Break down the barriers and ignore the excuses: It is time to make yourself a priority.

As personal, professional, and social responsibilities build, personal wellness can drop to the bottom of the priority list. Although the effects of not taking care of your body and mind may not be noticeable immediately, it’s only a matter of time before they surface. It’s common for people to prioritize their day around work, school, and family, and view activities such as exercise, eating right, and other self-care activities as optional.

Finding as little as 20 minutes to nourish your body and soul can have a huge positive effect. Here are some phrases (that might sound familiar) that stand in the way of your wellness. Take steps to overcome barriers and focus on you.

“I’m too busy.”
This is a commonly used phrase—and usually true! However, scheduling at least 30 minutes a day for physical activity and a few extra minutes to prepare healthy meals and snacks benefits you in the long run. When you take care of your body and mind, you feel better. When you feel better you sleep better, are more productive, and are overall better equipped to handle your busy lifestyle. Plan your days out and make sure to schedule wellness activities that are important to you. Check out our Pinterest board for wellness quick tips that will help you make the most of whatever time you have.

“I had a long day and I’m tired.”
There is no doubt that after a full day of responsibilities that one of the things the body needs most is rest. But do you have a few minutes here and there throughout the day to devote to wellness? Leaving any important activities to the end of the day ensures that something will get in your way. Try to head off time management issues by fitting in wellness activities important to you early in the day or set yourself up for success the night before. Make your lunches for the week on Sundays so they are all packed up and ready to go. Prepping things ahead of time sets you up for success.

“There’s no point. I will never reach my personal goals.”
Every good thing takes time, including the decision to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It can be easy to want to overhaul everything at once. But start slowly and try incorporating one new behavior to your routine at a time, such as walking 20 minutes at lunch, packing your lunch/snacks for the next day, or meditating for 10 minutes three times a week. Once you’ve got that down, move on to another. Slowly but surely, you’ll get to where you want to be. And don’t be afraid to seek help from friends or professionals who can support your journey.

“I can’t afford a healthy lifestyle.”
Finances can limit certain activities, but there are many creative ways around lack of money. Thanks to the Internet, there are many free resources right at your fingertips. Anywhere you have some extra space can be your home gym. Also, summer is a great time to join the Student Fitness Center. At roughly $26 a month for faculty and staff, it’s one of the best priced gyms in town—and conveniently located! If mental wellness is on your mind, check out our free guided relaxation audio or yoga at your desk video. Check out our Pinterest board on financial wellness.

Remember, taking care of yourself creates a foundation for success in all other areas of your life. No matter what your wellness goals are, set barriers aside and commit to making your well-being a priority. The end result will be a healthier, happier you!

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