With isolation comes the three Bs: boredom, bingeing, and (can’t be) bothered. The evil accomplice of all three is comfort eating. While snacks and treats are okay now and then, they don’t make up a well-balanced diet, and you won’t burn the calories off by running up and down the driveway a few times, either. Here are a few things you can do to manage your eating habits.
The best thing you can put on your plate is fresh, natural produce.
Farmers and growers associations around the country assure us that there’s plenty of fruit and veggies and nuts and grains to go around. The big problem is getting it. With more layers of restrictions being added every day it’s getting harder to go out – and buying fresh food means you need to go out frequently…or you could get it delivered. There are many businesses that deliver fresh produce and groceries to your door.
You can also sign up for a cook-at-home meal delivery service where you’ll get all the ingredients you need along with instructions to cook a healthy, tasty meal at home. They usually provide options for solo, couple, or family sized meals and the quality is better than the standard frozen dinner.
If you can’t get to the shops very often, you’ll be tempted to buy up big. That often means more fresh food than you can use before it starts to rot – time wasted, money wasted, food wasted. Nobody wants that.
What you can do is makeup army sized batches of soup, stir-fry, lasagna, pasta, curry or anything else that freezes well and still tastes good when it thaws.
Think like a prepper
All those “end-of-the-worlders” that we laughed at may have had a point in the end – at least to the extent that we should be prepared for anything. We don’t encourage stockpiling, but it’s handy to have some tinned fruits, vegetables, tomatoes, tuna and other stuff. Dried beans, pasta, grains are also good for longer storage. These are all foods that can be used to cook up a big meal or make smaller meals.
Consider getting powdered milk, cocoa, powdered or cubed stock, and similar items.
Your staples should include: olive oil, salt, pepper, dried herbs, sugar (or alternative).
Get some sun
Vitamin D is essential for regulating calcium in your blood, promoting strong muscles and bones and giving you better health overall. The best source of Vitamin D is direct sunlight. Woe! Before you grab your reflector and a cocktail and stretch out on the front lawn, remember, the usual sun sense applies. According to the Cancer Council website, it only takes a few minutes on average – depending on the UV index – to get the requisite dose of rays for your daily Vitamin D intake.
At this time of year, it’s probably best to go out during the middle of the day, so maybe that’s a good time to schedule your walk, gardening, back yard tai chi, outdoor voguing.
Look into the distance
Before Covid-19 Kanye’d rudely onto centre stage, it was myopia that threatened to become the next worldwide epidemic. Digital devices, electronic games, fixed focus, and a tendency to spend more time indoors has led to wide-spread shortsightedness, and the currently enforced confinement is only going to make matters worse. One of the best and simplest things you can do to help mitigate the problems is to go outside and look into the distance. Scan the horizon, count the cranes, look up and find shapes in the clouds. When you go for a walk, always try to look far ahead rather than at the ground or your phone.
Get the blood pumping
If you’re spending a lot of time indoors, and especially if you’re sitting in front of a computer, you’re probably not getting enough oxygen into your bloodstream. You can blame that for your inability to focus and general feeling of lethargy. If you keep up the sedentary lifestyle for too long, the effects will be worse: weight gain, cramps and clots, high blood pressure, weak bones and muscle, depression, cardiovascular disease…anyway, you get the idea.
To stave off the nasties, take regular breaks: stretch, shake it out, do a quick shimmy. At least once a day, go for a walk or cycle outside. Make human connections wherever you can. You can still smile, wave, exchange a witty remark while keeping the requisite 2-metre distance.
Just getting out and seeing other people will freshen your outlook and make you feel part of a bigger world. If you live alone, this is a simple yet invaluable hack.
While your body may be still, your mind likely isn’t, and with so much going on at the moment, it could probably use a rest.
Meditation is a great way to calm your thoughts and put all those hastily pulled out mental files back in their drawers. If “ohmming” in the lotus position isn’t your beat, there are other things you can try. Listen to calming music, do a spot of gardening, colouring, cleaning.
Go for an easy paced walk or cycle along a nature path.
Make some kind of meditative practice part of your daily routine. And on that note…
It’s fair to say that the life most of us had become accustomed to has been severely disrupted, if not permanently altered. And this has thrown us into chaos.
Structure and routine help remove indecision, procrastination, and anxiety about what to do with our time.
Marking achievements and setting goals keep us motivated, give a sense of completion, and trigger that serotonin rush that sustains us during the contemplative hours between sunset and sunrise.
Start the day with an agenda. Then stretch that out to a plan for the week. And then broaden that to a strategy for the next three, six, or however many months it’ll take some woman* to find the cure (*I have a feeling.😉)