The COVID-19 pandemic has yet to ease up in the United States. As states begin to reverse their business openings and continue to prohibit gatherings, it is uncertain what the rest of 2020 will look like, and if 2021 will take a similar shape. Under the umbrella of uncertainty, we are left to navigate the unknowns around the back to school season, whether we will work from home or from the office and if our workouts will take place in a gym or in the quarters of our living rooms. Our nutrition is left up in the air as well, allowing us to conclude one thing and one thing only, uncertainty is just about the only certainty.

It is during these unprecedented times that our home truly is our home base— where we spend nearly all of our time. Our homes have become our offices, our child care, our schools, restaurants and gyms, and balancing this is tough. Which is why it is so important to adopt a routine of sorts, one that caters to all of these needs, while providing structure. Our physical and mental health crave consistency, regardless of what is happening in the world around us. Below are 5 tips for establishing structure in the midst of uncertainty to ensure that we are not compromising our health during these crazy times.

  1. Maintain and develop new habits around exercise. Schedule a time in your day to workout ahead of time, just as you would if you were registering for a class at the gym.
  2. Maintain and develop new habits around eating. Figure out how many meals/snacks you benefit most from in a day, and set that to a schedule. If you pick up a snack, ask yourself if you are truly hungry, or if something else is at play convincing you of your hunger.
  3. Set an alarm in the morning! Without work commutes and harsh start times to your day, some of us may be enjoying sleeping in. While there is nothing wrong with this, waking up on your own time is obstructive to securing structure in your day to day routine. Oh, and when you wake up, change out of your pajamas. Wearing real clothes will get you in a real mindset to tackle your day.
  4. Prepare food and snacks for the week on the weekend. This will help you maintain the eating habits you set for yourself. For example, making a tasty salad dressing for the week is super easy! Buy some greens for the week and have the ability to assemble exceptional salads with little to no work involved, allowing you to keep on schedule.
  5. Assess your needs! At this point, quarantine is not a phenomena. We know what to expect of ourselves and of our environment. If you realize that you haven’t had the energy or motivation to power through a workout, incorporate a pre-workout into you daily routine. If you have found yourself making pasta-heavy dinners because it is easy, introduce a starch blocker. Maybe your meals have been lacking protein. So, create a habit of making a protein shake every morning. Solutions to your physical and mental health shifts due to quarantine are not embedded in the media or a famous meal plan. Take a critical look at what your strengths and weaknesses are and implement strategies that will help you overcome them!

Uncertainty does not have to be the difference between us living the healthy lives we want to live and us living the healthy lives that we do live.