(I wrote this post in a partnership with Macquarie University, Sydney)
That coveted, and extremely elusive, work/life balance.
We all dream of it, we know how important it is, but we don’t always strike it.
Whether you rock a full-time job, you’re still at school or you’re a uni student, it doesn’t matter – that vital balance between work and life is something we should all be striving for. It’s all about spending time studying/working, but making sure you’re also doing all those things that make you feel alive, as well as ensuring you’re taking care of your health.
The fun things could be having a girl’s night out, playing footy with the boys, going for a long run, writing, shopping (oops, maybe shouldn’t encourage that one!), cooking… it could even be stamp collecting. Just whatever fun little activities that are your thing. Make sure you do them – and never feel guilty for it.
The other aspect of work/life balance, is making your health a priority, no matter how busy you are. You know the saying, “you don’t find time for important things, you make time?” Yeah, sometimes that’s the case, especially when it comes to health and fitness. But it’s all good! Luckily there are a few things you can do to make it much, much easier to stay on that healthy track of yours, eat well and get your sweat on more regularly.
Start working out early in the morning:
This is a toughie, I know. I dread that 5.30am alarm just as much as the next person, but just think: you’ve got your exercise done and dusted for the day, and the awesome endorphin hit to go with it! It becomes a routine before you know it, it’s just the first few weeks test you. Then, you question why you didn’t start working out early sooner! You can head off to uni, or wherever you need to go, feeling refreshed, energetic and accomplished – all before 9am. Say whaat?!
- Lay out all your workout gear before bed, so you can get up and go the next morning!
- Prep a portable brekkie so you can grab it on the way out and head straight to work/uni/school afterwards. That way, you’re not spending unnecessary money, and you’ve got a healthy meal to refuel with! Win-win.
- Plan your workouts for the week on Sunday so you know exactly what you’re doing, then treat them like any other appointment you wouldn’t miss.
Start meal prepping on the weekends:
Setting aside an hour or two on Sunday to get together some healthy foods for the week will do absolute wonders. Not only will it keep you sailing along with your healthy habits, but it’s much more convenient. We all know that feeling: you come home after a super-long day, and the pizza place across the road is calling your name.
It’s much more tempting when you’ve got nothing organised for dinner! If you’ve prepped some things, you can whip up a delicious, healthy meal in minutes. You can also bring lots of yummy food to work/uni/school with you in tupperware containers. Done and done.
- Ideas for snacks: Hard-boiled eggs, chopped up fruit, home-made trail mix, home-made protein bars, banana and oatmeal cookies (or other healthy baked goods alternatives), yoghurt, etc.
- Ideas for meals: Chopped veggies, grilled chicken/fish fillets, cooked quinoa/wholewheat pasta, stir fry, roasted veggies, etc.
As much as it’s completely do-able to keep on top of your health game and work or study, it isn’t always easy to do. I’ll pop my hand up now and say that I’ve had a week and a bit of not working out much, with lots of treats (think garlic bread and hot chips out with the fam… yum!). You know what? That’s okay too. I’ve enjoyed myself, I’ve loved having a bit of a break, but I can’t wait to get stuck into the gym again tomorrow. It’s all about balance over time, so never feel guilty for skipping the gym for a week, or having a few extra chocolate brownies. 😉
(see below for additional food porn – a bit of an oxymoron to the meal prep pic!)
Macquarie University is one of Australia’s leading universities. Located in Sydney, Macquarie University has a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (such as a Bachelor and Master of Journalism) available to suit every student’s needs and interests.