Photo by Tina Dawson on Unsplash

With the holidays over and the heart of winter upon us, going outside is intimidating, especially with COVID still a substantial risk. Whether you will brave the cold or stay inside, it is important to keep yourself healthy. Doing this while stuck at home can be tricky and may even seem pointless at times. But with the right guidance, planning, and tips, however, it is possible to overcome those obstacles.

Because of the pandemic, aspects of life that were once separate are now happening in one area, making a healthy work-life balance difficult to maintain. Procrastination can fill up entire days and setting a routine can seem impossible. In order to set yourself up for success, it is essential that you establish routines and designate separate areas for work and play. 

Rachel Feldman, an at-home workout expert, understands the challenges of building healthy habits. 

“You don’t put into context how much you move during a day while out and about,” Rachel said. “It is easy to just let time pass you by when sitting at home.” 

She suggests documenting and using tools to hold yourself accountable: food journaling, tracking devices for steps, and planning workouts. Accountability while being at home is her biggest tip for building those healthy habits.

She has even gone to some creative lengths to make staying active and moving at home less of a chore.

“We got a fish and plants and I have to make sure they are all living,” Rachel said. “Having to take care of other living beings helps you get up and get moving.”

Lauren Cohen, a registered dietician, stresses the importance of accountability as well. With food, a routine is essential to creating healthy habits. Creating a routine won’t happen unless we remember one simple thing: to eat.

“One of the things I have noticed a lot with my clients is that in the work from home environment people are not eating at regular intervals. This causes larger, binge-style eating habits,” Lauren said. “We are not laptops. We can’t charge up by plugging ourselves into the wall. We fill up with food and calories. Calories are how you charge up.”

Remembering to eat is a simple task when you plan for it. Lauren recommends and highly encourages meal prepping. With only so much time in grocery stores because of the pandemic, you want to go in with a plan so you can shop efficiently, she said. She recommends a high fiber diet and, if you are staying active as well, don’t forget to load up on protein and eat after your workouts!

She said to get creative with the flavors you regularly enjoy; come up with new recipes to include in your meal prep. 

“Most people eat similar foods all the time,” Lauren said. “I am a simple person. I do not devalue a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

At the end of the day, whether you are looking to increase your activity levels, eat healthier, or both, routine and accountability are essential. Use an app, a buddy, or good ol’ sticky notes to remind yourself to eat and keep moving. Providing yourself with the tools to stay healthy at home will not only have you feeling more energized, but also more confident and comforted in a world filled with uncertainty.