In case you haven't already stumbled upon every life hack there is during 2020, here's another one; create healthy balances. Whether you're struggling to shut off Netflix or Zoom, eat less or cook more, the struggle for balance can be so real and as many of us know, stopping a bad habit can be just as hard as starting a good one. Good habits like exercise are awesome, overdoing exercise - not so awesome. Kicking bad habits like phone addiction are good, but never calling a loved one - not so good. So I wrote out the most common balance struggles we humans are facing today and some advice on how you can get by and strategize.
When we get bored, we tend to take activities we love and go overboard and fitness is no exception. Yes, exercise is a good thing but like anything else, too much of it can be detrimental or even counterproductive to our fitness goals. Working out everyday will not help you lose weight, but finding a good balance with your rests might. So try to keep a healthy divide between how much battery you are charging versus the power you put out. Here are some ways to not only make your workouts more efficient but also happier!
Find workout routines you love & stick to a consecutive schedule
Cross-train to keep your workouts versatile and your mind entertained
Don't make everyday high intensity
Take at least 1 full rest day or 2 days of light exercise like walking
Be mindful if your job requires a lot of manual labor
Get 7-8 hours of sleep on a routine
Don't stress aesthetics and what you think fit looks like, how you feel is more important!
Unless you've been a social media activist for years, your feed has probably turned into the news this year. With Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 and a president who can't seem to bring the country together, it has never been more agonizing to log in. A variety of emotions can come up when scrolling, everything from feeling empowered after watching justice get served or feeling destroyed after learning about the cruel people in this world. Ignorance is bliss but many people are trying to become more educated and informed as elections creep closer and closer. This can also mean that we might start posting uncontrollably. Try getting a good balance out of your feed while still staying informed by:
Setting time limits on your applications
Set limits on how often you are posting
Follow informative hashtags and not just dramatic ones
Unfollow toxic people or things that hurt you emotionally
Avoid arguments or overthinking when observing other's posts
Before logging in, ask what your intention is first... to start drama? To learn more?
Staying in Touch/Communication
Knowing there are some family and friends we aren't going to see for awhile can be a real bummer. Extroverts are having a harder time for obvious reasons and because of this you may end up on the phone way more than you did before social distancing and self-isolation. Keeping in touch with your loved ones are great, but becoming the world's therapist can drain your energy like the sun. Create a healthy balance between socializing and personal time by:
Make a list of people it's very important for you to talk to
Try sticking to a schedule when calling
Avoid calling other people/ answering the phone too often
Avoid losing too much time in conversation
Be honest when you don't feel like talking
Make sure you're getting back in the conversation what you're putting in
Stick to certain forms of communication - colleagues get emails, friends get texts
Distinguish business hours from leisure time
Give yourself time away from the phone to be unreachable
Perhaps the most common struggle many of us are facing comes with the challenge of working from home. When your co-workers, superiors or clients know you have no where to go, it can almost feel like the beginning of a horror film opening your email. If you're working the 9-5, it's now more like 7-7. If you're an artist, free lancer or anything of the sort then you might be used to the off season, but this is obviously longer than usual and looking for work is work. So how do we say "No, I'm not going to answer this email at 3am" or "I'm okay with taking it easy for now?" Try this:
Make a daily schedule for what needs to be done
Make separate to do lists one for work and one for home
Take care of your needs before your co-workers
Delegate and organize how others can help you
Separate your work space from your comfort space
Create cut-off times and stick to them; checking emails, answering calls/texts
Avoid too many distractions from social media and rabbit holes
Get rid of busy work/unnecessary tasks
Spend your free time wisely (Don't think about work!)
Let go of the fear of being penalized for being human, learn to say "No!"
Becoming sedentary in today's world is not unheard of but it's important to recognize little things that may be happening including more tiredness, less motivation and one of the most noticeable: gaining weight. Sometimes we can catch ourselves overeating snacks but not getting enough real food in our systems. Other times we are so sick of cooking that deliveries add up and we don't realize how much of our wallets we just burned through. Cooking doesn't have to be a passion of yours but it is a good distraction that takes you off the couch, away from bad snacking and building a good life skill. Try these tactics to avoid bad eating habits in lockdown:
Select a day to do meal prepping
Cook big versatile portions such as lentils or chicken that can be used for a variety of entrees such as salads, sandwiches or soups
Create themes for different days of the week to help give you excitement about new recipes and cooking them
Avoid buying the junk food all together. Chances are if it's in the house, it's a goner
Unless it's your meal prep day, set limits for how long you want to be preparing your meals (e.g. - 10-15 minutes)
Treat yourself to takeout once a week, maybe twice
Going Outside vs. Staying In
One thing we must remember is that we are still in a pandemic, but that doesn't mean you should be locked in your bathroom bunker avoiding the sun. Vitamin D is necessary for our health but let's be real, the fact some people still won't wear masks not only makes you feel unsafe but can rock you emotionally as well. Here's what I love to do in order to get my fresh air and keep my distance from others:
Stick to your space, if you have a rooftop, balcony or backyard, take advantage and read a good book while catching some sun
Get out early or later than others for walks/runs
Take a drive to a secluded area and shut down for a bit
Wear a mask, socially distance and avoid big crowds
Find a purpose to go out, volunteer, meet a friend, etc.
Make outdoor activities energetic so you can feel relaxed at home
Limit yourself on how long you stay indoors
We hope these tips help you during your time sheltering in place. Remember that writing and making lists help to get things done and out of your head. Stick to your schedules and stay safe!