1. Eat right. When you go grocery shopping, pick up your favorite fruits and vegetables – stick to ones in season and/or on sale to save money (frozen fruit also works well if you’re a smoothie person). Spend half an hour cutting them up when you get home, and you’ll have healthy snacks and sides for the whole week! When I’m at my best I’m eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables by lunch, and my body can feel the difference.
2. Drink lots of water. One of the reasons I hate running errands is because I inevitably get dehydrated, which means I get tired, cranky, and don’t want to do anything for the rest of the day! Try to keep a water bottle with you at all times, or at least a full cup next to you if you work at a desk.
3. Take time to exercise. I personally love going to the gym, but not everyone has the time or money – or the inclination. There are lots of ways you can exercise more quickly and cheaply, such as taking walks or doing exercises in your room before bed. I also try to get up every hour or two to do some yoga for a few minutes, which helps me stay focused and alert throughout the day.
4. Get as much sleep as you can. Hopefully you’re getting at least 7.5-8 hours a night; much less than that will start to take a serious toll on you. It can be hard to combat the idea that you need those extra hours, but a you with less sleep is a you with less energy, less focus, and less capacity to work to your full potential. Also, paying attention to the three points above (diet, hydration, and exercise) will help make what sleep you do get more restful.
5. Set aside one day a week, or at the very least half a day, where you do no work. Use this day to catch up on sleep you lost and exercise you missed, cut up your fruits and veggies, engage in a hobby, and whatever else that will have you sleeping well that night and waking up refreshed the next morning.
6. Take care of problems as soon as they arise. This one I know from experience; one particularly bracelet-filled summer I began noticing pain in my wrists which eventually spread down my arms and even affected my right elbow. By the time my wholesale orders were completed things were bad enough to require steroid pills and a six-week break from work, though luckily I escaped surgery or permanent damage. I now do wrist stretches regularly, take breaks, have wrist rests for my computer, and ice my wrists as needed to keep carpel tunnel at bay.
Take care of your body no matter how busy you are. If you don’t take care if it, it won’t take care of you.