike
 rides in the evenings.


a few weeks ago i confessed how little i like to cook or
stop to eat in my busy day.  as i'm sure you can imagine
eating at my new job is especially difficult for me.  i don't have much time between teaching classes to eat, but i need more energy there than any other time in the day, so finding something healthy and easy was vital. right before i got hired, i was sent some samples of rush bowls.  thank heavens!   they're ridiculously healthy frozen smoothies, packed full of vitamins, protein, and fiber.  plus they have a great selection of flavors.  i pretty much live off smoothies at home, but i can't exactly cart my blender and freezer full of frozen fruit to work, so these little bowls have become my power-boosting snacks. go go gadget energy!  they come with packs of granola {or crispy rice, depending on the bowl}, and are ready to eat after a couple hours thawing in the fridge. they're perfect for grabbing a
few spoonfuls of energy whenever i get a free moment.
you can order them here, or you can find them
 at select whole foods.

so how about you?
how do you stay healthy and sane during your busy days?

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8}


  1. I'm going to reply to this question in the morning because it's currently 12:05 a.m. and I have to be up by 6:30 a.m.!!! Ugh. Have to say how much I love this post though. It's fabulous. Much like you!

    More in the morning, Ms Kim!

  2. I agree with heaps of these - my friends don't always understand why it takes me a while to click into a chatty mood if I meet them straight from work, and I feel so much calmer now I take an hour or so to myself first thing in the morning. Personally, I find scheduling in things with friends helps, though, because it means I can look at my calendar and feel cheered by how many good things I've got to look forward.

  3. wow this is an amazing post. i journal too, but usually at night time. and seeing friends is so important i agree as well as relaxation time. love this post!
    im starting a new series on my blog called happiness wednesdays :) so maybe at some point you could guest post too!
    lots of love xo

  4. love this post.
    i'm a big believer in getting lots of sleep and alone time to feel less stressed.

  5. This is an amazing post! You've inspired me to try to get myself into a routine where I'm taking better of my mind and soul. I've been focusing on eating better, but I also need to take enough time for myself and do more things I love to stay calm and centered.

    Also, I'm totally going to look for those Rush things at Whole Foods!

  6. I love all of your posts, Kim, but this one in particular. I love the rundown and the way you arranged everything. Those Rush bowls sound good and I've opened the exercise page to look into after I comment.

    I'm still working on how to arrange everything. Things have recently gotten even more busy for me, but somehow I'm managing to fit in the MOST important things like relaxing walks/exhilarating bike rides, making healthy and plentiful meals, meditating, etc. into my schedule much more easily these days. I think I need to start scheduling more like you, though! Also.. skype dates with friends every week help out a ton. : )

  7. I definitely need to have some alone time when I get home from work. After working and talking to people all day, my mind needs a little peace and quiet. I need to work on the whole exercising thing. I know it will help me fall asleep and make me feel better overall, but it's just so hard to make myself do it when I'm exhausted on a Tuesday night!

  8. Being a full-time employee and student leave me drained by the end of the day, as a result I wake up with the same drained spirit most of the time. These tips are great, I am bookmarking this post!

  9. I like all of these points that you've made. I think it's important to take some me time and make sure you're staying grounded.

  10. Ohh yeah some adults to talk to after spenting the day with a baby is very much needed... so I'm so happy for meeting with a group of mums every week... I love my baby, but honestly not many deep conversations with him:)

  11. Such great tips, Kim! I definitely need to eat healthier and those Rush bowls are definitely something I would eat. Heading over there right now!

  12. i see the inner therapist coming out of you! These are all great tips! I find that when I am eating right, have and have a healthy social life, most other things fall in place.

  13. This all sounds so good. My life is super slow right now, but the pace will be picking up like crazy next month--I'm keeping these ideas for then (especially the Rush bowls). This seems like a busy girl's guide that would work even for non-type-A folks like me!

  14. girl! you are so organized! so thoughtful! so methodical! and you have excellent coping skills!!! for reals!

  15. I absolutely loved this post! More than anything, I needed to read it! I have found that I don't take time for myself to wind down after the work day is over, and after a while it seems to take a toll.

    I do attempt to exercise at least 3-4 days a week, and can always tell a HUGE difference when I do!

  16. Great post my dear! So, so important to keep focused on what we need to keep us healthy! Thanks for the myyogaonline link- definitely going to be using that. And I am impressed with your early morning wakeup! I am trying to push myself to wake up earlier and do the same. Its tough but I really do think its worth it!

  17. This is a feel-good post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    When I was in my late teens, I went to a holistic health workshop with my friend's mom Mandeep. At the time, the concept of holistic living was exactly that, just a concept to me. I didn't fully grasp its significance until I faced my own challenges and had to make conscious lifestyle changes in my 20s. It is all about balance in all aspects. For me, balance means running, spending quality time with good friends and family, reading, crying it out if needed be, or just simply being still for a while.

  18. i actually read silly stuff that helps me relax and detach from the everyday's stuff... I try to eat lots of fresh stuff so I can indulge in something else another day!

  19. Even with your busy life, you manage to look out for blog buddies :) This is a really well put together post, I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Thanks! I walk to work (about 10 minutes) and its the perfect amount of time to separate myself from the kiddies/ mental illness/ crying parent part and get back to "non-work" me. I like to write as therapy and do crafts as well!

  20. Did I ever tell you I used to own a childcare facility and had 85 to 100 children at any one time? Um Kimbirdy--you need to replenish your soul and these are all great ways!!


  21. This is such an inspiring post! I'm going to be working as a language teacher in Spain soon, teaching children of all ages, so I just adore these ideas for reclaiming the rest of your day! I especially love the bits about how you're continuing to educate yourself and take up new things, as this is what I'd want to be able to do myself, as well!

  22. great post, very helpful and those rush bowls look delicious
    Forever Chic,

  23. I love this post, thanks for sharing these wonderful tips :)

  24. i love your guide. so genius. these days, I am trying to get up early enough to write and pray. Also, taking breaks in the day has been a good practice for me.

  25. These tips are fantastic! I love that you address the transition between work and me time. It's so important to shut your brain off from work once you're done with it. I'd drive myself insane if I constantly thought about all the things I need to get done the nest day!

    And by the way, LOVE your blog, its purpose and all that you stand for. Following!

  26. I love everything about this post! I agree about the importance of recharging and taking some time to transition from one part of the day to the next.

  27. This is really true, in addition you can Climb the stairs. Socialize. Solve a crossword puzzle. Play Scrabble. Offer a helping hand to the community. Keep thinking. Stay away from watching TV for the whole day. Just don’t be passive by staying active. complete Alma Mott site