As we all know, this past year has been very stressful, to say the least, and in these unprecedented times, actions we have taken in our daily lives have shaped who we are today. As a result, many of us took on some new routines and habits due to working from home, kids remotely learning, or just sheer boredom.
So what habits are we hopefully keeping, and which ones should we be working on getting rid of?
Let’s start on a positive note: with some Habits to Keep:
- Cooking meals at home; may mean more quality time with family, making better food choices, experimenting with new foods, and saving money. According to The Food Industry Association, 41% of Americans reported cooking more during the pandemic.
- Meal planning and prepping for the week; with so many schedules constantly changing, the idea of having meals planned for the week and go-to healthy snacks can help relieve the stress of trying to figure out meals last minute or having nothing to eat or cook. Batch cooking is also a great way to have healthy protein options available for the week, and ready to go!
- More outdoor activities; more fresh air, seeing your local town in a new way, all while adding to your daily steps. This may have included new activities like riding a bike or kayaking, all great ways to stay fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- At-home workouts/fitness apps; staying fit is more important now than ever, and having easy access to a workout and not having to leave the house is also free. You can experiment with different types to fit your needs.
- Stress reducing apps, Headspace and Calm, can help with meditation ideas and breathing techniques to help relieve and deal with stress and moving forward, a great habit to keep us mentally and physically healthier. Also can help with better sleep which is another key ingredient to managing our day and overall good health.
- Learning a new hobby; with more time, more opportunities to pick up an old hobby or learn a new one. This could include learning to cook with a new crockpot or air fryer.
- Staying connected with friends and family; connection with our loved ones is so important to our health. For so many of us, this was difficult this past year. However, the creative ways people got together via social media, facetime, zoom, and even drive-by parades, and a safe way to connect should not be lost. We all need a good support system.
Along with the good in life, sometimes comes the not-so-good, here are some habits you might want to ditch:
- Ordering from food delivery services; like Doordash and Grubhub made it convenient to have ice cream and burgers delivered right to your door and became a way of life for so many. Unfortunately, this habit led to many unhealthy meals throughout the week. If you need to use a delivery service, try Instacart or amazon where you can choose from your favorite food stores and order healthier options.
- According to the Journal of American Association, increased alcohol consumption; alcohol consumption rose 14% between 2019 and 2020, and alcohol sales up 34% in this same period. Alcohol in excess can not add up in calories and poor food choices but can lead to other health issues and dependency. Seek help as needed from a counselor, medical professional or a friend or family member.
- Mindless Eating/Overeating; many used food to fill a void, cope with stress, or simply ate out of boredom. More hours on the couch binge watching a show made for poor choices in the kitchen. Being more aware and mindful of hunger cues can make better food choices, portion control, and better food choices.
- Lack of structure with our schedules; some of this may not be fully controllable like a work schedule or taking care of family, however when we don’t organize our day and utilize the time we have to de-stress, stay hydrated and eat properly, we are affecting our health.
We all want this daunting time to be over, and doing our part to stay healthy and be mindful of others is a great way to head in the right direction. However, we are not out of the woods yet, so try and focus on some of the positive changes you have made this year and take heart that things will get better!
Don’t forget to keep washing your hands frequently and cover your sneeze and cough. Always reach out to a health care professional for any medical needs or speak with someone you trust if you feel overwhelmed.
Food and Fitness Pro provides detailed health advice that produces actual results. Call today, and we’ll schedule a registered dietician to focus on your body’s demands.