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March 26, 2024

E20 | Maximizing health with minimal time for the busy woman

E20 | Maximizing health with minimal time for the busy  woman

Feeling overwhelmed with your health goals amidst your busy, hectic schedule?

You might be underestimating the power of small, daily self-care practices.

Let’s address why squeezing in health and wellness into your already packed schedule feels impossible and reveal the practical steps you can take to change that.

Learn how to navigate the challenges of chronic conditions with minimal time. This episode dives into simple, effective strategies for integrating wellness into your busy life.


  • How to identify "wintering" periods in your life and the importance of self-care during these times.
  • Practical and small self-care strategies that fit into the brief pauses of your day, without needing to overhaul your life.
  • The significance of setting boundaries for your health and well-being, ensuring you give from your overflow, not from your essence.


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A must listen for anyone dealing with such chronic illnesses or anyone looking at improving their overall health and wellness” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey


01:11 - "Wintering" a book by Katherine May

02:55 - Are you juggling a million tasks daily, feeling like there's just no space left for *you* and your health?

04:03 - I had to find a way to care for myself first

05:34 - Little pockets of self-care practices add up over time

07:12 - Recognize signs of stress and prioritize self-care

09:28 - Why you need to give from your "overflow"

11:02 - Why your efforts, though well-intentioned haven't worked for you

13:27 - Schedule non-negotiable self-care time for yourself

14:27 - Self-care practices are the foundation of your health and well-being


In today's episode, I am going to share with you some strategies that you can fit into your coffee break so that you can get the most out of your health in the minimal amount of time. The least amount of time if you are busy. That's all coming up here next right here on embrace your healing Journey podcast. Welcome to embrace your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate their illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty and find relief from their symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in weekly as I, a functional medicine certified health coach, deliver tips and insights that demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more. In each episode, I share excerpts from proses, poems, quotes that will help you to stay motivated, inspire you, and encourage you as you keep taking steps towards health and wellness goals.

And today I'm going to share with you an excerpt from the beautiful book Wintering by the author Katherine May. She says,

 everybody winters at one time or another. Some winter, over and over again. Wintering is a season in the cold. It is a fallow period in life when you are cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider. Perhaps it results from an illness, perhaps from a life event such as a bereavement or the birth of a child. Perhaps it comes from a humiliation of failure.
Perhaps you're in a period of transition and have temporarily fallen between two worlds. Some winterings creep upon us more slowly, accompanying the protracted death of a relationship, the gradual ratcheting up of caring responsibilities as a parent's age, the drip, drip, drip of lost confidence. Some are appallingly sudden, like discovering one day your skills are considered obsolete, the company you worked for has gone bankrupt, or your partner is in love with someone else. However it arrives. Wintering is usually involuntary, lonely and deeply painful. Yet it's also inevitable. We like to imagine that it's possible for life to be one eternal summer, and that we have uniquely failed to achieve that for ourselves. We dream of an equatorial habitat, forever close to the sun and unless unwarily high season.
But life's not like that.

Something to think about, isn't it? As to what is wintering and just understanding or having the awareness to figure out when we are in that period and how we should be taking care of ourselves now back to today's episode. Are you juggling a million tasks daily, feeling like there's just no space left for you and your health? This is especially true if you're dealing with a chronic condition, then you are not alone. 

When my daughter was seven years old, she almost lost her life. And I've shared that story, and I was completely overwhelmed trying to hold our family together, trying to take care of my three year old son, and just keeping our hopes up high. It was very hard because it did not feel that there was any solution at that time. I could not see the entire staircase. I could see only a few steps, right? And I had to take those steps because I refused to believe that there was no way.

And I was desperately searching at the time for alternative treatments and diets because I had come to realize that conventional medicine did not have a solution for her. And I had to find ways to stay hopeful in the darkest of moments, even when there was no light at the end of the dark tunnel. And I had to find ways to stay hopeful. But I soon realized that because I was the primary caregiver and the mother as a parent and taking care of the family, if I really wanted to continue to help her, I had to find a way to take care of myself first, that I did not burn out so that I could be fully present for my family and do the best that I possibly could for them. And I started small. I did not have the bandwidth. I did not have the energy to do anything beyond this. I started small.

I started taking a few deep breaths several times in a day when I felt stressed because I started reading that deep breathing can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your relaxation response away from the fight or flight. So that can help you to deal with stress and calm down your immune system, your nervous system. And I started making sleep a priority, so I would try. And even when we dealt with sleepless nights because of our daughter, as and when I could, I would take naps. I was not working at the time, so I know that I was kind of lucky in that sense. And I had had to take a break. So I would take some naps and just catch up. I would take brief walks outside.

