We have all had an unpleasant shift in our lives recently – Coronavirus Pandemic. We are used to being out of the house every single day; always being on the go. Being in quarantine has left us more sedentary, scared, and with plenty of downtime. These circumstances have some type of effect on all of us in one way or another.
This is affecting all of us in ways we probably couldn’t have imagined and in many different ways. Those of you who are struggling with body image issues and eating patterns; you are not alone. We have had more time to walk by our mirrors and criticize our bodies, we have become lazy due to the excessive amount of downtime, we watch more Netflix/Hulu, we scroll on our phones more looking at those toxic Instagram accounts of those girls who we wish we could look more like, and we find our selves eating what is convenient so we don’t have to cook.
And quite honestly, with this huge change in our every day lives, we can only expect there to be a change in our behavior, mood, and thought patterns.
We have been spending time isolating, meaning we have had more time alone, with less distractions, and less activity to keep our minds occupied. Everyone likes to be in control. We like to have control of our environment, control on our actions, and control of our every day lives. And with the uncertainty of the world right now, we are lacking what we all need: control. We are totally out of our comfort zones and it is an awful feeling to have. We subconsciously need to fixate on something to feel in control, and for some of us (me), we fixate on our bodies. I struggled with body image issues for the longest time, so for me to return to my old habits and mindset is really discouraging.
Here are some tips I used in the past and have came back to recently that have helped me:
- Don’t analyze yourself in the mirror.
- Put your scale away.
- Appreciate all your body can do.
- Appreciate your health – Especially during this time.
- Drink a lot of water – It helps me clear my mind and feel better overall.
- Respect your body.
These small things have helped me in the biggest way. Wake up, drink a glass of water, and remind yourself of all the good your body does for you.
During this pandemic, we have been restricted from doing simple things we take for granted every day. We have to walk a certain way on the street, we can’t be in public without a mask on, and we can’t see our family or friends. We complain about going to the grocery store on a regular, non-pandemic day, but now, we have scheduled times to shop and have to wait outside to be told when to enter. And not only that, when you have a list of groceries you need, you can’t buy any of them because everything is sold out.
Food is scarce and we feel restricted.
These two things combined cause food cravings and poor thought patterns. We feel anxious and depressed and to cope, a lot of us tend to binge eat whether it is a bag of chips, chocolate, fast food, or anything we see in sight.
Ways to Manage Your Eating During Quarantine:
- Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables – Having these on hand will help you make better choices.
- Plan a themed night – One night can be Italian night, and another can be Mediterranean night. Make a healthy dish that you would find in these countries. This makes cooking fun and occupies your time for a little bit!
- Remove judgement around your eating behaviors – If you need chocolate because you’re sad and it’ll make you feel better, eat chocolate!
- Stock up on shelf-stable perishables – We are always told we should stay away from processed foods, but try and find the healthiest options and stock up!
- Meal prep even if you’re feeling lazy – Having prepped meals will help you stay on track.
Remember that we may be out of control with what is happening in our world, but how we react is fully in our control. If you find yourself body shaming and binge eating, take a step back, go for a walk, and collect your thoughts. If you are eating differently than you normally would, it is okay. If your body is changing, it is okay. You owe the respect to yourself and others to stay mentally and physically healthy when so many are struggling to stay healthy from the Coronavirus.
I wish that you find hope in all of this. And I hope whoever is reading this that you and your loved ones are healthy.