List: Ten tips to avoid boredom during social distancing

ListTo Do List

Avoiding emotional eating can help you avoid an end to your path to health.

Fatigued stressed female
Fatigued stressed female

  1. Go outside and exercise: Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle and balance. It also will help you reduce depression and increase happy hormones like serotonin. The sunlight will do you good but wear some sunscreen.
  2. Eat smaller meals: Larger meals make you sluggish and tend to promote a sedentary lifestyle.  You may overeat, or overindulge in sugary, fatty or salty foods, so limit portion sizes to lessen the impact.  
  3. Set a schedule and stick to it:  One of the reasons people overeat at home is the lack of structure in the day, and social distancing can easily throw off your day-to-day routine. We plan our meals around work and play and when your schedule is off, it can lead to overeating.  You need to avoid aimlessly wandering into the kitchen for an unneeded or unscheduled snack or meal.
  4. Do not eat while watching the news: In fact, just turn the news off.  Being glued to the screen can lead to mindless eating.  You need to watch what and how much you are eating and watching the latest COVID-19 update is the enemy of a thing waistline.  It will also depress you and make you turn to snacking. 
  5. Add a little structure to your day: Random chaos is the enemy to a healthy lifestyle. If you structure your day and organize it into a well-designed plan, you will be less likely to stray and more likely to avoid aimlessly reaching for comfort food in the kitchen.
  6. Meditate to beat stress: Self-isolation is extremely stressful and stress will make you graze for snack foods. Sit in a dark room and meditate through breathing techniques and you will cut the stress and lose weight.
  7. Plan and prep your meals: Like structuring your day, planning meals ahead of time will prevent hasty decisions such as frozen pizza when you are weak or hungry. Make better choices and help avid the feedbag.
  8. Take some social time: I know you are self-isolating. Use electronics to socialize by video-chat, text, or social media. Reaching out to others can reduce the boredom and stress caused by self-isolation.
  9. Only eat in the dining room: No TV, no computer, and for god sake, do not eat in bed. You are better than this and you need to eat like a human at the dining room table. You will eat less and your sheets will thank you.
  10. Don’t be a couch potato: Walking around the house, ride a stationary bike, or do some calisthenics. Do anything but just laying around feeling sorry for yourself. Depression and boredom will add on the pounds. Keep your self busy with some exercise.

The bottom line: Social distancing and self-quarantine do not have to be the end of your diet and path to good health. Healthy food and good choices can help you stay on track. Remember to only when you are actually hungry and avoid emotional stress-eating.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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