What’s the biggest barrier to healthy living? It’s neither knowing what to eat, or finding the right exercise routine. Nor is it about the correct meditation technique or cost of natural medicines.
According to a recent survey of over 3,000 Australian women, we think the greatest hindrance to living a healthier life is a lack of time.
We believe we don’t have enough time to make better health choices, move our bodies more and make informed lifestyle choices.
Close on the heels of being time-poor is motivation. Perhaps this is a truer representation. Many women undoubtedly lead busy lives (and we still do the lion share of the housework and parenting duties). But despite this, as a nation, we still find the time to spend 8.5 hours a week looking at Facebook.
If we have time to browse, we have the time to improve our wellbeing.
The same survey found that only 14% of Internet users identified having a lack of time as an impediment to using social media. So if the majority of us have time to browse, we have the time to improve our wellbeing.
Other than halving our social media usage (do we really need more than 4 hours a week to update our status?), there are many other areas of our life where we could could carve some time. For example, did you know in her lifetime the average woman will spend 17 years worrying about her weight?
Do you really have time for
- feeling guilty
- worrying about what others think about us
- changing outfits multiple times before leaving the house
- second guessing the thoughts and actions of others
- counting calories
A US study found women spend on average 55 minutes a day worrying about how they look – that’s almost 7 hours a week of worry time that we can convert to action (or simply worry-free relaxation).
By choosing to become more aware of our self-defeating use of time, we can create a lot of space for wellness. But always try to congratulate rather than castigate yourself if you find you’ve lapsed back into old habits.
Ways to spend your bonus health time
You don’t necessarily need to become a triathlete or wholefoods chef but you could see this as creating the time and space to:
- walk more frequently
- prepare a few salads
- eat at the table with family or friend
- get more sleep
- luxuriate in the bath, or
- meditate for even 10 minutes a day.
Better health is a choice.
Recently there’s much been said about the ‘glorification of busy’. As if our status and worth is commensurate to the amount of time spent working or running about. Sometimes we legitimise our busy-ness, spending time online checking email or Instagram for the umpteenth time that day, in the guise of ‘work’.
By halving our social media hours, choosing to worry less (or getting help when negative emotions are compulsive) and cutting back our mirror gazing, we have both time to indulge these habits and increase our wellbeing through movement, relaxation, mindfulness and eating more nutritiously.
What choices are you making to create more time for your wellbeing this year?