How to Gently Address (and Reverse) Pandemic Weight Gain
If you have coped by eating too much or drinking too much, have compassion for yourself and set your intention to turn things around. Gently tune in to your true needs and practice self-care by nourishing your mind, body and soul - coming from a place of loving-kindness.
Here are some tips:
Keep a “food & mood” journal. Identify your level of hunger before a meal and be curious as to which emotions cause you to reach for a snack when you are not physically hungry. Are you feeling anxious, bored, stressed, tired?
Practice a ‘mindful pause.’ Instead of eating while watching TV, sitting in front of the computer or in the car, carve out time for yourself throughout the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. When we “unplug” regularly and take a breather, we don’t have the need to self-soothe with food to get us through the day.
Plan your meals. Instead of leaving dinner decisions to the last minute, dedicate one day per week (Sunday?) to look at some healthy and delicious recipes, go shopping and prepare your lunches and dinners, so you can look forward to having nurturing and nourishing meals ready to go.
Make self-care a priority. You can’t give from an empty cup. Give yourself the oxygen first. Become your own best friend. Treat yourself the same way you would a small child or a loved one. Self-compassion and self-empathy are key ingredients for living a balanced life.
Meditate. Start small by using one of the following Apps: Headspace, Calm or UCLA Mindful. Instead of eating to relax (or drinking that extra glass of wine), meditate for 2-3 minutes.
Move your body. If you have been too sedentary, set an achievable and realistic goal for the near future. Don’t overshoot. Go for a short walk around the block before dinner or start your day with gentle yoga. Dance to one song a day. Find a walking buddy. Every step counts.
Practice gratitude. Set your intention in the morning, for example: “May I be kind and gentle with myself and others today. May I nourish myself well. May I give myself permission to take a break.” End your day by listing three things you are grateful for and three things you are proud of.