Hello again!
So now that we covered that we are living in strange times and that dieting and exercising is not the end all be all (read previous blog), we can also agree that many of us draw a lot of comfort from the structure and routine in our lives. The way we chose to eat and exercise matter to us, and keeping up with some sense of our routine and habits right now in this stressful time is ultimately going to be helpful to us to cope with this better.
There is a lot of nutrition coach offering ways to deal with snacking too much and how to grocery shop in a pandemic or gyms sharing how to workout at home right now. On the one hand I know it is great, the community is truly banding together and supporting one another and this is what we need right now. Support. On the other hand, I know it can also be insensitive to some of you and put undo pressure on the individuals. If you lost your job, genuinely fear for your health, work in health care or fear for your parents well being, working out or counting your macros right now might just be the last thing on your mind.
If stress has you paralyzed on your couch with a tub of ice cream binge watching “Love is blind”, there’s no shame in that. You are human. These are strange times. Give yourself the time and space to process this. I certainly have my days right now. But I still do believe and know in my heart that the way I eat, the way I move and the actions I take have a big influence on how I feel and how well I am going to cope with all of this.
Right now we all have the gift of time, we can do with it what we want, but not having time to make your meals or do a workout is no longer a valid excuse. Yes the gyms are closed and our access to groceries is limited, but we have time and we can get creative and make things happen here.

It became clear to me that after a few days of “quarantine and chill” that my behaviour was not helping me through this so I decided to get a wee bit more organized in this uncertain time. My week normally has structure, I coach in person 13 hours a week, I have my regular gym dates and workout scheduled, I have my 3 admin days for my online nutrition business , I have things to do and places to be. But right now it feels like all days blend into one and it was lazy Sunday on repeat for me.

I do LOVE to-do lists. I write them daily in my day-timer, but right now it just wasn’t enough to get me off the couch to do them. I had to go-back to scheduling my days a bit more, putting my workouts in, laying out a plan for my week like I did before all of this so things would get done. The lack of structure in my day just wasn’t helping me cope in a healthy way or accomplish anything. I use my good old fashioned day-timer to schedule my week ahead on the weekend and each day has a plan, dedicated work time, tasks to accomplish, workout are scheduled in and if you know me, you know my meals are laid out and planned too.

My own way of time blocking.

What is time blocking? Basically, it is the practice of scheduling certain periods of time in which to tackle specific tasks. Essentially, you schedule your tasks and to-dos for the day (or week), with the goal of sticking to that schedule. You can time block your entire day from start to finish. Allowing your day more structure and each task more focus. 

So far my days have rarely gone exactly as I plan them, but it has given me a sense of accomplishment each day. It has helped me from getting sucked-in the Instagram vortex for hours on end. It’s hard when posting to Instagram and connecting online is a part of your job description. Humans, we are social creatures. We like to respond to messages and participate in the conversations around us. Covid 19 is on everyone’s mind and to me, being immersed with it online constantly was only feeding my anxiety more.

It is important I think to remain connected & informed but this does not require me being on my phone 24/7. I had a pretty strict policy about turning my phone off in the evening before bed before this, recently I have taken to turning it off even earlier. My family is all under my roof, so I have no real immediate concerns, taking extra time to down regulate and shut down the stream of information before bed allows me to get a more restful sleep. I need that right now. 

If you want to give it a-go you can use pen and paper, or find a great planner or time-blocking app online like Timebloc.

Lastly, don’t get too ambitious. Don’t block out 12 hours on your first day, just put a few things to accomplish each day and give you a sense of normalcy. On my schedule today, blog post (check!), workout + house cleaning and a walk. Totally manageable. Things will happen and things will come up, some of you may be working from home while trying to entertain your kids right now.

The idea is by scheduling my work and my workout in my day/week is to get a sense of normalcy in my life and right now we all need that. Don’t you agree?

Annie 🙂