The COVID-19 shelter in place restrictions and continuing uncertainty have made it extremely hard to focus on wellness. Since the future is uncertain, our anxiety levels are elevated. Because we can't get to the gym, our workout routines are either limited or blocked. At the time we need to burn off some anxious energy, we can't, and food is ever-present.
Stress Blocks Your Ability to Think Clearly and Make Good Decisions
The uncertainty and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 has put many of us in a constant state of stress. If you can work, you may be worried about your family. If you can't, you're worried about your income. Constant stress can make you reach for candy and soda instead of nourishing food.
Make It Easy to Eat Right
The first step in setting up a healthy eating regimen is to control what's easily accessible. For example, grocery shop after eating a satisfying, healthy meal. Nutrition coaching authorities also recommend shopping early in the day, so your brain isn't fatigued by too many decisions. If you spend the day making good decisions for yourself and the rest of your household, you'll be exhausted by the end of the day. Nutrition coaching for moms can really help once the sun goes down.
Try to load your cart with nutrient-dense foods including fresh produce, protein-rich beans, whole grains, and lean meats. Go easy on the treats.
When putting food away, consider that habit experts explain that you can avoid a bad habit by making it difficult. If you buy a sweet or fatty treat for the kids (or yourself) put it more than 20 steps from your normal food prep area. Cookies can store in an upstairs closet. Candy bars can go in the basement. If you have to hike for it, you have a better chance of avoiding it. Make healthy choices easy.
As soon as you get your groceries home,
- put apples on a pretty plate and set it on the counter
- rinse all the grapes and store them in separate bags for a snack pack
- rinse baby carrots and transfer them to Ziploc bag
- rinse and chop fresh celery for a quick, crunchy treat
- rinse baby tomatoes and save for a TV watching treat
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Your gym is probably closed, so your regular workout class may be cancelled. However, you can still get moving and work your muscles while you shelter in place. Use a timer to avoid sitting for more than an hour at a time. When you do laundry, put 10 feet between the dryer and the basket so you have to walk back and forth to fold and store clean laundry. When putting away, use the same technique to get your steps in. In every activity, experiment with adding a curl, an overhead press, or a stretch.
If you've got a yoga mat, try some sun salutations on your own. If you're not keen on yoga, get down on the floor with your pets once an hour and practice getting back on your feet without touching furniture. If you can already do that, stand without using your hands.
Get outside whenever you can and take care to stay socially distanced. Avoid playgrounds, but do try to bring outdoor toys from home, such as a badminton racquet and shuttlecock, with you when you're out. You don't need a net to enjoy some fun and fresh air. Nutrition coaching experts recommend connecting fun activities to movement and great food choices for future success.
You can build new habits to replace those denied you by closings. Even better, in the future you'll know that activity and good nutrition is possible no matter what you're facing.