Self-Love During Quarantine.
by Ava C. Frigo
We have all heard or maybe even dreaded the saying “freshman 15”, but what about the saying “Quarantine 15”. During this time of quarantine, we are all surrounded by stressors and hardships. We struggle with the changes of online classes, shortages of food and essential supplies, and being separated from our friends and loved ones. While our lives are quickly changing and it may feel that we do not have control over many aspects of our lives, it is good to know that our bodies may change too.
With an increase in stress on our bodies, we may be impacted with:
-Increased depression and loneliness
-Increased blood sugar
-Impacts on our moods, sleep and coping mechanisms
Humans tend to enjoy having a routine, and when interrupted our body’s normal routine also adapts to the changes within our society. Remember to listen to the needs of your body: hunger, thirst, exhaustion, stress, loneliness. Respond to these changes and needs in ways that make you happy and are healthy for your body. During this time, it can be hard to stick to normal eating habits and foods that we deem “healthy.” It is important to eat foods that make you feel nourished instead of restricting yourself to a limited diet.
Throughout this time of quarantine, what we need is to show our self some compassion. It is important to determine the activities that make us happy and try to find new ways of accomplishing them. Try staying close to your normal routine or create a new routine that incorporates the things you enjoy and the tasks that are necessary to accomplish. If you enjoy taking workout classes with other people, try doing a zoom workout class with your friends. If you are missing your favorite game nights, setting up an online game night with friends of family could be a close second. If you are feeling lonely, call your friends and family members to reminisce about your favorite memories and stories.
During this time, it is okay to go easier on ourselves as we stray from our normal routines. There is no right or wrong way to do quarantine, and it is ok if you find yourself snacking more, gaining a little bit of weight, or exercising less. It’s ok to alter your normal routine by finding new ways to exercise at home, catching up on sleep, spending more time talking to friends and family members, or picking up a new hobby. Most importantly though is that you listen to the needs of your body. Paula Freedman, a licensed clinical psychologist that specializes in anxiety, says in Psychology Today (April 2020) “The next time your brain gives you a negative thought about your body or tells you what you’re “allowed” to eat, try zooming out on your life. We only have eight or nine decades on this planet (if we’re lucky). How many of them do you want to spend chasing a goal weight and sucking in your stomach, when you could be doing literally anything else?”
I challenge you to take some of the extra time you may have and find new ways to continue doing the things you enjoy or find new sources of happiness. Also, remember that your body may be adapting to your new lifestyle routine and although your body may be going through many different changes, you are still you!