The beginning of the new year is overwhelming. There are so many new goals to set, resolutions to remember, and old routines to fall back into. As a busy working mother, the idea of a busy to do list is the total opposite of motivational. When I see too many things on the calendar, I panic. When I write out everything I need to do before the day ends, I feel exhausted. For this year, I’m taking a different approach to find balance. Does balance exist? I think so. When you think about your tasks in batches and add in a few new habits, it’s easy to feel better even when busyness takes over. The first step? Plan out what’s on the menu for the day!
5 Things to Do Before Lunch
1. Create a daily menu. Setting up a family menu is something that is easy to do, and it can save you money in the long run. While you don’t need to scour the weekly sale ads or clip coupons regularly, you can come up with a few family favorites that are simple to add into the rotation. You can also stock up on fast options for your busy days.
Whether you need to make a trip to the store or want to plan out the day’s schedule, this can save tons of time and help you avoid overwhelm. I know that I typically shop early in the morning on a weekday so that I can avoid the weekend crowd. While I am to do this since I do work at home, I also would make quick trips to Walmart on my way to work many mornings to stock up on a few items. It helped my day go much smoother!
I don’t shop for food EVERY day as that would be exhausting, but I do evaluate in the morning if I have everything I need. I hate running out once my son is home from school, and I like to start my day with a plan. If you’re a busy mom on the go in the mornings, this option lets you enjoy breakfast in a hurry.
2. Clear it off. Whether it’s your desktop, your office bookshelf, or your kitchen counters, clear the clutter. I’ve learned that cluttered areas in spaces of my home that I use frequently (like the kitchen or the office) make me feel anxious or overwhelmed. I can’t focus on my daily tasks when there’s dishes in the sink or mail unsorted. Take ten minutes after setting your family’s daily menu to clear off a countertop or minimize the digital clutter on your computer’s desktop. Those ten minutes add up over time, and they will hopefully offer a more balanced day.
3. Define your word of the day. Many people are creating a word for the year. It’s a word of inspiration so that you can focus on your theme for the year. However, what if we break it down to a word of the day? It can be hard to set a word for the year where there is so much change. Some days require a day of rest, some days require energy, while others need balance. My word for today is balance as I strive to work on my daily routines and set up a schedule that works for my family.
Since I work from home, I often forget to take a lunch break. It’s a terrible habit, and it’s one that I’m working on! With the LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Collection Sesame Chicken, I am able to take an official break since it doesn’t take long to prepare. I also paired it with one of my favorite broccoli recipes for a dish that made lunch time a bit more interesting.
4. Prep a dish in advance. If you can, prepare a side dish in advance so that you can enjoy it throughout the day or as leftovers. One way to do this is to steam a bag of broccoli and season it using the recipe below. Serve it with LEAN CUISINE® Culinary Collection Sesame Chicken or on its own. You won’t be disappointed either way!
- 2 pounds of broccoli florets
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp of sriracha
- 4 tbsp of bacon bits
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare broccoli according to package instructions or by steaming it in the microwave. Add 1/4 cup of water to a microwavable bowl and place the broccoli inside for 3 minutes or so.
- Drizzle the broccoli with the ingredients and toss to coat.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g
5. Practice mindful eating. Another way to feel balanced throughout the day is to be mindful as you eat. Do you eat lunch hurried at your desk or in a car? Try to enjoy your meals at a table, free of clutter, and enjoy the flavors of your food. Take ten minutes to yourself and relax. When you’re eating a dish like these, it’s easy to enjoy and find balance. Make notes in a journal or write down something you’re grateful for each day during lunchtime. This peaceful time of reflection will soon become something that you look forward to each day.
Healthy Recipes Ideas
- What Snack Food is Healthy?
- How to Make Easy (and healthy!) Infused Water Recipes
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowl
How do you feel balanced? What is part of your daily routine?