At times when so many factors feel out of our control, it’s essential to remember that we can still guide our day and the experience we’ll have, even if it’s not at all the way we pictured it. When life feels uncertain is when we need to embrace the small steps we can take to better our health and feel in control.
I get it. Being motivated to exercise at home is not easy. Luckily this strange moment we’re in has led to many free virtual exercise opportunities and local gyms streaming live classes on Instagram. If you get into a routine of doing a “class” every day, it can become something your body (and mind) looks forward to.
Daily Breath or Meditation
Most of us need someone to guide us through mediation to feel like we’re doing it “right.” The University of Wisconsin offers these guided mindfulness and meditation practices, while apps like the Calm or even Peloton are also available to help bring mindfulness into your daily life at times when we need it most.
If there is one constant in life, it’s that hydration always helps. Along with water, try to keep hydrating foods like broths and watery vegetables in the picture, along with non-caloric beverages like herbal tea, which has the bonus of being soothing too. Guiding Stars is especially helpful in choosing soups with lower added sodium or added sugar.
It’s easy to get caught up in everyday living and forget how easy it is to reconnect with friends through more than just a simple text. Take advantage of the many ways to connect virtually with friends and family, especially when you can’t be together in person.
Most of us have a list of small tasks that we need to get done. Some of them may take only minutes, but we somehow never carve out the space to check them off our list. However, when we chose too, we feel that little sense of accomplishment that comes with thinking about one less thing. Give yourself the gift of that feeling by getting even a tiny task done.
Choosing Your Guidance
When we’re going through something tough, it’s easy to simply search online for “answers”. However, a bad search sometimes leads to unhelpful or worse, harmful, information. Choose the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help guide and inform you, along with Guiding Stars, which has a timely blog, webinars, and more to help you keep up with nutrition news and information.
Eating for Mental Health
I’ve written before about nutrition and mental health, as well as offered advice on how to manage our diet during stressful times. Nourish yourself even when your dining alone or feeling less motivated to be in the kitchen with better for you packaged items, frozen vegetables and other foods that bring effortless, colorful nutrition to your plate.
When we’re home for an extended period it easy to lose track of the routine we usually depend on. While we all crave an open schedule from time to time, it’s our structured daily life that lets us appreciate it most. From the hours you sleep, to when you exercise, and maybe even when you sit down for dinner, routine offers needed security.
Kindness and Compassion…to Yourself
For most of us, it’s easier to be kind and compassionate toward others while still maintaining elevated expectations and more of ourselves. However, during times of stress, part of our wellness is learning to have the same patience and understanding with ourselves that we offer to loved ones. When we are kind and compassionate toward ourselves, we reduce the potential for emotional eating and other harmful habits.