The pandemic has completely changed our lives― it was a sudden, drastic change that none of us really expected. To keep everyone safe, governments everywhere had to implement policies that shifted our day to day lives, such as wearing medical masks everywhere, restricting the amount of people in public places, and establishing a curfew. However, after some interactions and delving into social media, I’ve come to the conclusion that what has really affected us all the most was quarantine, specifically my eating habits during the time.
Many of us will agree that the quarantine phase of the pandemic was the worst few months of 2020. It was hard not being able to see any of our close friends and family. It was frustrating to have our daily routines stripped away from us without any idea of when it would return to “normal.” Before the pandemic, my daily routines consisted of outside chores. I was only home to rest because, once I was up, I had to leave to get chores done and I didn’t get home till late. However, during quarantine, the only thing I did all day was read news about COVID-19 and the pandemic, which made everything worse. While it is important to stay informed, watching negative news all the time caused a great strain on my mental health.
All the things that were happening just made me develop so much anxiety; that mental tension was the leading cause of my eating habits, and to make matters worse, my mother was responding to the whole situation with the same disorder. During quarantine I began to skip meals, I had no stable sleep schedule, and my everyday routines were flipped upside-down. I would wake up at noon and have a very small breakfast and I barely ate anything after that up until late at night. This habit caused me to lose around 15 pounds in a month and I still have not gained that weight back.
Then came summer, and during those hot days that eating habit did not seem to bother me because I had no academic responsibilities to keep me on track, but this all changed again when August came. When classes began, I tried to bounce back to my average eating routine, but it was impossible. I found myself with the same unhealthy diet I had during the quarantined summer, and this gravely intervened with my well-being. So, during September I was determined to change this unhealthy diet in order to reclaim the stable lifestyle I once had and to become a well-functioning human being overall.
Firstly, I modified my sleep schedule. Then, I started timing the hours when I was supposed to eat, as to accustom my body to having three meals a day at a certain time. It was very hard at first, considering the lack of sleep I was getting, but once I got used to it, I felt great. Every day, I had breakfast as soon as I woke up, then during midday I would have my lunch, and by the afternoon I would have my dinner. It was very difficult to maintain this balance, and some days I did not complete the routine I had created, but I developed a sense of responsibility towards it and that helped me to accomplish my daily dieting goals.
Keeping a balanced diet has helped me not only to keep me physically healthy, but emotionally balanced as well. I had a hard time trying to maintain a healthy diet being quarantined, but when I put effort it wasn’t impossible. We are living in tough times and it will not always be easy to keep yourself grounded with all the hectic news going around, but it is important to take care of our mental and physical health regardless.