Over the last few weeks our entire lives have been turned upside down by coronavirus. Millions of children are home with school closures. Many of us are working from home or are in quarantine to try to help limit the spread of the virus in order to protect high-risk individuals.
Many people in our Fasting Method Community are struggling as they try to figure out how to adapt to these changes. In today’s blog post, I’m going to share some strategies I’ve started to implement to help with this transition.
1. Get ready for the day
I started working mostly from home a year ago. It was a big transition for me and took some time to troubleshoot. One of the most important things I found was to get ready for the day as if I was going into the clinic. This meant wearing real pants, not track pants, and doing my hair and makeup.
Initially, I was really excited about the idea of working in track pants, but it quickly became too confusing for my body. I associated those comfy bottoms at home with rest and relaxation and I struggled with mindset and productivity as a result. Over time I started to feel badly about myself because getting ready for the day was actually part of my self-care routine. Once I resumed my morning routine, I instantly started to feel better about myself.
2. Make a schedule and stick with it
This is critical. Whether you use Google Calendar, a paper calendar, or just simply planning your day on a notepad, having a routine is very important. This is especially true if you’re trying to stick with time restricted eating or fasting when you’re not used to working from home or having your kids with you full time.
I’m trying to maintain as much of a normal routine as possible. Instead of going to the gym I’m working out with my trainer online from home at the same time I usually would meet her in the gym. I’m using Zoom video and teleconferencing to maintain all of my meetings.
I use my Google Calendar to populate my day. In this calendar, I schedule my eating and fasting. If I’m eating, I will schedule an eating window from 12:00 to 1:00 PM. If I’m fasting, I’ll schedule in something else for that time like a walk with the dogs to get some fresh air, or maybe I’ll do laundry if it’s raining. The key here is to schedule things out, have a plan, and stick with it.
This is even more important if you have kids. They thrive with structure. My husband’s aunt, who is a teacher, posted her schedule for her son on Instagram, which I thought was brilliant. It included times for play, learning, pleasure reading, activities, and eating.
3. Try to separate work and life spaces within your home
I just moved my home office into the basement. Prior to last week, I’d be in and out of the house for meetings. It didn’t matter much that my office was on the main floor of our house. In fact, I preferred it there because of the sunlight. But last week as meetings started to move online, I found it too easy to walk the 10 feet into the kitchen. It was also easy to go back and forth between the kitchen and my office and cook meals when I really wanted to be fasting. Now I have a large set of stairs in my way. This makes me think twice about how much I want a handful of macadamia nuts, or if I really have the time to go upstairs and cook a meal and be away from my work.
I know moving an office to a different floor of your house may not be possible. If you’re in a smaller space or only have one floor, try to have a designated working area. Try to keep the areas separate. This way you can maximize both your work and personal time.
4. Create a list of activities
Stress can have you reaching for the pantry. Try to stop it by placing a list of non-food related activities that can help reduce your stress level.
Here are some examples of activities you can do in and around your home:
Cleaning out your closet
Organizing your storage room
Hanging those shelves to store your clutter
Gathering unused items for a future garage sale or to bring to a shelter
Tending to your garden
Taking an epsom salt bath
Reading a book
Having a list of activities already prepared will result in you feeling more organized, less overwhelmed, and more relaxed. This can help you stay on track with your fasting. Start your list today and place it on your refrigerator or on the pantry door!
5. Check-in with your community
While it’s important to practice social distancing in person, you don’t want to disconnect with your community altogether. Use technology to keep up with your communities! You can video call your friends and family all over the world to stay in touch. We can use services like FaceTime, Skype, Whatsapp, and Messenger video chat to stay connected near and far.
The community will continue to offer weekly fasting and eating challenges, live meetups with experts such as myself, Dr. Jason Fung, and Dr. Nadir Ali, as well as focus groups with additional meetings for stress support. Megan Ramos is in the community 24/7 during this time to help members get through.
6. Experiment with stress reduction strategies
Before the pandemic hit us, I noticed many of our Fasting Method Community Members were struggling with extreme stress and simply didn’t have the time to experiment with different stress reducing techniques.
Use this extra time at home to try out new strategies, such as:
Creating vision boards
Deep breathing exercises
Taking the time to find the right stress-reducing techniques can help you adjust back to your old routine once things settle down.
7. Get some fresh air and sunshine
Get some fresh air! This weekend I explored my neighbourhood for the first time since moving into this house. We discovered all kinds of hiking and bike trails we never knew existed!
Here are some activities you can do outdoors:
Go for a walk or run
Enjoy a nice bike ride
Explore local parks and trails
Dine on your patio
Read a book on your porch on warm evenings
Things are stressful right now but our community is strong enough to get through this together! I look forward to seeing you in the Facebook group and in the Community Forum.
Megan Ramos, Co-founder of The Fasting Method
By The Fasting Method
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