By Maryn Hayward, Alamance County Lifestyle Coach
How are you hanging in there? The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on every single one of us in a variety of ways. For me, it has moved my office to my home and has challenged me in my routines and my ways of communicating with others. A bright side to all of this is more time to take care of myself, do physical activity, and be more mindful of my eating choices.The stress and the chaos of these past weeks have really thrown a wrench in our lives, but it has also given us opportunities to form new habits and routines.
Even though your daily life might look drastically different,that doesn’t mean you should give up your progress towards preventing diabetes.You can still do the work and continue to stay healthy just as before, you might just have to be a little more creative. What strategies can you create to help you stick with your goals to create lasting lifestyle change? Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Meal Planning: just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you should stop planning your meals and snacks for the week. Try putting your lunch in containers just as you would if you were going to the office so that you don’t overeat.
- Eating: set up your workspace in a way that reduces your temptation to snack all day (i.e. don't sit where your fridge and/or pantry are in view). We all need snacks though, so portion out your snacks to avoid eating out of large containers.
- Physical activity: schedule physical activity breaks into your work day! You can take a lunchtime walk or walk while on phone calls, play with your new little coworkers if you have children in your home, and do a quick chore on a break to keep you moving and productive. Why not use that commute time you’re now saving towards your physical health?
- Avoid negative self-talk: slips are a normal part of lifestyle change and can be even more frequent during times of stress and uncertainty. When you slip, acknowledge that you slipped, choose forgiveness for yourself, reach out for support, and focus on the positive.
- Tracking and action plans: don’t forget about the helpful tools you learned in your diabetes prevention program, such as food and activity tracking, weighing regularly, and setting small weekly goals. These tools are proven to help with weight loss and make you be more mindful of the your patterns.
- Get support: you aren’t in this alone! Even if you are unable to see your friends and family in person, you can still connect with them through technology and they can give you the support and accountability you need to keep moving forward.
It is a very hard and challenging time for our world, but it is only temporary. Remember that you can do this and you have the support and tools you need to stay on track with your goals and your health.
Stay safe and well!