Whether you are a veteran home freelancer, newly learning how to work from your living room, or against your wishes stuck in full-blown lockdown. You are no doubt close to the fridge and procrastinating around deadlines, a heady mix of temptations that have the risk of moving you far away from a health goal than in normal circumstances. Here are some tips for controlling your eating habits whilst working from home.
Your new mantra is ‘pause, am I actually thirsty?’ You are going to be at home all day, so I advise you jazz a large bottle of water up with as much fresh fruit or citrus to get you excited about drinking your 2-3 litres a day. I truly believe tea therapy is underutilized and ever so powerful, splash out on boxes of new herbal teas as there is a tea for every single swaying mood.
Observe stress eating
All emotions are valid during this strange time in history, but I think we are all guilty of turning our daily news update into a morning of news cycling that flips a once optimistic morning mindset easily into impending doom with a click of a button. Be as strict with your media consumption as you would with eating junk food every day, it should be a closely monitored moderation activity, as overconsumption can leave us feeling heavy of mind and in turn, make emotional food choices.
Control begins in the supermarket; don’t buy indulgent food you find hard to resist. If you live in a family home, where there is always a treat cupboard somewhere in the house, try to stay strong as resisting temptation can become a very satisfying daily task and give you a sense of achievement without even leaving the house.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. We should be stocking up and trying to purposefully eat meals that are rich in both protein and healthy fats, by doing this we will feel fuller for longer and generally more satisfied. Snacks during work hours tend to be the time we don’t always make our best nutrition choices and that’s usually down to convenience, so make sure to stock up on healthy snacks like berries, miso soup and protein balls. Remember, nourishing food that will boost your immune system is integral right now.
Clear health goals
If you have a crystal-clear current health goal it becomes a heck of a lot easier to increase your tolerance to temptation, writing it down on the fridge not only puts that positive manifestation out to the universe, but it’s a clear as day reminder to find resilience when the sugar and carbohydrate-rich snacks start calling!
Find yourself staring into the fridge every half hour? Focus on your breath, drink a glass of water and ask yourself ‘am I truly hungry or just bored?’. If you are, then, by all means, eat something nourishing and focus 100% on chewing at that moment (not writing emails at the same time).
Never before has there been less judgement of an Instagram post of a colleague in their tiger pyjama bottoms having a Monday afternoon post Zoom conference crisp glass of pinot grigio at their new desk. Look, I can understand people trying to find ‘la dolce vita’ (the sweet life) right now, but let’s remember this may go on for a while and I think we can all agree it’s best that day drinking stays as a once a month indulgence not seen by our Boss. Choosing how many days you would like to ideally drink and sticking to them is a good way to make sure you keep yourself in check…and keep your job!
As humans, we are all wired for pleasure, but other than food and alcohol hedonism, ask yourself what else you look forward to? There are so many other pleasures in life that can release that beloved dopamine hormone. Perhaps it’s laying in the sun, Zooming your best friend, making a new Spotify playlist, listening to a gripping crime podcast, taking on a 1000-piece puzzle or simply indulging in an extra-long hot shower.
Remember the 80’s
Not the one where everyone danced strange for a decade, but the helpful mindful eating mantras. A few of my favourites to practice are ‘hara hachi bu’ Japanese for eat until 80% full and the 80:20 rule where one tries to eat as healthy as possible 80% of the time and 20% enjoy a little of what you like.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself in this time.