Breaking Bad Habits Developed During Quarantine
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the lives of each individual are divided into some variation of preparing meals, work, exercise, caring for family, and sleep. Now that we’ve been thrust into an extended period, everyone is dealing with some degree of uncertainty and worry. Behaviors we relied on upon before the pandemic to help us cope with stress. We built these stress management behaviors throughout our life as we figured out how to balance our responsibilities and capabilities.
During this pandemic, our environment has changed very quickly. Many of the normal behaviors we use to cope with stress and anxiety aren’t an option right now and we’re falling back on bad habits instead.
1. Comfort Foods
It is common to have comfort foods during stressful times. These are foods from our childhood or emotionally soothing time in our lives. They make us feel good by releasing neurotransmitters in the brain which interact with our mood and sense of well-being. It makes you feel pretty good, but these comfort foods also tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat. It can create a dangerous cycle of cravings following by crashing. Stick to the foods you know are good for you. The foods will help you maintain steady energy to the brain and muscles without the crash, and without affecting your mood negatively.
2. Social Media Binges
With a lot of time spent at home, you’ve been immersed in your devices. Having a discipline on this is something you must work on. Social media has become an easy distraction from stress and boredom. Stay the course with digital discipline and let yourself connect with friends. Maintain healthy social connections virtually. Also, do not read any news about the outbreak if it contributes to your levels of anxiety.
3. Lack Of Structure
Having no scheduled routine can disrupt sleep, missed meals, and generally harm your well-being. Stick to as normal a routine as possible. Wake up in the morning, take your breakfast, or continue with your morning routine. Do not use your time at home to stay late all night watching movies or scrolling through social media. Do everything to maintain your routine each day.
4. Not Exercising
Many are starting to feel low energy and even lower motivation when the lockdown started because of the closure of gyms and parks. Exercise and movement do much more for our health. As you increase your heart rate during exercise, you increase blood flow to your brain and muscles, which carries oxygen and other nutrients to cells. Everyone from local gyms to large fitness companies has adapted to support us through virtual workouts. This is one industry that didn’t miss a beat providing excellent alternatives to our regular workouts. Schedule this time in your day and take actions that help you adhere to it.
If you’re working from home, try standing at your desk, or setting a reminder to stretch or walk every hour. Even these little actions are cumulative throughout the day and will keep us more resilient in the long-run.