If you’re like most people at the moment, you’re moving less than you usually would be. There are only so many times you can walk back and forward to the fridge!! When you’re working from home, suddenly your usual routine is out the window, food is more accessible and for most of us, our usual exercise options are closed.
But in all seriousness, creating a healthy routine to help you through this time of isolation is important to make sure you come out the other side healthy and happy.
Here are the 8 ‘healthy routine’ tips I’ve found most useful since I’ve been working from home!
- Try to stick to your regular eating routine as much as possible and if you’re moving less than usual, try to factor this into your nutrition. Maybe it means dropping one of your meals/snacks or reducing your portion size. For me it’s been sticking to 3 meals a day and dropping my morning snack.
- Fill your fridge/pantry with healthy foods so that if you are tempted, you’re reaching for healthy options. See my blog on my “Top 10 Healthy Snack Ideas” for more tips. A few to get started with…cut up veggie sticks and store them in water to keep them fresh; make a healthy batch of hummus/guacamole and store in small containers. Preparation is the key!
3. Maintain (or set) your boundaries around food. I like to live by the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time I eat healthy, nutritious food and 20% of the time I’ll enjoy a glass of wine, pizza etc. Examples of some of my “boundaries” – wine on Friday and Saturday nights unless it’s a special occasion, chocolate once a week. As a family, we do the same…dessert/treats only on the weekend. Every night has felt like the weekend this week, but we’ve stuck to our boundaries and healthy habits.
4. Eat mindfully. We’re obviously living in unprecedented times where stress and emotions are higher, but emotionally eating or drinking your way through this is not the answer. For most people, food is not just about satisfying our physical hunger, but satisfying our emotional needs as well. Have you ever found yourself thinking: Why do I reach for biscuits when I’m tired? Why do I crave ice cream after a fight with my partner? Reflecting on these questions and your answers to them will get you to the heart of your emotional connections with food. (See my blog “Hangry or Hungy”? Understanding the difference between true and emotional hunger”) There is a difference between “true” hunger and “emotional” hunger and it’s a complex topic, but a good starting point is to ask yourself, “am I really hungry, or is something else going on here?” If it’s boredom or an emotional need that is looking to be fulfilled, try taking a walk, going outside and getting some fresh air or doing something that makes you happy for a few minutes to take your mind off it. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can pass.
5. Keep moving! For most of us, we’re not able to continue our usual exercise routines at the moment, so it’s time to get creative and find an alternative to keep physically active, particularly if you are now spending a lot of time sitting around at home. There are still lots of outdoor activities such as running, walking, water sports that you can do, or online programs or apps for the full range of exercise including HIIT, pilates, yoga, dance…you name it, it’s available on YouTube or a fitness based app such as KIXXFIT where you can access an incredible range of options you can do in the comfort of your own home. The key is to make it a priority and schedule it in or it won’t get done!
6. Make a plan for your day. I’ve become even more aware that either “You run the day, or the day runs you”. It can be very tempting to lay in bed, roll out of bed when you feel like it, float around in my pjamas and waft through the day. I learnt early that I work best when I set my alarm, stick to my “morning miracle” routine (which involves reading, mindfulness, affirmations and visualisation), have a shower, get dressed and make my bed! I schedule in my exercise and make a plan for my day. I find it gives me a clearer sense of purpose and focus which also helps me keep a more positive mindset.
7. “Mind your Mind”. We can’t control what’s happening around us, but we can control how we respond to it. Endless scrolling of news websites and social media and filling your mind with all the negative stuff is only going to have a negative impact on your mindset. I listen to the news at 6am and then again at 6pm and avoid anything in between. I read a chapter of a personal development book every day and I’ve included a specific “COVID” affirmation every day…”I wake up every day feeling positive and excited and focusing on what I can do to make the most of the day and who I can help”. I make a plan the night before so that I can start my day with focus and purpose. Download my FREE “Daily Planner”.
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you”
8. Do something every day to “fill your cup”. Whether it’s taking a walk in nature, meditating, taking a bath, connecting with a friend or watching a favourite movie on Netflix, do something every day that makes you happy and will keep your positive energy topped up!
While there is so much we can’t control right now, focus on the things you CAN CONTROL…your nutrition, movement and mindset so that you can come out the other side of this feeling positive, healthy and happy!