Thriving from Home During COVID-19: Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy

It’s so tempting to let your eating, exercise and self-care habits become a ‘free for all’ at this time, with many of us under quarantine at home due to the COVID-19, or coronavirus, crisis. Nourishing and fuelling your body, staying hydrated, moving and sweating, and practicing simple self-care tips can help. These things can boost your overall wellbeing and immunity. They can also help you lower your stress levels and help you build resiliency. 

In the first of three posts created to help you stay healthy whilst we shelter in place, Holistic Nutritionist and Corporate Wellness Consultant Jennifer Hanway shares her top five tips to help you and your family stay happy, healthy, and thrive—not just survive—during COVID-19. 

1. Organize Your Kitchen and Pantry 

Take stock of what you already have in the house, and make note of what is in your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and pantry. I keep lists on the inside of my cupboard doors so I can take a quick glance. I also keep newer products at the back of the pantry to avoid anything getting past its best before date. This way you will know what you need to eat first (fresh produce), what you may need to buy. Ensuring you have adequate cooking equipment and storage is key too. Investing in tools such as an Instant Pot or glass storage dishes will save you time, stress and money in the future.

2. Plan Your Meal Times and Meal Types During Quarantine

Planning out what and when you and your family are going to eat has so many benefits. It will reduce food waste, and help balance your energy and nutrient intake throughout the week. It’s also a great time-saving device (even while sheltering at home, I do not cook everything from scratch), prevents overeating when bored or stressed, gives you something to look forward to, and can be a great learning activity for kids or healthy date night idea. Additionally, meal planning can help you limit trips to the grocery store, which is key as we practice social distancing.

  • Plan for 3 meals and 1 healthy snack a day
  • Keep these type of meals consistent Monday through Friday (or whatever fits your work schedule). For example, a breakfast smoothie in the morning, a salad or wrap utilizing last night’s leftovers and a protein, and 2 servings of veggies and a side salad in the evenings. 
  • Choose 1-2 nights where you will have a ‘treat’ meal or theme night. One of these meals could be from a local small business.
  • Choose 1-2 nights (but no more) when you will drink alcohol, if you wish. My advice on finding a healthier approach to drinking alcohol can help guide your choices.

I also recommend scheduling your meals and healthy snacks to prevent all-day eating. (Overeating is one of the biggest health challenges that we can face when we work from home): 

  • 12 hours between finishing dinner and starting breakfast
  • 3-4 hours between meals and snacks

3. Schedule Your At-Home Workouts 

There are a plethora of online workouts available right now, but so much choice and the easy availability can often cause decision fatigue and the myth of ‘oh I’ll workout later’. Schedule your at-home workouts as if they were meetings or calls and add them to the calendar.

  • Decide what type of workout you will do the night before (I am alternating between at home strength workouts and at home cardio workouts).
  • Prepare everything you need the night before (workout clothes, sneakers, equipment, water bottle).
  • Consider utilizing a commitment device. This could be a paid workout, one that donates to charity, or planning to workout with a friend.

4. Keep Your Healthcare Appointments

Whilst it’s tempting to think that our healthcare providers are overstretched right now, practitioners such as our PCP’s, dermatologists and therapists are all asking us to keep our regular appointments through online services and teletherapy. Looking after our physical and mental health is even more important right now. Chat with your therapist about alternative options, and be sure to call your PCP if a non-coronavirus related issue arrives. All medical issues are best dealt with as soon as possible. By doing so, you look after your health and ensure that our incredible healthcare providers can best do their jobs.

5. Schedule Self-Care Even When in Quarantine

Just as with our workouts, it’s easy to think that we will have more time for our self-care practices. But if we do not prioritize these then it’s easy for them to slip through the net. Staying consistent with self-care is even more important now, since we’re under amounts and types of stress we’ve never faced in our lifetimes.

Add your self-care time to your calendar and make it as important as your fitness and work commitments. Remember that what counts as self-care and stress relief may look different for you than it does for your favorite Instagram influencer. Reading, baking, playing with your pet, rocking out to heavy metal or taking a nap are just as effective as yoga or meditation.

Corporate Wellness Consultants Jennifer and Tim Hanway have created a webinar to help your business and employees thrive at this challenging time. For more information on how to book this Corporate Wellness workshop or any of our suite of corporate wellness offerings please email jenny@jenniferhanway.com.

Read more: Tips on How to Optimize Productivity and Performance during COVID-19 from Boston based Performance Coach Tim Hanway.



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