Prior to sitting down to write this article, I did what I often do. I asked my clients; my clients that have become friends to me, and friends and supporters to one another – What do YOU want to read?
I had a variety of responses; Benefits of diet and exercise and how it helps with your mental state; meditation; and then I started getting an overwhelming pattern of responses that had one thing in common.
- Getting back in the swing of things post COVID.
- Healthy eating and fitness after doing nothing, eating everything and getting out of shape.
- How not to Netflix binge and eat like its college during COVID times.
- How to eat healthy during quarantine and still have comfort foods.
- How to get off square one to start being healthy again.
See a common theme?
With each passing day of COVID-19 we are still defining what the new normal is, or rather will be. The uncertainty of it may leave us anxious, or, Yes! Eating like our college days while on a Netflix binge! Am I still here? 135 days later, yes where else would I be?
As states begin to open, regardless of which state or phase or episode of Fear City you are on, I think its Season 1, Episode 3 or am I on 5?
I think the most important thing we need to do is. STOP. Take a moment. Take a breath.
You are NOT alone. Well, maybe you are physically but, the ENTIRE world has felt or is feeling exactly what you are feeling. I think the first biggest breath of fresh air to breathe in is the fact that you are not alone and that there are options for you.
As we start to get back into the swing of things post COVID, or rather, during this new normal, we need to acknowledge and remember a couple things.
- You are not alone (I am going to repeat that until you start to hear the angelic sound of my voice saying that over and over again in your head.)
- Your feelings on this situation are completely validated. You are allowed to feel what you feel, angry, anxious, sad.
That being said. Feel what you feel, really feel it, and then start to plan. Plan what you can control and how you spend your time and be productive.
Some of us anxious, control types function better with a calendar, check list, and a routine. This may be something you want to try.
A checklist will keep you focused on each task. The question is, what could our productive tasks include? Here are 8 ideas.
Since Netflix is judging you, maybe it’s time to cut that negativity out just like your ex and pick up the book alternative. A simple Google search will tell you if your favorite movie or series is based on a book.
Water. One of the most essential components of our bodies. If you can commit to drinking 4 ounces of water every hour you are awake, you will fulfill the recommended 8 glasses a day. Try an entire glass before each meal and you will not only close that 8 glass gap, but also aid in satisfying your hunger. This in turn will help you reduce your snacking.
Healthy snack alternative. I had a client recently confess her sweet tooth addiction. Confession: SAME. Who doesn’t love ice cream? Completely criminal if you don’t. A website I have followed for forever, and get many of my recipes from, offers affordable, easy, healthy lifestyle and healthier alternatives. Here is an ice cream alternative I shared with her – Banana Ice Cream
Every hour get up and move. Whether or not you have a quaranTIME partner, 2 or 4 legged, there are alternate ways to hold you accountable to your movement commitments. There has never been a better time to either commit to daily walks, or to start running, or to check out new hiking spots.
There are a host of amazing, FREE, apps. One of my favorites is c25k. Couch To 5k contains training plans that gradually progresses you to a 3 Mile or 5k run. New to me, but high on my list, is All Trails. The search/sort criteria allow you to enter your location, filter by closest, difficulty, and even trail traffic.
During a new normal of social distancing, I think that trail traffic is important. You can further narrow down by attractions; water, waterfalls, etc. Personally, I navigate towards water. Recently discovered this little gem right here in my Fairport, NY backyard.
With all this time and a spiraling loss of control, the only environment you can control is the one that you are in. This is a perfect time to clean, (disinfect) organize, reorganize your home.
Once finished with all that neurotic disinfecting and organization, you can take all the random arts & crafts and picture frames from the back of your closet and start making Christmas gifts. You may unravel your inner Etsy Queen and find you have a hidden talent. Even better, this hidden talent may help alleviate anxiety and provide extra income.
All these new found steps to a less anxious you can be shared via video chats with family and friends. Make a standing time and day each week to catch up with friends or even start your very own virtual book club. The social interaction will provide an additional outlet, as well as remind you, you are not alone.
Sleep. If it was just that easy! Us anxious, control types have every intention of 8 hours of sleep, however, become paralyzed with the out of control thoughts that riddle us awake until Cinderella turns into a pumpkin and then mindlessly scrolling memes.
The justification is I’ll scroll until I fall asleep. The reality is we need to turn the phone off and put it out of our reach. The constant stimulation of different pictures or wow factors is just enough to keep the brain over firing and ourselves awake.
Each week pick one thing off the above-mentioned list and give it a try. With a checklist, one goal at a time, and a new sense of direction, you will empower yourself to be better equipped to cope with all the new normal and what you can, and cannot control.
For the things that are beyond your control, channel your inner Disney Princess, Elsa, and Let It Go.