Straight out of lockdown!
If you’ve been a lucky one and have been creating healthy micro-habits while being at home, YAY YOU! But you might be worried that your amazing new habits will disappear once back to the office, commuting and eating out. Here are some tips to help you stay focused and consistent.
Back to the Office
For some going back to work will feel great, for others it will be total dread of how to balance a healthy lifestyle. Look at each area of health one step at a time, to make it an easy transition back to the office where everything will feel like new again.
Sticking to Your Workout Plans
If you’re commuting again, it may be kind to say to yourself that some workouts will drop off instead of being frustrated when workouts don’t happen every day.
Try this instead: Choose 1-2 specific days a week that you commit to working out.
This can look like; Tuesday morning and Saturday morning I will wake up early to get my 30-minute fitness done. OR Every Tuesday and Thursday will be my workout days. I can do it at lunch with a friend.
Picking a specific day lets you create a new habit around that specific day’s rhythm and takes the pressure off the other days wondering if it will happen or not. With my clients, we start with 1 day a week and build up to 2 and eventually 3 workouts a week. This lets you figure out the logistics one step at a time which then reduces overwhelm of trying to fit “it” all in. This approach helps you to stay consistent by lowering expectations and getting in some easy wins. Easy wins build your confidence! You can do it!
Make the Best of Drinking and Eating Out – Focus on Connection
It’s not about the food and drink, it is about being able to spend time with people. From across the table, look your friends, family, or co-workers in the eyes. Smile. Nod. Affirm. “Be” there and stay present.
Try this: Prep for eating out!
Adding a bit of mindfulness can help you to feel a bit more secure, take the pressure off of potentially overeating or over drinking and focus on the connection with others.
- What questions can you ask your friends, family, or co-workers to create connection?
- What jokes can you tell to ease the pressure and awkwardness?
- Do you have any funny stories from your time at home?
- Can you put away the phone or use it only for pictures together instead?
Make the Best of Drinking and Eating Out – It is… about the food and drink
Now is the time to enjoy the best food and drink at your favourite restaurant. No matter if it’s a juicy steak with lots of side veg or you prefer a delicious veggie grain bowl, enjoy it to the max. So, what does this mean?
Try this: Eat slowly and savour every delicious bite!
It may feel like you’ve never gone to a restaurant before, so take a deep breath and slow down.
- Look at your food and appreciate the colours.
- Smell and let your salivary glands get started.
- Cut into small pieces.
- Chew one piece at a time and notice, the textures, the flavour, and mouth sensations.
- Notice how the food feels when it arrives in your belly.
- Take time to notice when you feel satiated and slow down or stop eating.
- When you are full, decide it’s enough and remind yourself that it feels good to be satiated and you actually don’t want to eat anymore.
When Drinking Cocktails, Beer, and other Alcoholic Beverages, remember hydration!
Imbibing can feel like the ultimate freedom right now, and at the same time can sabotage your healthy habits (and your morning after.)
Try this: Focus on feeling balanced by enjoying the drink with friends, but not overdoing it.
- Drink water before you go out and have a glass between each drink.
- Make sure you’ve eaten something hearty.
- Women metabolize alcohol differently than men and are more affected by it, so don’t try to keep up drink for drink.
- Remember that drinking alcohol makes you hungrier and creates the desire for fatty, fried and sweet foods. So make a list healthy food choices to prepare you for the munchies the day after.
Staying Well Hydrated
Commuting romantically reminds me of lovely lattés on the go, in the office and meeting with friends. Then I forget about drinking water. So, here is a secret. Staying hydrated goes beyond drinking water! Think about soup, stews and raw vegetables that have a high water content.
Try this: Explore different soup and sandwich combinations to hydrate.
Soups are a super-secret stealth way to stay hydrated. Anything from grandma’s chicken noodle soup to a cooling gazpacho, nourishing stew, or a veggie packed minestrone, they’ve got liquid in them!
I find a small cup of soup is less intimidating than a big bowl of soup. Pair your soup with a half of a sandwich on toasty bread for dunking and Bob’s your uncle!
Rest, recuperation, and sleep is the key to good health and being able making good choices.
Now that life is almost in full swing again, there will be new expectations put on you and lots of new inputs like office rules, testing procedures and the like. Nothing is the same and your brain will have to work harder to adjust.
Try this: Journal at night
Without any judgment or perfect sentences, let your thoughts flow and your hand write down everything that comes to mind. There is no intention to read this afterwards or try to make sense out of the words! The point is to get the flow of thoughts out and onto paper. Writing helps to relieve the mind by digesting the days thoughts, emotions and impulses allowing you to go to sleep, rest and recuperate. What a great way to build up your resilience!
IN THE END
When it goes sideways, be nice to yourself!
When all else fails and you overeat, overdrink, or skip a workout, don’t beat yourself up. Start with self-compassion and take the learning from the experience. This past year has been unpredictable, and the future is not so clear either. So be nice to yourself and remember that every day is another chance to practice making a health choice, one simple change at a time.