I would meet with friends when I did have the time. At the time, we were going through a lot. It was not much time, but I would try and take out some time in between. I would read an uplifting books have always been my lifeline through all kinds of Cris, and that's why I choose to share so many of those books with you today, I used to write in my gratitude journal before going to bed. These tiny steps actually made a huge difference over a period of time. They really added up in reducing my stress levels and helping me face whatever challenges came our way. And there were so many challenges, but it helped me to build my resiliency, cultivate my resiliency, and keep the spark of hope alive. And over time, those little pockets of self care practices gave me the energy that I needed.

And as I said, the resiliency to continue focusing on my daughter's health. Right? And I added mindfulness practices later on. It helped my emotional well being, and I realized that emotion and regulation was a thing. I had no idea. Right. I started working on that, started reading about it. It also gave me the confidence that I needed to keep going, to keep looking for those answers, even when there was seemingly no answer in sight. Two years later, she finally recovered.

But it started with me. It started with carving out tiny pockets of time for my own self care and my own well being. And it was this practice that, as I said, led me to find a solution for my daughter's health issues because I refused to give up hope. And I shared our story in details in episode one. So I'm not going to get into that. And you might be feeling constantly exhausted, like you are running on empty. And perhaps you are also experiencing headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, bloating, gats, and that seem to have no medical explanation. And maybe you've noticed that your patience has been wearing thin quite often.

So you get riled up very fast. You snap at your loved ones, maybe your child, maybe your partner, and over the smallest of things, and you find it hard to concentrate at work. These are all things that actually creep up on us. And you could be lying awake at night thinking about your endless to do list, or waking up feeling like you haven't really rested at all. These are all symptoms and messages that your body is sending you, telling you that it's overwhelmed and undernourished in terms of self care and desperately needs your attention. And you have to remember that taking care of your health is not selfish, it is necessary. And just like I found with my daughter, sometimes the best way we can help those who we love is ensuring that we are in the right place, mentally, physically, and emotionally, so that we can offer them the care that they need. The real problem behind these symptoms is often not just the physical stress of being busy, but the emotional and mental toll it takes.

And often we miss this part right we focus on the physical part of it. We don't really understand or go deep into the mental and emotional toll that it takes of living like this day to day, where we put everyone else's needs before our own. And as women, we constantly do that. So maybe you're in a state of doing, and rarely, if ever, you press pause to just be. I am definitely guilty of this. I do this from time to time, and I have to remind myself to just be. And this leads to a disconnect between your body and mind because you are not really in touch with what your body needs, right? You're not even pausing to ask what your body needs from you at this moment, and that keeps shifting. And it's like running a car nonstop without ever stopping for maintenance.

And that really does not work in the long run. It leads to breakdown, of course, as you would know. So the key to recognizing is to recognize that your well being is really the foundation on which everything in your life is built. So that is something that your family depends on, too. As the women, we are typically the primary caregivers. We carry the maximum emotional burden of the family. It's something that we do. We are the nurturers.

So we need to fill our own cup first. In fact, recently I had heard a podcast with the brilliant motivational speaker Lisa Nichols. I highly suggest that you check her out. I'll share the link below for her book. And she talks about this a lot. And she said that ideally, you should be giving from your overflow. Not only should you be filling your cup with the way that you need to, with self care, with love, with attention, or whatever else that you might need with rest, but it's only when your cup spills over and it spills onto the saucer. And you should be giving from that saucer, not from your cup.

I mean, I found an amazing way to look at it, very different way to look at it and explain so beautifully, right? So give from your overflow. So what spills on from your cup to your saucer? Give from that so that you don't burn out or you don't feel resentful in the long run. So you've probably tried squeezing in traditional health and wellness activities into your already packed schedule. Maybe you've signed up for a gym membership and you wanted to go several times a week, but you found it really hard to make it there. Or maybe your illness and your symptoms makes it really hard. Or perhaps you've downloaded meditation apps and you have bought health books and they are now gathering dust or maybe you have read them, but you've not really implemented anything from them. Right? It's not just about reading. You have to actually take action to see results.

Or you might have attempted to overhaul or change your diet overnight and you found that such drastic changes are really unsustainable. And they are. This is why I always talk about taking tiny steps. And these efforts, though well intentioned, haven't worked because they require too much energy and too much effort. And you don't have either to spare, especially if you're dealing with a chronic condition. You don't have that much of energy. And time is always limited for most women, the kind of responsibilities that we juggle. So they are designed for a lifestyle that probably doesn't match your own, right? So the assumption is that you can carve out hours for your self care.

