Over the past few weeks, it’s become easy to focus on things we’ve lost- 24/7 grocery store access, Barre classes, dining at our favorite restaurants, and even taking our children to the park. As the days turn into weeks, we grieve the loss of control in our daily routines.
This forced slowed down lifestyle gives us the ability to pause and be intentional about our health and fitness goals. We’re staying home, living a much slower pace, we have suddenly found ourselves with opportunities to be present and intentional.
Healthy Lifestyle Opportunities during Social Distancing
Time and necessity to plan meals and grocery shopping lists
- Increasing interaction with the public is definitely a risky business. A quick trip into the convenience store when all you really need is gas could put you at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus but also lead to a few moments of misguided pleasure down the candy aisle. With recommended interactions outside of the home being brief, it’s a necessity to plan in advance to prevent multiple trips to the store and to decrease impulse choices such as convenience items. This is the perfect time to save on your food dollar plus trim your waistline by decreasing portions. Instead of the larger portion or a second serving, save it for the next meal.
- Our best defense is a strong offense. Live the strongest healthiest version of yourself you can. Be absolutely intentional with getting in at least six servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Purchase a rainbow of colors to assure you are incorporating a variety of nutrients. Don’t neglect to keep frozen fruits and vegetables on hand for when you run out of fresh.
Teachable cooking moments for your family
- Food prep and cooking at home can bring healthy options to your table in a fun and creative way. Try new recipes or experiment with new ways to cook to make cooking a fun family affair. More opportunities for family meals mean more opportunities for everyone to learn this essential life skill eliminating some of the feelings of, “I don’t want to cook, I don’t like to cook, I don’t know how to cook.” While we hope to never experience another pandemic, your children will benefit decades down the road for learning this important life skill.
Learning physical hunger over emotional hunger
- Embrace this time to figure out physical vs emotional hunger. Is your hunger coming from your gut or possibly your head? Is your hunger tied to the current freeway of anxiety, worry, fear, panic? This is the perfect time to look into the emotions you are feeling with curiosity, not shame or blame. Identify your negative feelings and respond to them with compassionate words such as “isn’t this interesting.” Take the time to explore your feelings and learn more about yourself and your relationship with food. Remember, food will not fix fear, anxiety, worry or panic. COVID-19 will still be here after you polish off the chips, nuts, ice cream or cookies, then how will you feel? If you choose to indulge in reckless eating you will be layering more “icky” feelings on top of your “icky” corona feelings.
Feel your feelings and get moving
- Everything about the coronavirus feels pretty awful. Thank heavens we can still be outdoors to exercise for our mental health. The weather has been challenging with days that have felt too hot, too cold or too wet to get outside. Realize you may need to adjust to the weather, you can dress cooler, wear a coat and even carry an umbrella—- MOVING is a necessity to maintain mental health. A dance party in the house would also work, I couldn’t live without my hula hoop during these trying times.
Seize the day! The stage is set! This is the perfect opportunity to create that healthy and fit version of you. Go forth and be intentional.