I don't know about you, but quarantine has affected many both emotionally and physically. Many people are dealing with loneliness and depression. There have been so many things that have occurred over the last year to make us feel separated and alone. Add to that the lack of ability to go anywhere without a mask or social distancing and you have a prescription for depression, loneliness and of course weight gain along with other physical issues.
There are so many factors leading to weight gain during the pandemic. People working from home are being less active than normal. Students doing school from home and being restricted from playgrounds and playing with friends has resulted in less physical activity for children and teens. Being home with access to the kitchen all day has allowed more time for snacking throughout the day. Being more sedentary and eating more has caused many of us to put on some extra pounds. Putting on extra pounds can lead to depression, anger and feelings of unworthiness, which can add to anxiety and of course snacking to try and feel better. It can become a vicious cycle.
We need to stop the things that are causing us to eat more and feel anxious. Having healthy snacks and foods to choose from and getting active again can help. Take walks, enlist the whole family to go. You can walk and just talk, point out interesting birds, take pictures (use your phone if you need to), take bike rides, or visit a local park that has walking trails. If you live alone, have a friend give you support and encouragement. Maybe you can get together to exercise, if not use each other to be accountable to, as well as to keep track of your progress. You may even be able to find an app or online weight loss calculator to help monitor your progress.
Plan some fun outdoor activities for children. Do a scavenger hunt in your backyard. Write a list of things they need to find and collect. For younger children provide pictures of what they are looking for. You could even plan one where they use a phone or tablet to take pictures of the items they find. Now that spring is approaching mark off a small area in the yard to plan their own garden. Find a source of outside games to encourage them to be more active.
While they are active outside, be sure to provide healthy snacks and beverages. Have bottled water that you could add some fresh fruit flavor to. A tray with a variety of finger foods like grapes (mine loved frozen grapes), apple slices, berries and other fruits. You can add a small dish of peanut butter or yogurt for them to dip their snacks in.
I know many are still in situations that are bringing on weight gain and depression, but let's come up with some ideas that might help. Feel free to share yours in the comments. Reach out to family, friends and neighbors who are feeling the effects of quarantine and see if you can be an encouragement to them. Thanks for stopping by today!!