Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging when you have limited time. That said, it is still possible to make the most of your remaining time through mindful and intentional practices. Let’s look at a few ways to prioritize your health and well-being, even when your time is limited.
Find Joy in Movement & Exercise
For many people, exercise is the last thing on their minds when they feel like they don’t have much time left. However, movement and exercise can greatly boost endorphins and bring joy into your life. It doesn’t need to be too strenuous—something as simple as taking a walk around the block or stretching every morning can do wonders for both body and mind. If you already attend physical therapy or other treatments, ask if there are any exercises you can do at home between appointments.
It’s also a good idea to connect with the community by participating in activities such as a walking or running group, a Tai Chi class, or any activity you enjoy. Try getting up a bit earlier in the morning and stretching or even walking for 10 minutes. It will help energize your body, jumpstart your day, and provide mental clarity.
Mindful Eating Practices
When it comes to eating, pay attention to what you eat and how you eat. Try to create an atmosphere of mindfulness during meals by setting up a nice place at the table (or wherever else you might enjoy eating). You can use proper dishes and eat slowly without distractions from phones or television. Enjoy each bite without guilt or shame.
Savor the flavors and textures of the food you eat while being aware of how it makes your body feel afterward. This helps create positive associations with food that will make it easier to ensure that all the nutrients necessary for living healthily are getting into your diet. You can also try the following:
Organic food: Invest in organic, locally sourced food products whenever possible. Organic foods are usually higher in nutrient content and may also help reduce exposure to harmful pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc.
Meal prepping: If you don’t have time to cook every day or even several days a week, you can always prepare meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer. This way, you’ll always have healthy meals in a pinch.
Drink more water: Staying hydrated is essential to living healthily and can help reduce inflammation and fatigue. Aim to drink two liters of water daily (or more if you’re very active). For flavor, you can also try infusing your water with lemon, lime, cucumber, or mint leaves.
Consider Care Services
Especially if you live alone and don’t have anyone to rely on, consider using home care and medical services. Services like these can assist with daily tasks such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, meal prep, transportation to appointments or errands, medication reminders, and more. You can also consider palliative care services designed to improve the quality of life for people with a serious illnesses. You will be offered physical, emotional, and spiritual support to help manage symptoms and side effects. With this service, you will have access to a team of medical and social professionals to help you through the challenges of living a healthy life even when time is limited.
Reaching out for help can be difficult, and a stigma may be attached. But remember that seeking care services isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength and resilience. It shows you value yourself enough to prioritize your well-being despite the limited amount of time you may have.
Prioritize Self Care & Comfort
Take some time out of every day dedicated just for yourself—whether reading, meditating, journaling, creating art, listening to music, watching movies/series, etc. Do whatever brings joy into your life and helps restore balance within yourself. During this time alone, allow yourself all the comforts that make life enjoyable. Pay attention to small details, such as lighting candles or burning incense, so the environment feels more nurturing and calming. This will help ease anxiety about having limited time left. It also fosters good relationships with others since feeling grounded within yourself tends to translate outwardly toward others.
If you find comfort in being around others, you can also spend time with family or friends. This might be uncomfortable and hard, especially if they feel like they’re running out of time too. However, it will help to remind them (and yourself) that life is still beautiful, even in the face of mortality. Create meaningful moments with them by talking about life, sharing stories, laughing together, and holding each other close.
Living healthily doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice enjoying life. There’s still time for joy and comfort, even in the face of a terminal illness. Make sure to take care of yourself and prioritize your needs so you can live out what remains of your life feeling fulfilled.