After a few days (or weeks) of binging on Tiger King, raiding your pantry, making banana bread, and choosing wine over water, you’ve (hopefully) worked hard to create new productive schedules, workout regularly in your living room, get outside (if you can), and connect with loved ones via Zoom during this time of shelter in place. Now, we’re all waiting for the day when we go back to rushing from the gym to work, dropping off the kids at school, happy hours, and bearing rush hour to get home for family dinners.
“Normal” life seems like something of the distant past. Depending on where you live, you may be looking at some normalcy in the next few days, or you may continue to shelter in place for upwards of another month.
So how do we cope? We’ve identified the top ten habits you may, or may not, have adopted during this period of shelter in place, that you need to continue to ease yourself gracefully into a more healthy daily life.
10 Healthy Habits to Continue After The Shelter in Place is Lifted
#1 Ditch the Excuses With Morning Workouts
With nowhere to be, workouts may have been easier to fit into your schedule for the last couple months. When the shelter is lifted, there will be more on your plate again. It may seem counterintuitive, but your busy schedule is exactly why waking up to fit in a morning workout is a must.
For one, there’s something extremely gratifying about having something checked off your list before the day has begun. Even better, morning workouts have been proven to rev your metabolism for the day, burn more fat, help you consume fewer calories during the day, and they leave your evenings completely free for time for all the socializing you’ve been missing and errands you need to run.
#2 Fit in Walks Throughout The Day
This time of shelter in place has minimized our time spent driving, but it’s also cut out all those sneaky active moments like walking through parking lots, to meeting rooms, or to lunch dates.
To make up the difference, many of us have been walking more regularly to get outdoors and stay active during lockdown. Whether it’s starting your day with a walk before/after your workout, during your lunch hour, or at the end of the day, this is a shelter in place habit you’ll definitely want to take with you.
Walking not only burns calories, reduces joint pain, increases bone density, and improves your cardiovascular health, but it can also improve your mood, productivity, and energy levels.
Too busy to trot?
- Next time you need to make a call, take it while walking.
- Get up and walk around the office anytime you’re tempted to zone out on TikTok.
- Make a calming playlist and go for a stroll instead of planting in front of the TV at the end of the day.
#3 Put Your New Cooking Skills to Use to Save Money and Calories
If there’s anything sheltering has taught us is the power of a home-cooked meal. After months of preparing food for yourself, you got to have some tricks up your sleeve. Cooking at home is one of the best things you can do for your nutritional health. It minimizes added fats, sugars, and calories, is less expensive, makes it easier to consume more fruits and veggies, gives control over what ingredients you use, and can be a fun and relaxing experience (most of the time).
If you’re short on time when your schedule revs up, give meal prep a try! During the weekend, prepare healthy protein options like:
- Protein pancakes/waffles
- Grass-fed lean beef
You can also save some time by chopping your fruits and veggies, and cooking your healthy carbs like:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Lentil pasta
And, ration out any snacks to have ready-to-go during your busy week.
#4 Build Better Connections by Putting Your Smartphone Away
We’ve all been starved of real-life human interaction with those outside of our households. This is especially true after the shelter in place, but our lack of personal connection started years before. The culprit? Our smartphones.
We can get so glued to our screens that we are never truly present when we’re spending time with others or even ourselves. We’re all realizing how important these human connections are, so now’s the perfect time to break bad phone habits.
Create the space to build deeper relationships with the people you interact with in real life and yourself by putting down your phone, scooting a little closer to each, and have fun with some of our favorite phoneless activities like:
- Watching the sunset
- Playing board games
- Trying a new cocktail recipe
- Starting a puzzle
- Laughing till you cry with a stand-up comedy special
- Playing the 36 Questions to Fall in Love with your partner
If you lack discipline, schedule in your screen time, set a screen time limit for your most-used apps, and/or leave your phone in your purse, car, or in the other room when you’re with company or while you’re having quiet-time with yourself.
