Who hasn’t mindlessly put food into his or her mouth on occasion? Or perhaps you’re in a social situation and you simply stuff your face to … well … save face or something like that. I know not everybody has eating issues like these, but so many of us do or at least feel the pressure to eat mindlessly or eat too much or too little. A quick look around tells me that more people eat more than their body calls for (like I so often do) than not. However, those who eat too little have as much of a hard time with it as those who eat too much. Right?! I knew someone like that … but only one person!
Many, many more people are working from home (WFH) today than ever before. Hey, I’m one of them! And I have to say that I love it. But here’s where I sometimes get caught – the looser structure of working from home means that my healthier eating habits sometimes go by the wayside. Although many of us are now eating more health-consciously than when we were working outside the home, we can fall into the trap of setting our own schedule. By this I mean that it’s easier not to include healthy meals in our schedule, or maybe you’re just flying by the seat of your pants – especially if you’re a parent working from home.
For me WFH is a blessing – it means that I have so much increased flexibility. But I sometimes skip meals (breakfast, for example), or sometimes I forget to eat (if that happens, I just make a mid-afternoon meal be a combination of lunch and dinner and then I might snack later), and sometimes I just eat whenever I feel like it.
Does any of this sound like you?!
If so, you’re not alone!
It’s easier to hold yourself accountable if you’re surrounded by people who see what you’re eating. When you work remotely, nobody is watching.
Another problem is that you may not always have healthy food in the house. Yet another issue is that going to the office puts you in another environment, but when you’re at home, you may find yourself overly stressed, thinking about everything in your personal life while trying to work.
Are you an emotional eater? While eating should evoke pleasant feelings, especially if the food is good and healthy (!), many of us emotionally eat to numb certain feelings. It would seem easier to emotionally eat when working from home, where you have limited exposure to others.
This can all bring us to the issue of either gaining or losing weight, whichever way your coping mechanisms work. There’s nothing to worry about, though, as there are many easy fixes to this dilemma.
For example, make sure that you always have easily accessible healthy food around that’s ready to eat. Being mindful about what you put into your mouth, taking a couple of seconds to ask yourself if you really want to eat that leftover pizza or that hot fudge sundae before doing it.
You can also choose to have a meal or two outside of your home each day, to get you into a different physical environment for a short while. That may make it easier for you to come back to your desk to continue to work. (It definitely helps me, although I must admit, that I am tempted to take the rest of the day off after a nice meal out….)
If you keep healthy snack food handy, you can reach for it and keep your blood sugars nice and stable, which should help with energy and mood, too.
If these do not help, reach out to a compassionate professional to work on those emotional eating issues.
The bottom line is to be good to ourselves all throughout every day … we call this self-care … and be self-compassionate, self-forgiving, and not self-condemning. It takes practice, but I know you can do it … practice makes perfect and all you really need to do is start over again if you fall into an unproductive behavior.
And, as always, I wish you a happy, holistically healthy day!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.