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LOWER STRESS AND IMPROVE YOUR MOOD DURING PANDEMIC
These days, several people are expressing more fear and angst and looking to find ways to cope with the pandemic. With children and entire families home together all day, and work and school schedules disrupted, loss of a daily routine can increase anxiety and disrupt healthy eating.
Meal planning for a family is a challenge on its own. It’s tempting to buy whatever is available, even if it’s not something that’s part of your normal diet. It’s tough to manage being quarantined and not reach for your favorite crunchy snack because of boredom. A few pretzels or chips are acceptable, but many people may not be able to step away from eating the entire bag once it’s open. Also, if you’re already feeling blue, the quick fix of cookies or cake will ultimately make you feel worse. Processed foods and baked goods contain a lot of simple carbohydrates that create a yo-yo effect on our blood sugar, which can drive anxiety and worsen mood.
Good Food Choices
- Make a schedule or a daily meal plan: A schedule is more likely for you and everyone in your household.
- Consider apps to stay connected around a meal: FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom with family and friends. Share recipes or even cook virtually together.
- Plan for groceries: Try to buy fewer processed, high-salt, or high-sugar snacks.
- Load up: Stock up vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Save money: Skip the high-sugar soda and juices instead take flavor water with edible citrus or berries.
- Comfort food: Plan and enjoy occasional comfort food for a weekly treat. Pick a day and enjoy whatever you want, just not all your favorites on the same day.
- Manage your environment: If candy is simply not in the cupboard, then you can’t eat it.
You might be surprised to learn that certain nutrients in foods have been shown to reduce anxiety or spur the release of neurotransmitters. We all want to feel as good as we can during these times of uncertainty. People are feeling a lot of stress right now, and the unfortunate reality is that stress worsens feelings of low mood. It also suppresses our immune systems. Therefore, targeting immune-boosting foods will have a dual effect you may feel less anxious and boost your immunity. We all have to eat, so attending to our nutrition is something we can all control, and then reap the benefits of an improved mood.
Staying at home during the pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety, stress, and boredom can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. Being at home more than usual is very tempting for an individual to eat whatever they want. For some, with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices and maybe even boost your mood and immunity. If you don’t have any idea on how to begin, you can ask or search for an expert near you so that they can help you with this concern.