Even in the early part of the pandemic, people already began to let go of their exercise and healthy eating routines. According to a survey by OnePoll published on People in May 2020, 65 percent of respondents who previously exercised regularly started to miss their workouts. Among those who did some exercises at home, 70 percent stated that these were not at par with their pre-pandemic routines. People also began to eat more pasta, white bread, pastries, and other refined carbohydrates.
As we go forward into 2021, data shows that people still reported similar lapses. A survey published on Modern Aesthetics in April 2021 showed that during the pandemic, 63 percent stated they did less physical activities, 61 percent admitted to overeating and gaining weight, 55 percent admitted eating junk food, 51 percent practiced poor grooming and skincare including less showering and shaving, 48 percent did not get enough sleep, and 14 percent slackened on their oral hygiene.
Another survey, published on BusinessWire also in April 2021 shows the beginning of a turnaround, though. The change is because 62 percent expressed optimism that the pandemic will end in 2022, hence, 64 percent said they want to look their best and 68 percent said they want to feel their best in preparation for it.
Among the changes are healthier eating for 57 percent, better hair care for 57 percent, better skincare for 50 percent, and more workouts for 47 percent. In relation to all these, 47 percent stated that they have better mental and emotional health.
Long Overdue Self-Care
People who are now fully vaccinated also gain more freedom to move around outside and attend to health needs that have been put on hold previously. For instance, non-emergency healthcare needs like a visit to the orthodontist may have been postponed. It is crucial to attend to this now that it is possible to do so because good oral health not only improves your appearance but also has an impact on your eating and chewing.
Similarly, it is important to visit your optometrist if you wear glasses and need a lens upgrade. Putting this aside can cause headaches and will affect your well-being and your productivity at work.
If you have skin problems, visit your dermatologist. Now that you can go out of the house more often, you will also want your skin issues to be resolved. Hair salons and barbershops are now open and if you are fully vaccinated, it is safe to have your overgrown pandemic hair trimmed to a professional and stylish cut.
Redo Your Lifestyle
Just because the pandemic is not completely over does not mean you cannot have a lifestyle makeover. One of the things people want to address now is how to lose pounds gained during the pandemic. The weight gain is mostly due to relying on old familiar comfort food to fight pandemic stress.
Unfortunately, comfort food is usually high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. This may make you feel good for a while but then you crash and crave more. It becomes an unhealthy cycle. Sugar and refined carbohydrates not only result in weight gain but are also major factors in developing chronic diseases.
Look for Alternatives
Hack the cycle by finding alternatives to the ingredients in your recipes. Use protein flour like almond flour. Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like Stevia. Choose lean cuts of meats. This way, you can still enjoy your favorite food in a healthier way. Do not keep junk food at home. Snack on nuts and fruit instead. Replace soda with fresh lemonade made with sparkling water and Stevia.
Ease back into your exercise regimen. If you have not been exercising before, start to do so in short increments. This is more doable than trying to do too much too soon. If you are not comfortable going to the gym yet, search for an online workout that you find enjoyable. Working out not only helps you lose weight but also strengthens your body against illness. It also lifts your mood and gives you more energy. It is, therefore, best to exercise in the morning and not at night.
Ensure that you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, slows down your metabolism, and makes you feel sluggish all day. It also affects your thought process and puts you in a bad mood.
Reward yourself by pampering yourself with even more self-care. Get a natural bath bar that smells good. This will entice you to shower in the morning and attend to your grooming afterward. Diffuse aromatherapy oils. Choose invigorating ones like lemon and peppermint to help you focus while working at home and switch to relaxing oils like lavender and chamomile when it is time to rest.
Set aside some “me-time” to do the things you love, like listening to music, reading a book, or writing a journal. Everything you add to your new lifestyle should have one common denominator — each one should serve to make you feel and look better.