Be Curious – let’s be honest, this week was a doozy. If you found yourself falling back into old habits, emotionally eating or having potato chips for dinner because opening a bag was all the strength you could muster, please don’t use these as reasons to beat yourself. We are in a time of transition and it is going to be uncomfortable and clumsy as we begin to navigate to a new normal.
Instead I want you do your best to take some of the emotion out of it and be curious. When you see behaviors that you don’t like, be curious as to why they happened (try the follow the chain technique from this blog). We can learn a lot from weeks like this and the first step is to give yourself a little grace. Yes, I ultimately want you to make some changes (and I will help you with that) but putting intense pressure on yourself to be perfect right now is not necessary and not helpful. I promise that you are not going to destroy your health or spiral into obesity in a week or two.
Be Proactive – As you follow the chain back you will most likely realize that a lot of the behaviors you didn’t like were rooted in not being prepared. When we are home, the tendency can be to just “wing it” with your food. I mean, you are only a few feet away from a kitchen so it’s super easy to just throw something together, right? Under normal circumstances, perhaps. However, right now we are doing a lot of different things which takes even more mental energy.
The purpose of being proactive is not to control you but to cut down on your decision fatigue. Sure, planning dinner doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, after a day of working from home, figuring out how to home school your kids, trying to understand what the heck Zoom is and begging your dog to stop barking, it becomes a BIG deal. And that’s when we eat a bag of potato chips for dinner. Prepping your food might not be necessary but being proactive and having a plan of action of what you are going to eat is going to be super helpful.
Put on Pants – just because people can only see you from the waist up doesn’t mean that you should wear PJ’s all day. Ok, I’m kind of kidding with this one but stick with me for a minute. When we work from home we tend to let work drip into all parts of our day. We start as soon as we get out of bed, don’t take breaks and are checking emails until our eyes shut. The boundaries around working and self-care go out the window. This makes us feel drained and run down and we are more likely to emotionally eat.
Making time to get out of the house (if you are able to), have a group chat with friends, eat lunch away from your workstation, etc. can be extremely helpful to recharge. To be fair, all these might not be realistic in your current situation (in which case re-read the first section) but any small way you can make room for yourself is a big step in the right direction. Also, separate work PJ’s and sleeping PJ’s are 100% acceptable.