People are either eating too much or too little during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. With the new normal settling in, it becomes difficult to curtail the mood changes and lower the stress caused due to the unforeseen situation.
Coping with the new normal has become difficult for the parent as well as children. Entire families are home all day with disrupted school and work schedules and loss of a daily routine, causing an increase in anxiety levels. It also results in a disruption in healthy eating habits.
John Spach on Overcoming the On-Edge Feeling
A few pretzels are fine, but we tend to finish the whole bunch once it’s open. Moreover, if you are feeling blue, satisfying your sweet tooth sounds like a fantastic idea. However, this only results in increased calorie intake. Processed and shelf-stable food possesses ample carbohydrates that can worsen your mood and drive your anxiety levels to a new high.
Disruption in Meal Planning
Meal planning has become a challenge with the increasing seclusion at home and more people to feed with changing taste buds. With the fear of limited groceries, people tend to buy whatever is available on the shelf, even if that is not a part of your typical diet.
Mindfully Make Good Food Choices
To make healthy food choices, one needs to follow specific pointers.
- Deduce a daily meal plan. Make a schedule for all the people in your home. John Spach suggests that since a schedule is more predictable for everyone in the household, you can create one that suits all.
- If your loved ones are in different locations, try using apps to stay connected around for a meal. Share recipes with them and even try to cook together virtually.
- Before you go out for grocery shopping, make a list. When you do not have a list, you may pick up high-salt and high-sugar content snacks. Therefore, planning for groceries is essential.
- Keep your home loaded with healthy foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Doing this, you give yourself a choice only to pick from the healthy options.
- Skip the processed juices and high-sugar soda drinks. Rather than those, flavor your water with edible citrus and berries.
- Stress is customary on such days. Therefore, enjoy occasional comfort food as a weekly treat. However, make sure you do not eat all your favorites in just one day.
Several nutrients in healthy foods reduce anxiety and spur the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Stress worsens the feelings of angst while simultaneously suppressing our immune systems. In light of this, the immune boosting foods show a dual effect; that is, it makes you less anxious, coupled with boosting your immunity.
The unfortunate reality increases stress formation, but with a healthy intake of food, one can suppress the negative emotions and boost immunity. Attending correctly to our nutrition needs is essential to stay healthy during such uncertain times.
The increased anxiety helps in abandoning healthy eating intentions and makes one snack on junk food. With little planning and thought, one can make healthy food choices and keep your emotional and physical wellbeing intact.