Stuck in Isoltation?
Covid-19 has all taken us by surprise and impacted us in more ways than one, and in ways we never expected …… like the toilet paper debacle! But on a serious note, its highly contagious nature is devastating our health, safety and economy, and many of us are now working from home.
I am not a psychologist, personal trainer, health coach, or doctor, but I have put together some of my thoughts on how to best cope with the new isolation protocols and how to make the most out of it.
Whilst working from home I have found myself pondering the following questions around my diet and nutrition:
- In a different environment where there is the opportunity to eat more often and choose from a greater selection, how do we try and maintain a good sense of health and nutrition?
- How do I eat as healthfully as I want to, when the foods that I’m wanting to buy are not readily available from the supermarket?
Pondering these questions prompted me to put together a few hints and tips that I hope you find useful.
Continue planning your meals
This doesn’t have to be too regimented, but if there’s not a basic plan to begin with, it’s much easier to go for something that is more convenient rather than more nutritious. For example, good planning may mean you can put together a wholegrain sandwich with some left-over chicken, avocado and salad or dish up a bowl of home made chicken and vegetable soup, rather than opting for a cheese and Vegemite sandwich, or cup of noodles.
Stick to a routine
Try to include a minimum of three core meals each day. Snack in between if hungry. Ultimately you want the right combination of listening to your internal cues and eating regularly, to ensure:
- physical and mental satisfaction to support good concentration and energy
- avoiding of grazing, which lead to suboptimal food choices, eating patterns and potentially weight gain.
Take time to eat
Avoid sitting at your computer and working through meal times. Move to eat at your table, or outside in the sunshine. Take a proper break. Focus on your mindfulness. Enjoy this time.
Cook a little extra
This allows you to have lunch or dinner ready for the next day. Some of you might have children at home as well, so by cooking that bit extra you save yourself preparing something new the following day, therefore lightening the load and pressure of cooking that can sometimes be created.
Pre-prepare your snacks
Cut up fruit, pre portion nuts, roast chickpeas, boil eggs and pre portion yoghurt into small tubs. This way here you’ve got great options waiting for you if and when you want them.
Keep well hydrated
Keep a bottle or glass of water on your desk. Keeping well hydrated can avoid mistaking tummy signals for hunger rather than thirst!
Write a shopping list
You may not be able to buy all the ingredients on your shopping list, so consider the following:
- Support local business owners. You may find that your local butcher, continental store, or local greengrocer have got a great variety and a reliable supplier, so good stock is available. You may even be able to call ahead and place an order.
- Broaden your shopping list. Rather than listing individual items such as broccoli, pumpkin etc, focus more on colour, for example, a green vegetable, orange vegetable and red vegetable. This will allow you to still include a range of colours, flavours and nutrients on your plate.
- If something is not available fresh, consider canned or frozen options.
Keep as active as you can within the government guidelines. I often find that when my clients exercise regularly, they tend to eat well, but when the exercise tapers off, so does the positive food choices. Check in with your exercise physiologist, personal trainer or gym if they offer online videos for you to implement a home-based program. There are lots of workouts on You-tube too!
When working, take breaks and move around. Go outside. Get that fresh oxygen pumping to your brain. This will help you to work more efficiently. “Microbreaks” can help with your concentration and memory.
Try and keep a positive sleep routine. Not needing to go into work the next day might result in a temptation to stay up longer and go to bed later, but studies suggest that those who sleep less than 7 hours per night tend to have higher calorie intakes, predominantly from fatty and snack foods. They also tend to consume a lower variety of foods, and these tend to be lower in protein and fibre. There’s also emerging research to suggest that diet quality, and timing of eating (e.g. sugary/fatty treats before bed) can also impact the quality of sleep in a negative way.
Don’t forget your goals
Keep a list of your health goals on your fridge or in your pantry as a friendly reminder and motivator to look after yourself during these difficult times.
Focus on using any quiet time to your advantage. Use this isolating time to work on establishing positive behaviours to support your health goals, for example, focusing on your eating technique. For those who are waiting to have surgery, you can utilise this time to set some strong foundations to support your long-term success.
Look after your mental and emotional health
Looking after your mental and emotional health is just as important of your physical health.
Keep as positive as you can throughout this confronting time, as together we will get through it.
If you are looking for more support, Justine and I are still available for consultations via phone and video calls. Many private health funds are providing rebates on Telehealth consultations and those with a Care Plan from their GP can access Medicare funding.
Please call our admin team on (08) 8465 6300 to make a time.
If you are looking for more support with identifying your problem areas or implementing changes, we can help.
It does not matter where you are, you can book a reset session with Justine or Carmel or Justine simply by calling (08) 8465 6300.