These are challenging times for us all as business owners. We will be deeply worried about the future and what it will bring. Many will be concerned that their hard work will be dashed away because of the Covid 19 Pandemic.
A significant focus of these worries will be on our businesses, but there is a core part of your business that will not function if it falters. You, or more specifically, your health! With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to talk through a specific part of health, and that is your eating habits.
To say we are all under a lot of stress at the moment may be the biggest understatement of this century, but it is something that we cannot escape. This stress can lead to harmful habits that we think are helping, but sadly, in the long run, will not do our health any good. I am a habitual stress eater, and despite losing eighteen stone, I still struggle with it to this day. To help me with this, I have a few tips for you that I have learnt over the last seven years of my weight loss journey.
Work out what is causing your stress.
This may seem rather obvious, but work out exactly what is causing your stress. Ok, I get it you may be screaming at this screen right now “Well der Dave its this whole Covid 19 situation!” but go with me on this. You need to work out what exactly is producing the stress by breaking down what you think is stressing you.
For example “I am stressed because of Covid 19!”…ok let’s break it down further. “I am stressed because my sales have gone down by 40% since this pandemic”. Ok, keep going – “I am stressed because the reduced income means I don’t have the money I need to pay my bills!”. Ok great, we are starting to get closer now to what is that is what we can call a ‘trigger’. These triggers are what we need to find, and I have a tip to help you find them relating to your eating habits.
Keep a food journal of the foods and drinks your having, at what times you eat them, and how much of it you are eating. I have tried that Dave, and it didn’t help!?! I hear you saying. Well, this time I want you to do it little differently. I don’t want you only to write what your eating but I also want you to write down:
- A) What you felt before you ate;
- B) What you felt while you ate; and
- C) What you felt after you ate.
I did this in my early days of weight loss, and it made a huge difference to identify my ‘triggers’. My ‘triggers’ were boredom, stress and sudden change. By going through a two-week journal, I was able to quickly identify these issues and start to seek new ways to relieve them.
Find different ways to relieve that stress and reduce those cravings.
We all have stress and ‘triggers’, unique to us, our situation and behaviours that are built during our childhood. So you ask where is that magic wand, Dave?!? Can we not just wish them away. Sadly we cannot escape them as they are part of daily life and need to learn ways to manage them. For me, when I was younger, my primary source of managing them was my eating. I would get into a pretty bad cycle of eating that can be best shown in the photo below.
So what can you do to help manage this stress eating cycle, especially while socially isolating in the current pandemic?
If you’re feeling lonely or down, then remember your not alone. Pick up the phone and call a friend or business colleague. As you can hopefully see from the great online network that is building here at, we are better together. We are all in a similar boat and share your worries. Yes, we all have our concerns, but that doesn’t mean you should be scared to share them with others. It is vital during this time that we continue so socialise online as much as possible.
If you’re feeling bored, then why not try working on something new for your business? Never written a blog before or done a video? This is the perfect time to trial new things and experiment. Can you read a book or do some online learning? The Skills Network has many funded or free courses you can look into to develop and grow your skills. Otherwise, remember what you love and you know entertains you. It is ok to do a hobby you love as long as you don’t spend all day doing it if you know it would be better for you to be working on your business.
If you’re feeling anxious, look at ways to expel that energy in productive and healthy ways. Activity is great for this, and there is plenty of things you can do in the safety of your home that will keep you active. Also unless your at-risk you can go out for a bike ride or walk, as long as you remain a suitable distance from other people (This may all change over the coming days though).
My final bit of advice is to be kind to yourselves. This whole Covid 19 pandemic situation is understandably scary for us all as business owners and don’t beat yourself up if you sometimes fall into those bad eating habits. Accept you did it, pick yourself up and dust your self down and move on. The world needs rebuilding, and we are the ones that will help do it!