Lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone. We are all “in the same storm but in different boats” as our experiences are very individual. One thing is for sure, many of us have developed unhealthy eating and drinking habits as a result of isolation, loneliness and stress. In difficult times it is much more difficult to control your eating. Levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol increase in stressful times. This can turn your overeating into a habit.
This is because increased levels of the hormone can also cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops, and you crave sugary, fatty and high carbohydrate foods. Sound familiar? Anxious feelings can also increase our desire for alcohol.
We can reach for food as an unconscious reaction to our emotions. If we can learn to sit with our emotions, allow and accept them, we are less likely to “eat our feelings.” When you start to feel better and more relaxed, you don’t feel the need to overeat and are more able to control your eating.
Be kind to yourself
If things are really tough, it doesn’t mean that you are failing, it simply means you’re being really, really challenged. Getting through this uncertain time is testament to your personal resilience. Sometimes, we need to just relax and think, “Tomorrow is another day.” This will help you to control your eating.
Do more of what nourishes you
Think of your daily routine. What makes you feel good? Do more of it! It’s that simple. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a major experience like sitting next to a waterfall, it can be spending 5 minutes cleaning out your cutlery drawer or phoning a friend for a chat or reading a chapter of a book or having a hot bath? Write a list now if you have a pen and paper handy. Put the list up somewhere and make sure you do at least one of these daily.
Take small steps
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb
Start as small as you can. Do that small thing every day.
“What?” you say. Let me explain. Think of New Year’s resolutions, how long do these massive plans last usually?
There has been a lot of research around changing our behaviour. Our habits are usually built up slowly, so when we ask ourselves to make huge changes, we become defensive as we feel like we have lost something. Our bodies and minds crave what we have lost, and we can become obsessed by it. This is why diets just don’t work in the long term! How many of these have you been on in your lifetime?
1. Small is easier to start.
Try meditating for one minute, or eating one less biscuit to start with, you get the idea.
2. Small means less resistance.
Instead of, “I’m only going to eat healthy food”, try, “I’m going to eat smaller portions of carbs at dinner time.”
3. Small builds momentum.
It allows you to be consistent. It’s much easier to meditate for one minute every day than it is to meditate for 30 minutes every day. You’re more likely to notice how much better you feel, because you’re not thinking as much about some big thing you’re giving up.
4. Small becomes big.
If you’ve meditated a minute a day for a while, it’s so much easier to find another minute. Soon, you’re up to 30 minutes a day, even though you could never have done that starting from zero.
Better health comes one step at a time. Change is a process—and it is constant. With this mindset, you can do anything.
Start small. Be consistent. And watch massive change take hold.
What small changes have taken hold in your life?
Try something new
Doing something new is good for us. This doesn’t need to be monumental. During lockdown, for weeks I didn’t do much that was new and then I saw a friend on social media was starting a new business offering online piano lessons, so I asked for a keyboard for my birthday and have been having lessons every week. Some weeks I’ve only practiced once, but I am slowly getting better!
Do you have something crafty tucked away in a drawer that you’ve been meaning to get round to, or a language that you have always wanted to learn? Technology is making this possible at home now, so have a go, download an app.
This sense of achievement will make you feel so much better. If you need help with motivation, book a free chat with me and we can plan the best way for you to do this.
This is a really hard time. Remember you’re not alone in this. Everyone is having difficult things to go through, so don’t beat yourself up about your behaviour and if you feel that your behaviour is spiralling dangerously and you may be heading towards a common mental health condition, you may need to make an appointment with your GP and get help.
How the Live Well Practice can help
I have created a “How to Control your Weight Permanently” eGuide and “Hypnotic Weight Control” MP3. These will help you start to control your eating, lose any weight you may have gained and begin to beat the lockdown blues by:
- Reducing your stress
- Boosting your motivation
- Increasing your self-control
So that I can help more people, I am making my “How to Control your Weight Permanently” eGuide and companion MP3 available 100% free for everybody until 1st September 2020.
If you would like to book in for a free consultation, please book here.
You can reach me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 075 222 777 22.