8 Bad Habits You Learned During COVID and How to Break Them Right Now
When you are in stressful situations sometimes you tend to pick up bad habits that don't really serve you well. You really didn't know what to expect from covid-19 until it was suddenly upon you. It kind of felt like everything happened at once. Suddenly you are working from home at your full time job while homeschooling your kids, keeping the house running, doing grocery shopping, taking care of pets, and finding time to do your own workouts. It was a lot of change in a short period of time and for most people it was (and still is) a super stressful time. As you settled into your new "normal" you may have picked up some not-so-good habits and I am going to help you "unlearn" these right now.
Not sticking to a schedule. With the kids home and no where to be in the morning many of you got nice and comfy staying up super late watching Jimmy Fallon and sleeping until 8am since you had nowhere to be right away in the morning. The best way to fix this is to get back on a schedule that mimics your normal sleep/wake routine that includes your workout time. This might mean setting the alarm and getting out of bed early to get on your trainer or go for a run. Get yourself a planner or calendar (whichever you prefer) and stick to a schedule!
Too much take out/stress eating/not preparing meals ahead of time. With so much on your schedule to accomplish each day, many of you started relying on Take Out because it is just so easy to do. Many restaurants had to shut down and opened a convenient drive thru and it was easy to take advantage of that. Those few dollars spent on take out add up quickly, and often you are eating too much food without even knowing it. Remedy: Go to the grocery store each week and plan your meals ahead of time. Take out is ok once on the weekend but it sure does add up to lots of added calories over time. Keep healthy snacks around for both yourself and the kids so you don't "stress eat" and reach for junk food.
Too much wasted time on social media/googling everything/constantly watching the news. Every day there is an update on the number of covid-19 cases in your area locally and nationally. You don't need to have these numbers everyday, and in my opinion it adds a lot of unwanted anxiety to your day. Instead of playing on google and watching the news, go for a run, a bike ride, or lift weights. The worst thing you can do is start your day on social media and answering email the second you step out of bed. Do something productive in the morning and set your day up for success on YOUR terms, not social media's terms. Often scrolling through social media can create anxiety which stays with you the rest of your day.
Half-assing your workouts. Winging it, Making it up as you go. You get the picture. Going into a workout only half way committed makes for a waste of your time. Think about your fitness goals for the week and write out your workouts. Or you could have a coach like me write them for you. Accountability is key to motivation. Stop wasting your time with no plan and get serious about giving yourself an hour of sweat therapy.
You are wearing sweat pants, yoga pants, or leggings everyday. (I'm a sucker for great leggings but that's not what I mean by this!.) With no where to be, it's super convenient to be comfortable in your laid back attire for the entire day. All I am saying here is that you really need to put on your skinny jeans at least once a week and make sure they fit! Enough said here.
Shopping for gear, clothing, household items online even though you don't have the money to pay for it all. It's super tempting to take an "Amazon" break each day and shop for stuff you don't really need. In the case of triathletes, this might mean looking for a new bike, new tights, a new helmet, etc. Rule of thumb- if you can't pay cash for it now then you don't need it. Or if you plan on shopping do some selling as well on the Marketplace.
Drinking more alcohol. Whether the reason for this is stress or just wanting to relax, too much alcohol is never a good idea, especially for an athlete. Not only can it put on extra weight, but it can have a negative effect on your workouts. It can also make you feel lethargic and dehydrated the next day. Limit the alcohol intake to once a week and no more than that. Make sure you always end alcohol consumption with lots of water, especially if you plan to workout the next day.
Too much sitting. At home you tend to relax more and this might mean spreading out on the couch most of the day. There are so many studies that report that sitting all day is bad for your health. It's better to be standing and you can do this by investing in a adjustable desk or table top for your desk. I've seen athletes sitting on their trainer while they read or answer email. It's super important to keep moving. You can always take a 5 min break once an hour and do pushups, sit-ups, air squats etc. to keep the blood flowing, or go for a 5 minute walk outside.
I hope these tips help you to really think about your daily habits and make some positive changes. It's important to stay positive through this whole thing-every day we get closer to freedom from this pandemic. It may be a few more months, but in the mean time keep an attitude of gratitude and practice being mindful of your daily routine.