Quarantine, Day 1,347:
Actually, it’s only been 3 weeks, and since I work primarily from home and we home school, we are used to staying home. Though we miss the freedom of being able to go out and enjoy life with our friends, we have managed to make changes to our schedule to maximize – and enjoy – our time indoors. And while I’m loving all the videos and memes about the stress of being stuck in the house with loved ones, I’m also starting to see people worrying about overeating while staying at home.
There are so many reasons why we are eating more: the circumstances we are living in are unlike anything we have ever experienced, and fear, uncertainty, boredom and stress can lead to excessive eating as a calming or soothing mechanism (I wrote about reducing stress a few weeks ago; you can read that post here.) We know that stress wreaks havoc on our emotions, and eating triggers feel good hormones which seem to reduce stress. But that feeling is temporary and you have to keep eating to continue the feel good hormones, which is not good for your health or your weight in the long term. While I have no easy answer to the uncertainty we are all facing, I do have some tips to help make the most of our time at home while avoiding the fridge. I hope you find these tips helpful!
Tip #1: Reconnect with Friends or Family
How many times have you wanted to catch up with a friend or relative, but just couldn’t make it work due to busy schedules? Well, we have been given the gift of time, let’s use it to connect with loved ones. Video chats are super popular and free – it’s the next best thing to being there. You can also give just give them an old fashioned call. We need each other now more than ever, so go ahead and reach out today!
Tip #2: Exercise Daily (You Have Zero Excuses Not To)
Exercise boosts the immune system, combats depression, and reduces stress – all things we need right now. Plus, it can help offset extra calories you’ve been consuming while at home. Find something you like doing and do it – you can check out my recent post with workout options you can do at home here.
Tip #3: Find a Project
Anything around the house that you’ve been wanting to tackle? I’ve got some pockets of clutter in my house that I’m going to tame while I have time. I also started cleaning out our homeschool area – I found old work from over two years ago to recycle and books that we can give away to build another family’s library. Every time I get through a pile of clutter I feel so proud of myself that food is the last thing on my mind. I’ve also been practicing guitar a lot more in the last week or so, and I am definitely not thinking about food when I’m trying to get my fingers to do the right thing. Make a list of things to do and get going today!
Tip #4: Indulge in Some Self Care
How about a home spa day to pass the time? Try a relaxing bath or a mani/pedi – it’s a great way to pass some time and keep out of the kitchen! You probably have all the ingredients to make homemade beauty treatments; I found some great recipes on Pinterest, including an amazing body butter I made this week.
Tip #5: Read A Book
Mindless snacking often happens in front of the tv – it’s a little harder to snack when you’ve got a book (or a device) in your hands. Reading is a great distraction and can keep your interest for hours. I have a handful of books that I’ve been planning to read but haven’t gotten around to; if you don’t have any books at home, you can purchase and download e-books or get access to hundreds of free books on sites like Goodreads or Project Gutenberg. Even some public libraries offer free ebook rentals through Hoopla, you just need a current library card.
Tip #6: Game Night
If you’re at home with loved ones, spend some quality playing your favorite games. We absolutely love board games – right now our favorites are Clue, Guess Who, Connect Four, Jenga and Kerplunk. We recently got a Nintendo Switch (courtesy of the ex husband) and love playing Ring Fit Adventures (it’s a workout and a game in one) and Carnival Games. No matter what you family prefers, it’s always fun to spend time together making memories, and hopefully when this is all over you’ll have a game night tradition to continue into the future.
Tip #7: Learn Something New
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn but never had time? Guess what – you got time! Finding a new hobby can engage your brain and reduce boredom. My daughter and I are learning Spanish on YouTube and I am working on another exercise certification. A friend of mine is writing everyday, and another is learning a to play a musical instrument – all of this learning is done from the comfort of our homes through online classes or videos. With online learning opportunities exploding and many companies offering free or reduced courses, there’s got to be something out there that matches your interest.
I hope you find these tips helpful to keep you busy and out of the fridge in the days to come. Let me know if you try something on this list, and share what you’re doing to keep busy – I’d love to hear what’s working for you!