#5 Practice Yoga to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health
With a busier schedule usually comes a busier mind, increased stress, and tighter muscles. A regular yoga practice can combat these.
Practicing yoga even once per week can help:
- Increase your flexibility
- Improve muscle strength and tone
- Boost energy levels and mood
- Help you lose weight
- Improve circulation
- Benefit your heart health
- Reduce your risk of injury
- Improve your strength in the rest of your workouts.
Can’t make it to the studio? Whether you’re a Downward Dog newbie or a long-time Yogi, there’s a practice for you on the FitOn app:
The perfect yoga routine to get a jumpstart on your day. This flow sequence brings your body and mind into alignment with opening poses and traditional sun salutations.
With creative variations like Falling Star, Chair Pose, and dynamic push-ups, this yoga routine gets your heart rate up and blood flowing. You’ll strengthen your entire body while calming your mind.
Want to know how Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye is always so fabulous? A huge believer in the power of daily yoga practices, he takes you through an intermediate yoga flow that’s going to leave you feeling centered and rejuvenated.
#6 Keep on Dancing
Did you start dancing by yourself, with your roommates/family, or with friends via Zoom during the shelter in place? Keep the habit going or give it a whirl! Not only does it burn some major calories, but dancing can improve your mood and memory, boost your confidence, and increase your heart health.
Need a little inspiration? Try out any of these dance workouts on the FitOn app:
If you just want to dip your toes in the dance pool, this quick workout takes you through a few easy-to-follow dance cardio moves anyone can do.
Combine cardio dance moves with strength movements for the ultimate calorie-torching, muscle-sculpting workout.
#7 Treat Yourself to DIY Spa Day
Face masks, home pedicures, and long baths should not be distant memories of quarantines past. Getting back into the groove of regular day-to-day life can feel stressful, which means your cortisol levels may be higher.
High levels of this stress hormone can increase belly fat, fatigue, irritability, headaches, digestive issues, blood pressure, and your cravings for refined carbohydrates. It can also slow your recovery time between workouts and negatively affect your sleep. Giving yourself a little TLC can help reduce cortisol levels, so schedule in time every week to slow down and pamper yourself a little.
#8 Nurture Relationships With Long-distance Friends and Family
The shelter in place created more time to catch up with friends and family who live far away. Facing a pandemic has also made a lot of us realize the importance of checking in on loved ones. Don’t lose these connections now that your schedule is more robust.
Building these relationships helps ease any tension that you may feel from the rest of your hectic life (and does the same for them too). Whether it’s a video chat or phone call once a week (or even once a month), your distant loved ones will appreciate you taking the time to connect.
#9 Set Healthy Boundaries at Work
Working from home can make setting boundaries around work hours more challenging. Since you’ve been home for both work hours and your time off the clock, you’ve hopefully learned how to schedule your free time so you don’t feel pressured to respond to emails during all hours of the day.
As you head back to the office, it will be important to continue practicing setting boundaries around work habits that you maybe used to let slide. Take the communication skills you’ve learned working remotely and continue practicing them after the shelter is lifted.
#10 Become More Mindful With Meditation
If you’ve been lucky enough to be sheltering safely at home during this pandemic, you hopefully took advantage of the opportunity to slow down and create a meditation practice or some other way to become more present.
We can’t stress how important it will be to your mental and physical health to become more mindful of how the business of normal life can take a toll on our wellbeing.
Continuing a regular meditation practice can help you become more present rather than be consumed by hopping from one task to another.
If you like a little guidance, this FitOn meditation is the perfect way to find stillness:
In just minutes, feel more present and calm with this quick guided meditation that brings you into the now.
We’re in This Together
Take these ten habits and let them give you peace as you navigate your new normal after the shelter in place is lifted. Uncertain times may still lie ahead, but you can hopefully find solace in knowing that we are here to help you stay healthy and fit through it all.