By Roz Jones
You may have heard jokes about the quarantine fifteen – for many adults, spending more time at home is making them gain weight. According to a WebMD poll, almost 50% of women and 25% of men said they’ve put on pounds due to COVID-19 restrictions.
There are several reasons for this: Gyms are closed. Emotional eating is a convenient way to deal with boredom and anxiety. Plus, your refrigerator now remains within easy reach throughout the day and night.
The unusual circumstances everyone else has faced with the pandemic are the everyday reality for many caregivers. It can be difficult to make it to the gym when you’re responsible for someone’s full-time care, a responsibility which (although rewarding) can lead to a buildup of stress.
Learn how to keep off the weight gain brought on by spending many hours at home. The key for keeping off weight gain is to eat healthy, stay active, and manage stress, even when you’re stuck at home.
- Plan your menu. Create new routines that encourage a balanced diet for both you and your loved ones. Figure out what you’re going to eat for a day or a week in advance. Planning may also help you cut down on trips to the supermarket.
- Choose whole foods. It’s easier to resist junk food when you fill up on nutritious meals and snacks. Get most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
- Drink water. Thirst can make you feel hungry. Cravings may disappear after you sip some water or herbal tea.
- Limit alcohol. COVID-19 has also caused an increase in alcohol consumption. Schedule liquor-free days each week to cut down on empty calories and other unwelcome side effects. When you drink, choose wine or a Bloody Mary instead of mixed drinks like a pina colada with more than 400 calories.
- Seek support. Invite family and friends to join you in eating healthier. Share updates on social media, so you’ll feel more accountable.
- Exercise outdoors. Go outside to work out. Maintain a safe distance from others while you run through the park or ride your bike.
- Create a home gym. You can exercise at home even with limited space and funds. Try yoga, or buy a jump rope and resistance bands.
- Go online. Do you miss group fitness classes? Your favorite instructors may be streaming their sessions. Contact local fitness centers or browse online to see what’s available.
- Take active breaks. The hours can fly by when you’re working on a computer or streaming videos. Offset your sedentary habits by taking regular exercise breaks. Do a few push-ups or stretch your legs.
- Move more. Daily tasks count too. Burn calories and tone your muscles doing lunges while you vacuum. Work in your garden or clean out your attic.
- Sleep well. Your body and mind are more resilient when you’re well rested. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Aim for a dark, quiet room to sleep in.
- Meditate daily. Even a few minutes of seated meditation can help you to live more mindfully. Sit down in a peaceful place, scan your body and soften up any tight spots. Observe your thoughts without making judgements.
- Breathe deeply. If meditation makes you uncomfortable, maybe you’d prefer simple breathing exercises. Try alternate nostril breathing to fight anxiety. Use your thumb to close off one side of your nose at a time and inhale deeply. Repeat three times on each side.
- Listen to music. Symphonies and pop songs can help you deal with strong emotions. Create a playlist to lift your spirits or calm your fears.
- Try counseling. If daily stress is interfering with your diet and wellbeing, consider seeking professional help. Many counselors are using teletherapy to talk with patients online, so you can stay safe while you receive help.
You can manage your weight while you spend more time at home. Healthy eating and other lifestyle habits will strengthen your immune system and enhance the quality of your life.
I’ve just launched Shop With Roz, my online store filled with supplies and gifts for every caregiver. You can find a wide variety of products in the store to help yourself and your loved one. Check it out here!
After you have a look through the store, see any products you use and love as a caregiver, and think we should share them with everyone? Let me know!
It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called CircleOf….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.
Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!