Have you slid into some less-than-healthy routines over the last few months? Research shows you’re definitely not alone. A survey from WW finds 72% of respondents report they’ve gained more weight during quarantine than during the holidays. And a national Blue Cross Blue Shield Survey shows there’s been a 23% increase in drinking alcohol since the pandemic began. Luckily, with some attention and practice, we can undo those habits that aren’t good for us and focus on forming healthy ones and this is how to get started.
- Reign in stress eating - Lots of people turn to food when they’re feeling stressed out, but that may not be the best way to cope. If you’re not eating because you’re actually physically hungry, something else, like calling a friend or listening to music, may be a better strategy to deal with your emotional needs.
- Don't work extra hours - While working from home, many folks have been working longer and not taking breaks, but that extra work time can mean extra stress and less time for healthy activities, like cooking and working out. Psychologist Rachel Goldman explains that when we’re working in an office, breaks are built in to our routine - like commuting, grabbing coffee or lunch with a coworker - but being at home, we have to create them. Boundaries and breaks can keep us from feeling burned out, so start taking a lunch break and not eating at your desk and not being afraid to disconnect at the end of the day.
- Moderate how much you’re drinking - There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of wine, but if you’re using alcohol as a coping mechanism, that’s not good. Goldman says if you’re questioning if your drinking is unhealthy or not, it most likely is. She suggests deep breathing, taking a walk or calling a friend as healthier ways to handle stress.
- Stop skipping workouts - It’s all about the mindset to get back on track with your fitness routine. Instead of beating yourself up about missing workouts, recognize that it’s normal for routines to change when life changes. Then, set specific and doable goals and remember that any amount of exercise is better than none at all.