By Nicole Patience, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, CEDRD
We are living in unprecedented times. Every day we wake up, something new related to covid-19 is broadcasted — changes in quarantine protocols, stores opening or closing, virtual meetings instead of face-to-face interactions. Covid-19 has single-handedly uprooted everyone’s lives around the world. Social distancing and isolation have made it extremely hard to feel connected to loved ones, and we have no idea when things will go back to normal. We are all struggling to cope with so many changes in so little time. There is a seemingly constant litany of what we “should” be doing with our time! Transitions are exhausting on a good day, but when they are layered with fear and anxiety, it can be overwhelming.
We are all looking for comfort to ease our anxious minds during the pandemic. So, what can you do to get through this difficult time? Remember to tune-in to the self-care you have worked so hard to create. Find kindness and compassion for the part of you that wants to default to old habits or behaviors. There may be a knee-jerk reaction to seek a sense of control with rigid food rules. If your “safe” brand of yogurt, bars, crackers, or cereal is sold out, this may be an opportunity to expand your variety of safe foods. If you are struggling, try to recognize your humanity and allow yourself the compassion that you would offer a friend which is the first step toward recovery. The opportunity to build on flexibility with eating now can carry over to when things are feeling more stable. Lean in with curiosity and compassion to give yourself the space you need to notice how you are feeling and thinking rather than being overwhelmed or reactive. Trust that the work you have done to get to this point in recovery will not be erased. It will always be there for you.