While we may all be used to the “new normal” for now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t days (maybe even weeks) where we find ourselves feeling tremendous amounts of stress. Taking care of your emotional and mental health and wellbeing can be just as important as your physical health. Taking some time for yourself each day can directly help combat anxiety, stress, and even emotional eating. Below are some ideas from Maryann Walsh, Registered Dietitian And SlimFast Plan Consultant, for how you can take care of yourself mentally and emotionally during these complicated times.
You may be quarantined at home or practicing social distancing, but there are lots of ways to stay socially connected! Emails, phone calls, text messages, online video chats, and apps with our friends and family can add a joyful boost to our days. Carve out time every day in your schedule for social connection.
Putting aside 5 minutes to incorporate mindful practices into your daily life can help calm anxiety and leave you feeling calm rather than stressed. Practicing deep breaths, relaxation, and mindfulness can help us to slow down, sort through and calm the thoughts zooming through our brains.
Mute the News
Now that you are home, your day has been freed up a bit, allowing more time to obsess over the news. With the twenty-four-hour news cycle we seem to live in, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate fact from opinion about how this current environment will impact us and our future. Make sure to check in with yourself throughout the day about your media consumption. Some may thrive on knowing every detail and update, others may find a few minutes daily with a trusted and credible news source makes the most sense for them.
Inactivity can not only affect our weight, but our overall mood as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home activities and ways to be active while social distancing. Try to set aside twenty to thirty minutes, at least three times a week, to help keep you on track. Getting in your exercise and physical activity during this time can help combat boredom and fatigue, and also allow you to clear your mind and relax. Check out SlimFast Workouts from Registered Dietitian and SlimFast Plan Consultant, Maryann Walsh here on the official SlimFast YouTube page.
Get Some Sleep
Adequate sleep has been shown to support immune function1 along with so many other health benefits. Implementing or maintaining a regular sleep/wake cycle can help keep your body in sync. To help, try setting an alarm an hour before you go to bed as a reminder to wind down and reduce the amount of stimulation your brain is getting. Turn down the lights, turn off the TV, put the phone away and allow your mind to relax. Try to limit your caffeine intake later in the day as well, and be mindful of your alcohol consumption, as this has been shown to affect your sleep quality2.
Set a Routine
Quarantine and long periods of being homebound can leave a person feeling a bit directionless, as if the day goes on and on spilling into the next. Establishing a routine similar to that of your regular sleep and work schedule can help make the time pass and feel a bit more normal.
This can be a challenge if you are at home with other family members, including children. Putting small daily lifestyle and routine changes in place may help both you and your children feel a better sense of comfort and structure.
Planning ahead and incorporating a mixture of group and individual activities can keep everyone entertained and stimulated while also allowing for pockets of time to get work done if you are working from home. Try writing down schedules for the day and make tweaks accordingly as you figure out what is working for you and what is not.
Speak to a Professional
Sometimes the stress and anxiety that we experience can be a lot more than we can handle on our own, there is no shame in that. It is always better to speak to someone about your concerns and how you are feeling rather than keeping them bottled up. Keep communication open with those in your support circle who will listen to and understand you, including your doctor, or a therapist who may be able to offer you a solution or the extra support you need to get through this time.
Remember that SlimFast is here for you no matter where you are on your journey, and we will continue to serve and support you! Social distancing, working from home, homeschooling, not being able to shop and live our daily lives as we regularly have, can take a toll on our motivation to stay on track with our nutrition and exercise goals. Our Brand Ambassadors and SlimFast Together Group Moderators are always just a comment away. In our groups you can find support, tips and advice, as well as also interactive content and engaging members from different walks of life all on the same journey.
A consultant of The SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.