Right now, a lot of people feel like this pandemic has broken them.
- It broke their priorities.
- It broke their gym routine.
- It broke their budget.
- It broke their energy.
- It broke their motivation.
Suddenly, eating well and staying active seems harder than ever and yet also more important than ever.
Precision Nutrition recently wrote an excellent article called “Is your health and fitness routine broken? How to build a system that helps you get back on track.”
It’s quite a long read so I wanted to summarise a few points for you.
Point #1: Stress powers down our “thinking brains”
Stress fires up the emotional fight-flight-freeze part of our brains and it also simultaneously shuts down the thinking-planning-decision-making prefrontal cortex.
This means that it becomes harder to keep our priorities front of mind and work towards our long-term goals.
Instead, or emotion-driven reflexes take over and without a good system in place, we’re nudged towards less productive actions.
Point #2: We can only make so many good decisions in a day
For most people, the more decisions they make, the more fatigued they get.
During a time like now, we’re constantly making decisions and judgements about what’s going on in the world, adjusting our routines, figuring out new ways to work.
You’re probably making a lot more new decisions than you realise (even if it’s just deciding not to do anything). It’s exhausting.
This makes things like deciding to eat healthily or exercise regularly harder to do.
So again, without a good system in place, it’s hard to do the things that we need to do.
Point #3: We’ve lost some of our anchor habits
An anchor habit is something that you do every day – without thinking about it.
For many people, brushing their teeth is an anchor habit. It’s the first step in a bedtime routine. And when they don’t brush their teeth, it feels wrong to go to bed, as if something is missing.
Before the pandemic, many of us had several anchor habits that functioned like the first domino in a series. Once that one domino tipped over, many other dominoes fell right after it, without much effort or thinking.
Maybe finishing work was the first domino that then sent you to the gym. Maybe dropping your kids off at school was the first domino that sent you to the shops to do some healthy shopping. Maybe you’re not getting out of bed at a set time anymore, so going to sleep early is not as important anymore and you’re no longer getting enough sleep.
Once again, without a good system in place, we stop doing a lot of our good habits.
YOU NEED A NEW SYSTEM!
If you want to get back on track, you need to build a new system for yourself. A new routine. Some new anchor habits.
3 Questions to ask yourself:
- What’s important to you right now?
- What was your old system?
- What systems do you need now?
Before the pandemic, going to work, taking your kids to school, seeing your friends, etc, probably provided a fairly reliable routine to your day.
Now you need a new routine.
Some things to consider:
Daily schedule: Could consistent wake times, meal times, exercise times, meditation time, or bedtime help?
Surroundings: What changes could you make to your kitchen, workout space, and other aspects of your physical environment?
Reminders: How might setting alarms, using a to-do list, or time-blocking (more about this below) make things easier?
Planning: Would you benefit from a two-week meal prep and grocery shopping plan?
Support: Could you lean on people around you for motivation, accountability, and help?
Routines: How might you stack healthy habits on top of something you already do?
Want some more help?
If you feel like you need some more help, I recommend trying the Sleekgeek 21-Day Reboot Challenge.
It’s free and it’s a fantastic way to level up your nutrition in a fun and easy way.
Other than that, I’m going to list a few of the top articles and resources that we have on the Sleekgeek website in case any of them help you:
- How to stay motivated by finding your WHY
- Sleekgeek Beginner Home Workouts
- How to build the habit of exercising at home
- Sleekgeek nutrition guide
- Sleekgeek supplement guide
- 5 Steps to overcome emotional eating
- Building appetite and hunger awareness
- How to improve your sleep
- What to eat when sick
- How to make more time for health and fitness
- Guide to eating healthy on a budget
- Healthy recipes
Good luck and stay safe!