Though restrictions are starting to lift, many people will continue to work or study from home, so here are few tips about establishing health boundaries while at home.
1. Staying on task when you’d rather open the fridge again
Even at the office, food is frequently used to cope with boredom or as a form of procrastination. If you’re about to start a less-than-thrilling task try two things. Firstly, check in with your hunger cues to see if you’re hungry. When you acknowledge you’re not actually hungry, it makes it easier to skip your third trip to the fridge. Secondly, set a goal time for how long to work diligently and uninterrupted. Try making this time no more than one hour. Knowing you will give yourself a break in 45-60 minutes will help you stay on task.
2. Give yourself “exercise snacks”
I credit Juliana for this wonderful phrase “exercise snacks”. No, she doesn’t mean counting the walk to the pantry as exercise! Just like many people add food snacks throughout the day to boost energy, think about doing the same with your exercise. If you don’t feel you have the time or effort for a full “exercise meal”, try a quick “snack” around the block or some standing stretches inside. I used to feel small bouts of exercise weren’t worth it, but thinking of them as necessary snacks makes it easier and more fun to commit to.
3. Mind the clock
First and foremost pay attention to hunger cues, but this can be harder at home with unlimited access to the kitchen. Pay attention to what time you last ate to help sort out if you’re really hungry or just want to be hungry. Most people can go about 2 hours before needing a snack and 4-5 hours between meals. This is certainly a loose guide: athletes might be hungry for a large snack or small meal by 1 hour, and older or more sedentary people may not need a snack between all meals.
4. Plan and communicate your schedule with your household
This will vary depending on who’s in your house, but try scheduling with your kids or partner. Let them know what times you’re available for interruptions, or conversely, when you really can’t be interrupted. If there are two adults, tag team time outside or time with the kids so one of you can focus on work or self-care.
Setting boundaries on your own can be hard. If you’re struggling to get through food or fitness goals, you may benefit from a formal session with Pura Vida. We can help you work through barriers and take realistic steps towards improvement. While many of our clients see us for an extended period, even just a few visits may help you feel back on top.