By this time, we’re all absorbing the reality that our time of social distancing does not have a determined end date. In the beginning, most of us mentally associated the timeline with something similar to Christmas break, or an extended vacation – but now the reality that we are going to need a longer-term survival strategy is apparent. All the previous “return to school” dates that had been circled on our calendars at one point in time are now crossed out and left without a replacement, as we continue to wait out this uncertainty together.
But one thing is certain – there IS an end to this. We don’t know exactly what it will look like, but its coming. We all have uncertainty about what the other side looks like. “Who will my co-workers be? Are the local businesses I’ve depended on as part of my routine still going to be there – my gym, my favorite hairstylist, our favorite date-night restaurant?” As you’re being forced to learn new things, you’re having to come face to face with your insecurities and your fears. “I don’t even know how to use Zoom. Are my parents going to be okay? I haven’t been able to see my grandkids. Will I survive homeschooling my kids?” And maybe more relevant, “Will my kids survive me homeschooling them?”
Our goal should be more than just survival, more than just “getting through it.” Our goal should be that we will have experiences IN IT that will make us better on the other side.
It was easy to stay up all night watching Netflix on the couch early on, self-soothing with the fruits of your stress-baking. If this quarantine were to only last a week, you could easily recover from that. That kind of behavior can’t be sustained over the long-haul though, or you’ll gain the COVID-19 (lbs) before you even finish watching Tiger King.
You need a solid plan to make sure that your time spent social distancing isn’t going to be a set-back, but rather a rich experience that will prepare you for what awaits on the other side. This is going to require intention, and a re-introduction into routine.
Create a routine and stick to it.
The days of the week and time of day can quickly bleed together, especially when you’re working from home. Your work and family time can quickly fall out of balance, and before you know it, you’ve found your behavior vacillating between the extremes of workaholic and deadbeat freeloader. Your schedule is likely more flexible, and you’re lacking some of the inherent accountability within human interaction. Making a plan for yourself and remaining mindful of it throughout the day is going to be key to maintaining some sense of control over your world during this time, and will also protect you from the effects of negative self-talk that comes from not living up to your personal standards. Right now, sit down and list out your priorities for the days to come, including daily and weekly objectives you want to accomplish – anywhere from going to the grocery store and mopping the floors to calling your mom and creating quality time with your partner. Map these things out throughout the days on a weekly calendar.
Things to incorporate daily:
- Wake up at the same time every morning. Make sure that it is early enough to allow enough time to ground yourself, whatever that looks like for you, before launching into your work or family responsibilities.
- Put on real clothes – fresh ones, every day. Without holes. Or stains.
- Start working at the same time, every day. Step away mid-way through to take a short walk outside, to break up your thought patterns and release the underlying anxiety that’s present in all of us.
- Eat your meals at the table, away from your computer, phone, and TV. Focus on being grateful for what you’re eating and how you’re caring for your body by feeding it nutritious fuel.
- Plan ahead for some level of daily physical activity.
- Find a 20-minute window in your day for a brief stress-reducing meditation.
- Be intentional in what you’re feeding your mind – peace is not going to come from constantly consuming fear-driven media and voices.
- Go to bed at the same time, every day. Getting your full 8 hours of sleep is no joke right now.
Be sure to incorporate meal prep into your routine.
Our clients all know that this is where the battle is won from a weight management perspective. Having delicious and healthy meals ready before you are hungry will prevent you from letting stress make poor decisions on your behalf. Planning ahead will protect your already over-burdened emotions from the insulin roller coaster caused by sugary processed foods. Eating these foods also weakens your immune system, which none of us can afford to do right now.
Now is the perfect time to focus on you!
In “the good ol’ days,” we always knew that the first step toward a downward health spiral was losing our routine. Frequent interruptions in our lives such as vacation, work travel, girls’ night, book club, out of town guests, birthday cake in the break room, catching happy hour after work, etc. broke our stride and caused us to stumble off the path toward our health goals. Guess what? None of that is happening right now. And what’s more – we’re not spending money on any of that stuff now either. In this period when we need to take care of our physical, emotional, and immune health more than ever, we also have the time to do it, without barriers.
Turning your “What-if’s” into HOPEFUL statements.
In this time when we can often find ourselves feeding our fear with “what-if’s,” why not turn that practice around to feed ourselves hope!
- What if while you’re going through this, you could have a life-changing experience that would prepare you for what awaits on the other side?
- What if you could lose 15-22 pounds instead of gaining it?
- What if you could give your body the tools to balance your hormones naturally, achieve restful sleep, restore your energy, stabilize your moods, and reduce your hot flashes and night sweats?
- What if you picked up new stress reduction practices that you could carry with you throughout the rest of your life?
- What if you could support your immune system through diet and supplementation?
- What if you had a calm resolve about you that gave you the courage to accomplish all that is required of you to guide your family through to the other side?
Make no mistake about this – you’re going to be emerging on the other side of this with gray roots and grown-out fingernails – that’s not a choice you can control. You do have the choice to emerge as the best version of yourself, prepared for whatever awaits.
This is the perfect time to BeBalanced.
There is a community of women waiting for you to join them in making different choices about how they’re going to face this challenge. We’ll connect you with a local Natural Hormone Balancing Specialist who will meet with you individually to help you achieve your wellness goals, virtually. And because no one’s meant to be on this journey alone, you’ll also meet other people in our new Social Distancing Together Virtual Groups that are on the same path as you, supporting each other in community.
Everyone’s going to get through this. But will you get through it in a way that makes you better when you do?
To get started on your journey, take our free hormone assessment to learn if hormones could be holding you back from your weight loss and wellness goals.
Be well! – BeBalanced