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6 Tips for Staying Healthy (and Sane) While Cooped Up at Home

Staying at home (all day, every day) has become a new reality for many. If you’re adjusting to the #stayhome life, keeping your usual routines can provide a sense of control during a time of uncertainty.

Mom on phone holding baby while looking at computer.

Staying at home (all day, every day) has become a new reality for many. If you’re adjusting to the #stayhome life, keeping your usual routines can provide a sense of control during a time of uncertainty. If you’re working on adopting a new routine, this can also create the opportunity to form new health-promoting habits that align with your goals and values. Above all else, remember to give yourself some grace as you adjust, and avoid the all-or-nothing mentality. Reflect on ways your new routine is beneficial in helping you reach your goals.

To help you stay healthy (and sane) while being cooped up at home, our Profile coaches have created a list of 6 tips:

1. Create your Profile plate

Stick to a healthy eating routine during this time and stock up on long-lasting, nutritious pantry staples. Here is how you can create a “Profile-friendly” meal:

  • Fill half your plate with veggies. If your only option during this time is frozen or canned veggies, that’s okay. All sources of vegetables provide nutritional benefits! To add some fresh veggies to your plate, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and peppers are all great, long-lasting options.
  • Next up, select a portion of protein. It’s helpful to have canned fish (like tuna and salmon), eggs, and frozen meats on hand.
  • Dish on those heart-healthy fats. Some great sources of fats include seeds (chia seeds or flaxseed), nuts (pistachios, almonds, and peanuts), olive oil, and nut butters.
  • Lastly, add on a serving of a nutrient-dense carbohydrate such as fruits (long-lasting fruits include apples, bananas, oranges, and frozen or freeze-dried fruits), whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, pasta, and frozen bread), sweet potatoes, and canned or dried beans.

2. Meal plan and prep like a pro

Planning and prepping your meals can help keep you in a routine. Here are some steps to take to fill your days with foods that fuel your body:

  1. Create a list of nutritious recipes for meals and snacks that you and your family enjoy. For some inspiration, Profile has many recipes online or you can ask your coach. Think about what foods you have at home and how you can incorporate them.
  1. Use a calendar to jot down what days and meals you plan to use your recipes for. Also mark on your calendar what days you can dedicate to food prep. What foods can you cook or chop ahead of time? Maybe you can cook up the chicken or taco meat beforehand, or chop up the veggies and make the rice.

3. Create a self-monitoring game plan

When you keep track of your behaviors, you hold yourself accountable. Here is how you can self-monitor:

  1. Think about what you want to monitor. Do you want to track meals and snacks? Your water intake? Hunger cues? How many cups of veggies you’re eating?
  2. Then, consider how you will monitor yourself. You could do a smartphone App, a wearable tracking device, or just good-old paper and pen.
  3. Lastly, set a goal. What is your goal in monitoring this behavior? Maybe you’re heading to the pantry more than normal now that you’re at home 24/7. Tracking your meals and snacks can hold you accountable to eating only when you feel hungry.

4. Are you really hungry?

Piggybacking off the last point above, it’s important to learn how to listen to your body. Are you recognizing when you’re full? Do you stop eating before you reach a point of discomfort? Checking in with how your body feels and your hunger level throughout the day and during a meal can keep you feeling fueled and prevent you from overeating.

5. Use mindful eating to navigate hunger and emotions

Right now, you may be anxious or perhaps you’re bored as cabin fever sets in. Whatever you’re feeling, navigating between hunger and using food in response to your emotions is challenging. (Even more so when your fridge is just a few steps away.) This is when bringing awareness to what your body needs is important.

Instead of creating a fail-or-pass system, try making choices based on what you believe is best for your body and mind. If that means adding veggies to your omelet, add away. If that means a few pieces of chocolate after dinner, you do you. Minimize distractions while you enjoy the food you want. Turn the TV off and pay attention to the food in front of you and how it makes you feel.

As you find freedom with food, ask a Profile coach for more mindful eating resources that can help you recognize pleasure and satiety while eating.

6. Build good habits that will last

We are all creatures of habit. When our routines are thrown off, building new habits can help us stay on track with our health goals. Here is how you can create a habit:

  1. Think about a reward or a result you’re working to achieve.
  2. What is the behavior you would like to start or change to achieve that reward?
  3. Think about a cue or trigger that would help prompt this behavior.

For example, your alarm goes off in the morning, you get out of bed, and you get an early morning workout done. For a habit to form, you must create a habit loop.

Please know that Profile is here to support you and your health during this time. Virtual coaching is available as well as curbside pickup and home deliveries. If you’re new to Profile, we’d love to support you and your health goals. Meet with a coach for free.