In case you've been wondering, you're not the only one out there struggling to stay on track with food and fitness lately. This past week alone I've had several conversations with clients and messages from several others around the struggles people are having establishing their “new normal” in the wake of COVID-19 and the ongoing and indefinite stay-at-home recommendations.
Home. A place where we feel safe, secure, and comfortable. The place everyone looks forward to coming back to after a long day at work or school, after that stressful business trip, and even after the perfect vacation. The place where we get to relax and recharge, ready for whatever we have to go out and tackle next. Except for when we're not. Going out I mean. And the things that need tackling are now showing up at home, in ways we've never experienced before.
In less than two months, our society has moved from being sociable and meeting in person, to social media and keeping personal distance; from going to work to working from home - or not working at all; from taking kids to school to homeschooling; and from travelling anywhere to spending spring break at “kitchen island”. Add to that, trying to focus on eating better to improve health but getting everything on your grocery list isn't even available. It's a lot to take in. Even so, I am a firm believer that regardless what life throws at you, with a little creativity and these three easy steps, you can come out on the other side healthier, fitter, stronger and without any extra weight. Sound good?
The first step is to establish a routine. Uncertainty, lack of direction, randomness, no rules... all things many of us look forward to in short bits, like weekends, or going on vacation. But when it's happening 24/7/365 that's a whole new ball game that no one is exactly sure how to play. Humans thrive on structure, information, and routine. Aside from the two week, all-inclusive holiday resort vacations, humans do not do well living in limbo, drifting without clear direction. The best way to bring down fear and stress levels and at least feel like things are getting back to normal, is by putting some structure back into your every day. Let's face it, sleeping in, wearing Pjs and binge-watching Netflix gets old, fast.
So, what are you not doing now that you were before? Look at what activity used to take up the bulk of your day. For most people/families that's likely going to be work or school so I'll use those as my example. Depending on your job and your family's dynamics, these things would have normally consumed anywhere between eight and twelve hours per day, sometimes longer. And these hours you once spent occupied away from home, now need to be replaced with slightly different, new-normal versions to do at home.
When you put things in place on a daily basis, creating routines and adding some structure back into your days, you'll not only feel good at the end of the day about what you accomplished, you'll also start to feel a sense of normalcy returning to your home. Even if you're not working at all and all you can think of is housework or spring cleaning to fill that block of time everyday, do it. I know, I know, nobody's house needs that much cleaning, even now, right? So what. You got up and went to work at the same place everyday, doing basically the same thing every day, all week for years. My point is that once you start getting into some sort of routine, you'll feel better.
The second thing you'll want to do is to show up. Regardless what tasks you have chosen to fill that block of time, get up, dress up and show up. Going to bed and waking up at the same time, dressing for what you've got planned and then “arriving” on time to get started will do wonders for helping to maintain a positive outlook and support mental health.
Lastly, take care of yourself. Make sure to schedule you into your day. Self care is important, especially now. Fuelling your body with whole, balanced foods, making sure to drink lots of water, exercising daily, dealing with stress, getting enough sleep and supplementing where your body needs all help to support immune function and increase overall health. There's no better time than now to start focusing on your health. If you're looking for connection, community and a some awesome fat-burning chocolate recipes as you work on your health and weight loss goals, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.