We’ll just say what everyone is thinking: life is busy and people have to prioritise how they fill their days. We usually find that health falls to the bottom of the priority list… until something happens and it forces its way to the surface of the list again.
Fortunately for you, it is easier than you think to #loveyourguts before things go wrong! Keep reading for a few quick, reasonable and actionable tips to help keep your gut in check with an on-the-go lifestyle.
PLAN AND PREPARE
What does planning or preparation have to do with the gut microbiome? Well, stress can disrupt a healthy gut or make an unhealthy gut even worse, and stress is often the result of poor planning or lack of preparation.
Good planning = Preparation = Less Stress
Psychological stress, environmental stress like extreme temperatures or noise, and abnormal sleep are all different types of stress that can impact your gut.
While some things are entirely out of our control and we can’t plan for them, we can try and take small steps to avoid unnecessary stress.
- Wake up when your alarm goes off to avoid being late. Say no to snooze.
- Prepare as much as you can the night before:
- pick out your clothes
- prepare what you can of your meals
- pack your bag
- charge all electronics
- put your keys by the door
- anything else you find yourself panicking about in the rush of a morning
- Check the weather, always carry an umbrella, and carry a light jumper to avoid getting caught in the rain/cold/heat without the proper clothing.
- Try only saying “yes” to 60% of what you think you might be able to manage. If you end up with free time, it’s a plus. There are few downsides to this one.
- Allocate an extra 20% on top of the time you think you need to complete a task.
You don’t know until you know. It is a simple but honest truth.
The best part about learning is it helps you make better decisions. In this case, decisions about your gut health.
I challenge you to do three things that will help you find time to educate yourself on the most important topic of all: your health.
1. Think about how you absorb information about other topics like current events, politics, pop-culture, music, cooking or baking, technology, electronics, etc.
I imagine you find out through social media, radio, television, streaming services, conversation with peers, podcasts, or other similar channels. We usually find the time to educate ourselves on things we’re interested in, even if it is in the form of socialising or “down time.”
2. Now think about how much time you allocate to those channels. If I were a betting person, I’d say it is a significant slice of your day. We’re social beings and it is completely natural to prioritise things we enjoy.
3. Finally, think about the level of impact each of those things has on your life. Now think about the level of impact health has on your life. Which is more important?
Next time you find yourself scrolling through Instagram, listening to a Podcast, searching the web, chatting with friends, etc., change the topic to health. Re-allocate that time, even if only for a few minutes. You’ll learn something new that you can incorporate into your life.
- Have an accountability buddy. Ask your best friend/partner/colleague to check in and make sure you are taking the steps you said you were going to do
- Use a screen time monitoring app to keep aware of how much time you’re dedicating to mindless browsing
- Subscribe to health-related Podcasts, YouTube channels and blogs that send you reminders when new episodes, videos and posts become available. This will act as a prompt to tune into more health-centric information!
- Use a journal or diary to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. Not only will you start to see new positive patterns forming, but you’ll get a nice kick of serotonin when you see the impact the small changes are making to your life.