5 habits that have changed my life for the better

Working full-time and looking after a young family is tiring. Sometimes it wears me down to the point where I feel I need to have an uninterrupted 24-hour sleep. So spent from the week that a semi-hibernation is necessary to recharge the batteries, realign to centre.

Monday to Friday, after eight hours in the office, I head home to the second shift. Where office work is cerebral, home is spiritual and emotional. Particularly when I’ve had quite a day at work – and all I want is have 30 minutes of peace and quiet in my own company – it’s a gargantuan effort to burst through the front door being enthusiastic about life.

A glass of wine normally works a treat in easing away the knots in my shoulders, but turning to alcohol for comfort is not a sensible long-term solution.

Let’s be practical.

What I need is energy and stamina. Not to be hungover the next day.

So the solution is obvious. Exercise regularly and eat healthily. Plus, streamline the week so my head is free to focus on work instead of thinking about what to have for lunch.

Two months ago, I did some things that have helped make me a more balanced person.

1. Swimming

I swim every day in the week, Monday to Friday. Within the first month, my stamina improved. I have more energy to get through the day and work week with more left over for the weekend.

2. Me time

It’s just 15 minutes everyday. Normally first thing in the morning. A cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen.

3. Keep my Monday to Friday as simple as possible

I prepare my lunch for the week on Sunday. I don’t mind eating the same thing everyday so long as it’s tasty. With clothes, I stick to black. You can’t go wrong. It always matches.

4. Eating breakfast

Home-made muesli with almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Or any other seeds I fancy.

5. Calendarising everything

I find to do lists stressful; they’re never-ending. Assigning a time for every single thing you want to do makes much more sense. There are only 24 hours in the day.

All of these are still works-in-progress. I may have two months of practice but, believe me, there are days when the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak.

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