Calm Your Kryptonite & Get Back to a Healthy Routine
- Written By:Lauren Slayton
I’m running out of adjectives to describe what’s happening. And “unprecedented” or “dire” don’t even begin to do this justice. With concerns for our our health, jobs and families, it’s understandable that our habits have taken a hit. When quarantine first started and my nutrition clients were drinking more than usual, baking up a storm or unable to motivate to exercise, I empathized. But now we’re over a month in. I’ve noticed that there’s a desire to curb whatever your particular kryptonite is. And when I say kryptonite, I mean that thing/behavior that difficult to manage. Here are some tips if you’re interested in pivoting in a healthier direction.
This whole pandemic is a lot. Some people, who aren’t even drinkers, are now drinking. Drinking can take the edge off and it can mark the end of the day. But drinking for a month straight? It’s going to leave you feeling less positive. It affects your sleep quality and, if I’m being blunt, is a cancer risk.
So, what to do? I suggest a minimum of 2 “dry” days a week. If you can preset the days, even better. Many of my clients do Monday and Tuesday or Monday-Wednesday sans alcohol.
Perhaps you couldn’t care less about a cocktail, awesome. But I’ll bet there’s something you’re leaning on. It seems like everyone on social media is baking banana bread. For many people, baking is relaxing and conjures up good memories. But sugar isn’t at all good for our immunity and a brownie a day doesn’t seem right. Similar to my alcohol advice, put some parameters in place. Maybe you bake on weekends only. Or, perhaps you look up paleo recipes, which use better flours and ingredients. I’ve seen clients, who previously had a little dark chocolate here and there suddenly having sweets two or three times a day.
Try something I call “one singular sweet-sation.” Other than fruit, try to keep chocolate or any sweet to one time per day. If your sweet-sation time is after dinner, have an apple or a cup of tea post lunch. If you’re thinking “an apple isn’t going to do it for me,” trust me I know that a cookie is more alluring. But if it’s fruit, tea or nothing, suddenly the strawberry sounds good.
Depending on where you live, it can be a little nerve-wracking to go outside. Also, what we’re experiencing as a lack of motivation can be a sign of low-grade depression. So, if exercise feels impossible, start small. I love quickie online content. This is a fun one for abs. Or, try a push-up or plank challenge. This starts with just 5 pushups and each week you add more.Work your way up to 30 min of anything most days. But if your motivation feels low, you need to set the bar/goal accordingly.
Ask yourself: what do you feel is a little out of whack with your routine? Pick one area to address at a time. And don’t overachieve. I suggested skipping alcohol, a couple of nights per week, to a client who immediately said, “I can do more than that.” My answer was, “that’s fine but the goal is two.” There’s something gratifying about checking this off a list. Work on calming your particular kryptonite. I’d be lying if I said that skipping a night of drinking or doing a quick workout would make this all better, we all know that’s not true. There’s a lot that’s out of our control but our routines are our domain. Let’s start there.