8 Known Ways to Better Your Health in Busy Times

Back in the 1980s and earlier, many of our moms were stay-at-home parents. Our friend’s parents had time to mingle and visit each other. Or we’d come home from school without multiple hours of homework. Sadly, though, the world has changed so much since. It’s constantly busy. The economy is more costly, leaving both parents to work full-time to survive. And kids have more school responsibilities than ever. So, in a nutshell, we now have less time to spend with our loved ones or better our health, which could affect our overall well-being. Therefore, we must find a way to break this cycle. 

The Toll Life Takes on Our Health 

Maybe we were on the run back when, but that equated to playing sports in our friend’s yard after school. Or we were roller skating, skateboarding, bicycling, or hopping fences. Because life is so busy now, we have less time to be active and more time to stress and worry. Unfortunately, this continued lifestyle can negatively impact our mental and physical health. So, let’s examine how it can. 

An unhealthy lifestyle can lead to: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Stroke 
  • Cancer 
  • Shorter life expectancy 
  • Obesity 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 

Although we can’t completely change every situation, there are steps we can take to keep our bodies and minds healthy. 

How to Improve Your Health 

It would be unrealistic to try and change your lifestyle overnight. Not to mention that having a hectic life can get in the way. But the point is to improve your overall well-being ultimately. So, here is a list of things you can try and do.

1. Become active.

Becoming active might sound contradictory if you’re always on the go. However, the constant running around forces one’s body and mind to be in an adrenaline phase, creating stress hormones. In comparison, healthy activities can increase your well-being. 

People often assume you must run, jog, or do interval training to become healthy. But on the contrary. Being active can entail taking your dog or kids for a walk in the park or playing outside. It can be gardening, swimming, or yoga. Or it can be a light workout video or dancing in your house. The point is, being active doesn’t have to be strenuous to benefit your health. It’s about getting your heart pumping. 

Not only does becoming active improve one’s physical health, but it also improves their mental health. In other words, exercise releases a feel-good hormone called endorphins that decreases anxiety and depression.

2. Spend time with loved ones.

Spending time together as a family can be very difficult between work, school, homework, and extracurricular activities. But children are much more apt to feel safe, secure, and loved when they have more time with their family. So, how about reading to them at bedtime, watching a home movie on a weekend evening, cooking together, or eating together at the dinner table? 

Although some families don’t believe in talking at the dinner table, for those who don’t mind, it can make a difference for everyone and might be the only quality time you have to sit and talk. Just remember that some time is better than no time. 

Couples also need alone time together. Therefore, carve out time before bed, such as cuddling, talking, or whatever quality time works best for you. Or see if a friend can watch your children while you go out on a date. It benefits the entire family when parents are happy together. Otherwise, not having any couple time can lead to conflict and resentment that spills over to the whole family.

3. Put down your devices when you can.

We often spend little time together because we’re all on our devices. Yet, although there is nothing wrong with some device downtime, too much of it takes away from quality time spent with loved ones. We may also miss out on great opportunities, such as attending a fun event or observing nature. These are the things that make memories. Otherwise, we can’t take back the time we lost spent on technology. Next thing you know, our kids are grown, or a friend moved on to another school. 

Another option – rather than everyone on their devices in separate rooms, how about playing a video game together as a family? It can be such a fun activity.

4. Find time to socialise.

Humans all need someone, whether a friend, family member, or mentor. Otherwise, without it, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. So, find some time to get out there and socialise with others. Meet new friends. Or maybe join a gym, book club, or other community. 

Doing things outside the home can give you purpose, boost your cognitive brain health, and keep you living longer.

5. Take some downtime.

We all need downtime after a long day at work, school, homework, or raising children. As mentioned before, being on the run only releases adrenaline, increasing stress levels. This steady routine will eventually take a toll on your health. Therefore, it can benefit you even if you relax for at least ten minutes daily. Preferably more over time. So, why not tell your family you need at least ten minutes to decompress before you take on tasks? Take a warm bath or read a book when the kids go to bed. Or do whatever it is that will make a difference to you. 

Spending some downtime is vital to refresh your mind. Plus, it allows people to problem-solve better, such as how the day went or what they might need to do. Just ensure your thoughts won’t stress you out during your relaxation time.

6. Manage your mental health.

Life can mentally get the best of anyone. Therefore, a mental health checkup is as important as a physical one. And you don’t have to wait until things get bad to seek help, either. Think of it this way – you wouldn’t want your sugar to spike before seeing a doctor, so don’t wait until things become too mentally challenging to bear. 

You can also seek a support group with individuals who can empathise with what you are going through. It’s often helpful to know that you aren’t alone and can talk with someone who is less subjective than a friend or family member might be. 

One such place is Barty’s Adventures, where they hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative

7. Get plenty of rest.

The average adult needs 7-9 hours of nightly sleep, but most people don’t get that amount. However, sleep deprivation can create physical and mental health issues like obesity or depression. Therefore, we must nip it in the bud. For example, see if you can go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until your sleep and wake time reaches at least seven hours. Or how about a bedtime ritual? For instance, you can get your clothes ready the night before, drink a warm glass of milk, or take a warm bath. 

In addition, try your best to shut down your devices 1-2 hours before bedtime. Otherwise, you might struggle to fall asleep due to the blue light devices emit. Also, try not to check your phone or use any devices in bed.

8. Eat healthily.

Food is energy; without that, it depletes our brain and body of the nutrients it needs. So, try and eat the best you can, especially breakfast, the most important meal. It’s an ideal time to eat the heartiest, too, as it will give you energy throughout the day. 

High-protein foods are also more significant in the morning than evening. Studies have shown that people don’t process protein as well in the evening. Eating a complex carbohydrate with a fruit or vegetable in each meal is also essential. 

Studies have also shown that dinner should be the smallest meal of the day, as we are usually less active during that time. Plus, medical journals have stated not to eat four hours before bedtime, as our food converts to fat. 

If you’re hungry in the evening, try snacking on something with protein, such as a cheese stick or any cheese. Just stay clear of sugar before bedtime, as it can make it harder to fall asleep. 

Finally, some people can’t eat full meals. Therefore, they might do better with six mini meals than three square meals daily. Just as long as they are getting the nutrients they need. So, for instance, that might include hummus or peanut butter on whole wheat crackers with an apple. 

Do the Best You Can 

This list might sound exhaustive, but it is only to give you ideas. Yes, your health can benefit from these suggestions. Still, it is not an overnight process. So, it would be best if you took it at a pace where you’re comfortable. It’s about what you are ready for and what you can do to better your health. 

There is Help 

Hopefully, these points could give some comfort, but sometimes just reading quotes isn’t enough. Online therapy can be a great option if you or a loved one is looking for more support. 

Therapy through BetterHelp.com/Barty can be more affordable than traditional therapy and allows many options to communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Most importantly, remember that it is okay not to be okay, and you are no less of a human for feeling your emotions and being vulnerable. 

To receive 25% off your first month, head to BetterHelp.com/Barty 

Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty,’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a question in the comments section below at any time. 



Sandy Glover


Sandy is the resident mental health professional at Barty. She previously worked as a therapist, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in counselling. Sandy has transitioned to becoming a peer presenter at several mental health settings through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her passion for mental health is evident in her writing as a subject matter expert who draws from personal experience, professional expertise, and education to help eliminate stigma.

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