Coronavirus When You Struggle With Food: What To Do When You're Stuck at Home
What a crazy week is has been! With the Coronavirus outbreak, most of you are at home, routines have changed, maybe you’re homeschooling kids, and our daily lives have been thrown for a loop.
There’s so much uncertainty, fear, and anxiety right now. I’ve definitely been feeling a little lost and out of control when it comes to a general schedule and routine.
If you’re struggling with food this can add to the stress.
Yesterday on Instagram I asked you all what your biggest struggles around food or your body are, now that most of us are stuck at home for the foreseeable future.
Some of the answers were:
“Nothing else to do, but travel to the fridge”
“Eating and not moving! I feel kinda gross. 6 cookies, tacos, chips, no exercise!”
“I had to work from home in the past and was in a bad place eatingwise. This brings those same feelings”
“Snacking all night!”
“I feel constantly hungry! Not sure if it’s just stress or what”
Anxiety around food thrives under control, and with our daily lives thrown for a loop, this can really increase the anxiety so much more. Perhaps you stocked up on food, and now you have all this food in the house and feel anxious that you’ll lose control and overeat. Maybe you’re stressing out that you’re not able to stick to your eating and exercise plan. You’re worried that you’re eating too much. You’re stressed that you’re not exercising enough.
I have been hearing all of these in my practice, and I definitely know that I would have felt the same a few years ago when I was really struggling.
Some of the most common triggers I see for emotional eating in my health coaching practice are loneliness, boredom, and stress. You’ve probably experienced all of these in the last week!
So what are some strategies that you can use to help you feel more at peace?
First, have some compassion for yourself!
Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Would you tell her to beat herself up? Would you tell her she was fat? Would you tell her she was lazy? Probably not.
Everyone is being thrown for a loop. It’s ok that you’re exercising less. It’s ok that you’re eating more. It’s completely understandable. Over the course of your life, these couple weeks (in reality we have no idea how long this will be, but you get the point) will be such an insignificant amount of time. The impact will not be as big as it feels. You’re doing the best you can. You’ll be ok. This isn’t to minimize what is happening, but it does help to bring some perspective.
Next, try to keep a general routine for your meals. Eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner as you normally would. The key word here is general.
No need to be perfect. No need to control. This will help because you’ll feel more nourished when you’re having actual meals. Endless snacking usually leaves us feeling unsatisfied.
Having a general routine will help you feel some sense of normalcy as well, and we can all use a little more of that right now.
It will also help to get moving. This isn’t to “burn off” what you’re eating. Movement releases endorphins, makes us happy, releases stress, and is so good for your body. If you are noticing yourself eating out of stress, or anxiety, then movement will be especially helpful for you.
Choose something that you’ll truly enjoy. If you can get outside and still stay distant from other people, take a walk! I love the at-home workouts from Barre3. There are tons of free resources on YouTube. Some yoga studios are offering free streaming. If you want some help finding something you’ll love, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll help you!
Above all else, cut yourself some slack. I know all of the above sounds great in practice and if you’re having trouble with it, give yourself some love. Everyone is having their own unique experience of all this and it’s all valid. Give yourself permission to rest and cope in your own way.
If you need some support, schedule some time to chat with me at no cost. I’m here for you!