And I find this notion of getting up in the morning at 05:00 and before everybody awakes and do 3 hours of meditation, yoga, exercising, it doesn't work for most women. It might work at a certain phase in our lives, but when children are young, when they are growing up, we don't have that much of time. And I would certainly not be cutting into my sleep and just sleeping four or 5 hours or 6 hours only just to do that. It doesn't really work. It's not sustainable. 

So we need to find something that works for us. So this means that these approaches overlooks the reality of your life. That as a busy woman, you need strategies that fit into the brief pauses of your day. One that you don't have to completely pause your day entirely. So instead of trying to overhaul your life with big, time consuming changes, start simple. Focus on small, empowering actions that you can take throughout the day. So you can put these, sprinkle these throughout your day so that you can refill your energy and restore your balance. So it can be as simple as drinking a cup of tea or taking a few deep breaths. Or you can spend a few minutes jotting down your thoughts or what's going on, the stress that you're going through in a journal to help clear you read. Or you can even listen or listen to podcasts or audiobooks, right? And you can ground yourself when you're upset by setting a timer for at least five minutes to just pause and breathe. 

Using a timer works beautifully, by the way. I use a timer for many different things, including working for short periods of time. So I have a timer which is called the Pomodoro technique, where you work in sprints. So you work for it depends what works for you. But I typically work for 35 minutes and then I take a nine minute break. That works for me. Usually if I'm doing very, very deep work, then I might work for two, three sprints and then take a break. But the point is to take a break, right? And I put it such that I am reminded to take a break. Sometimes we need those reminders.

And when you are deciding, say, suppose you're deciding to take a break from social media, electronics, which I really suggest, use this time for meditation, making art, taking a nap, or just being in nature. But you need to ensure that you're scheduling these breaks in your calendar as non negotiable appointments with yourself. This is the most important part of today's entire episode. If you don't treat these times as sacred and make a commitment to yourself to keep with the appointments, you will not be able to do that. You will not be able to sustain it. And I can tell you from personal experience, and I can tell you from working with clients and doing the research that I have done over the years of working with women. You deserve your own time and attention first. You get to fill your own cup first so that you can actually give from your overflow.

So it's important to prioritize these simple yet impactful self care practices because they are the foundation of your health and well being and in the hustle of daily life. This is something that we overlook. This is something that, especially as women and busy women, we forget about this. But you are not just taking a break, you are actually investing in your ability to be present, be energetic and effective in every area of your life. Right? Even if you're dealing with a health condition, you need to be present. You need to have the energy and the wherewithal to actually keep looking for a solution, find a community, stay invested, and keep making investments in your own health, because you need to do that to be able to repair your body, no matter what you are going through. And when you schedule these mini breaks as non negotiable appointments, you're sending a powerful message to yourself and those around you. 

That, your health and well being are a priority. Nobody else can do this for you. Only you can make it a priority for yourself. This is where many women get this wrong. Nobody else is going to come and give you this permission. You need to give yourself the permission to take care of yourself and make your health a priority. This is called setting boundaries. And what happens when you embrace these practices that it helps you to create a ripple of positivity and wellness in your life. 

It teaches you how to handle stress. It helps you to approach challenges with a clear mind and find joy in the smallest moments. So this goes much beyond time management or finding time for yourself. I hope you have understood that today. It's about creating a life where you feel balanced, fulfilled and truly alive. You are making plans once again. You are playing with your children again. You are going for walks in nature, walking in the sun. You're running, you're jogging.

You're doing all those things that you wanted to do. But if you are not being able to do that because of your health issues or that you're just simply too busy, you wanted to always learn an instrument. You picked that up. Again, it's not about so much about being too busy. It's about not being able to make the time because you've not really understood how to fit in these breaks, do these things right. And I've gone a bit beyond taking breaks today, but I wanted to because it's that important. If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at @aninditarungta

Thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of embrace your healing journey podcast. And if you want to learn how to do some of this and create a loving and healing environment by connecting with your body and empowering yourself with tools such as self compassion, gratitude, journaling, all some of the things that I talked about.
Then the free ebook the autoimmune Healing Toolkit is for you. You can head to toolkit or to the link below. And in the next episode I will talk about three practical steps that you can incorporate in your life are crafting your healing roadmap and transforming your wellbeing. Don't miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it? Are.