When the rule book gets torn up and the world seems to lose all balance, it’s natural to feel lost at sea – even in your own home. It’s times like these when we look to food, alcohol, or other temptations to help us feel better and more comfortable. But to get through these strange times, it’s more important than ever that we maintain healthy long-term habits and curb the temptation.
The coronavirus crisis aside, the ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also to maintaining a sense of well-being and control in your mental health. Developing the ability to say no/not give in to temptation is one of the most useful skills you can have, especially when it comes to living a healthy life. What’s more, research is starting to show that small changes can make a significant impact.
However, we may all need a little help on the way especially now as we navigate these uncharted waters. And so, here are 5 ways to avoid temptations whilst in self isolation.
Create a new routine
It’s perfectly natural that you’ll want to stay in bed a bit longer, and maybe you’re tempted to stay in your PJs for a day or two, but don’t let it get out of hand whereby you’re living out of your bedroom! Stick to your normal routine as much as possible. That means getting up at normal times, get showered and dressed in daytime clothes, eat meals at normal times, and make time for all those exercise and hobbies that you’ve never had time for before. Doing so will provide you with a structure and a sense of purpose. That way you’ll feel less tempted to develop unhelpful behaviours and bad habits during this challenging period.
Accept the situation
Losing control of your destiny is a hard pill to swallow and can send your mood spiralling. But the sooner you choose to accept that you have no control of anything except your own reactions, the better. Taking back control of how you feel, what you do and think, and how you spend your time will help you avoid finding comfort by less helpful means.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
No-one is perfect despite what you see and read on social media. Don’t be fooled by anyone, or try and copy anyone else, just do what works for you and when you don’t achieve what you wanted to achieve, don’t be too tough on yourself, just aim for a better tomorrow. It’s about not getting into the habit of rewarding or punishing yourself with food or other stimulants either, just enjoy them in moderation as you normally do.
Share your worries
It’s good to talk – if you’re concerned about how you’re feeling, talk it out. You might not be able to see a close friend or family member in person, but a video call or just a message will be enough to help you get things off your chest and help you think more clearly.
If you sense your mood is spiralling downwards, catch it before it crashes, ring for professional help from a coach, a mentor, a counsellor, or a therapist, and don’t forget in the event this lockdown is just too much for you, then please call the Samaritans in total confidence, you are not alone!
Lend a helping hand
If you’re able to, become a volunteer. What a wonderful legacy to say you that you were there and did some good in this challenging period! You might be able to bring light and hope to someone else in self-isolation with a phone call, or by doing a good deal, getting someone’s shopping or prescription assuming you’re allowed out, it’s all about making good use of your time and if you’re someone who cannot work, then find other ways to use your time effectively.