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Protect Yourself From Cabin Fever



As the home sequestering continues and the idea that it’s months long sinks in, we need two things:


  1. Compassion for ourselves as we grieve this understanding
  2. A plan


[By the way, everything needs this. Compassion and a plan is how literally everything gets done, including weight loss and maintenance.]


Last week we talked about How to Cope Without Eating Everything in Sight. I added in-depth videos and a free workbook to help you manage emotional eating. Get it now—just click here and scroll down to the end.


Today I want to encourage the self-compassion (always) and focus on The Plan.


A Plan is more important than ever because we need to stay mentally sharp during this time. People are counting on us.


It’s all too easy to let apathy and depression take over. After all, it’s stressful and draining to worry about a deadly virus all day long. But people are watching: your kids, your partner, your colleagues, your community and your own self.


Impress them.


Impress them all with your ability to keep calm, persevere and stay in control of your day and your thinking.  


You can do this.


Now, I love me a food plan. And it’s vital for preventing weight gain and overeating during this time (see last week’s Ounce of Prevention).


But the Plan I’m talking about here is a plan for your day.

What we need is a ROUTINE.


Routines help organize our time and manage our expectations.

The structure orients you, alleviates anxiety and prevents depression.


That’s powerful stuff.


Since we have weeks and weeks of this “new normal” we need to anticipate the difficulties (anxiety, depression, boredom—all of which can lead to weight gain) and prevent them.


A good routine can help.


Not every minute of every day has to be planned (although if that works for you—go for it!), but a basic structure will give you the stability and predictability you need to feel grounded, productive and safe.


You’ll get the most benefit if your schedule is similar each day.

To get you started, I created a Daily Sanity Planner. You can download it here.


When designing your schedule, include these basics:


    • 7-9 hours a night.
    • Best to go to bed around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning.


    • Getting dressed in the morning and having a routine to get ready for bed signal your brain and body that it’s time to rev up or wind down.


    • Regular mealtimes are essential for body regulation and rhythm of the day. It also prevents constant snacking and overeating.


    • So important! At least 20-30 minutes every day. Outside if you can. Let this activity anchor your day.


    • Connection. Helping. Cleaning. Prepping. Anything to give meaning to your day, get something done or bring joy to you or your loved ones.


One more thing: Allow more time than usual for each activity. Stuff comes up—friends need you, kids require attention, emotions pop up at inconvenient times. There’s information to know and fear to manage. Allow time for it all.


That’s where the self-compassion comes in.

Practice, practice, practice.


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