Hello again, I’m back after an unintended quick break. Thanks for coming back and hopefully you can relate, and maybe offer a few suggestions for the next time things get out of control.
To be honest, I had a bout of being completely overwhelmed with life. My schedule seems to have suddenly gotten back to a normal busy schedule of work, home maintenance, social gatherings and family time. And, though I’m so ready for it; I haven’t reacclimated to not having down time anymore.
I struggle to not allow side-hustles, family, friends, etc. overtake my daily plans to get to my life goals – but that’s where I’ve found myself. It’s a balance they say – but I keep putting everyone and everything ahead of myself…why? I have come to the conclusion it is because I don’t ever want anyone to feel that they are alone in the world. Having found myself without a support system to turn to many times in my life, I sometimes go into overdrive so others don’t feel that same pain.
But, back to the social aspect first (we’ll get to the emotional part later)…has anyone else found themselves going 100mph on the highway after the last 18 months on the side streets? I am having so much fun catching up with friends and family without a screen or phone in between us, though some days I do miss the endless days of going from daytime yoga pants to pajama pants without having to worry about anyone seeing me!
My meal plans have adjusted – so many more “party” foods or recipes I would never make unless there was more than 3 people around. It’s been so fun to try new food combinations, get more reactions than my parents who always tell me our meals taste good. Though, I now have to be more cognizant of how much I’m making, what kinds of leftovers they will make, etc. Which has been a fun challenge.
During most weeks, I focus on eating whole foods, lean proteins, and whole grains Monday – Friday lunch; and don’t have as strict a menu Friday night through Sunday. Generally, it’s because weekdays need to be simple and meals need to pack a punch of flavor (even during pandemic weeks, I was working 12-14 hours a day, so the time was still limited, just differently spaced out); and on weekends, I want to enjoy something if gathering socially, or just because I have more time to spend on creating a meal/experience.
Having more social events on weekends, and now during the week – I focus on how I can transition “party food” into weeknight or weekday meals, that are healthy and balance, instead of a dish that will leave me needing a nap in the middle of the day. I’m readjusting the meals I plan, the groceries I buy, and how to use all of this amazing summer produce when entertaining, without it being “boring” or just another veggie tray. Another element that I always went overboard on, but seem to have reigned in was the amount of food I make for social gatherings – guess what? There will always be plenty of food – and the more variety you have, the less “recipe doubling” you need to do! Don’t worry – we’ll be exploring entertaining and serving sizes in a future blog soon.
Has anyone else hit a mental or emotional wall after socializing lately? I struggled not having social things to keep me busy for all of those months, but then I fell apart after those first few gatherings because it was just so much to the other extreme. And then there’s that sneaky “FOMO” that comes along to let you know that you’re human, and not everyone is at the same place they were before, and where you fit may have changed….or you realize that the pandemic gave you the chance to see a situation or people differently/more honestly (this hurts the deepest, I’m pretty sure).
So – how did I get through this recent moment of overwhelm? I pushed through, because we have to sometimes. And then I wrote, to get some of the raw emotion out, to be able to separate what any of the “real issues” were and how I can adjust to get to these goals I’m not giving up on. This will mean re-prioritizing some of my side-hustles. This will mean I might have to choose between a couple of social events in the next few weeks. This will result in a couple of acknowledgements and conversations with those I’ve held close and been fiercely loyal to, that made the choice to cause me to question my trust of them.
Those of you who have read my posts and heard some of my stories, know that these types of moments in life can stop me in my tracks, and derail the work I’ve done to keep a safe relationship with food and activity. What I can tell you, is that I was able to rely on my meal planning and food prep process, focusing on adjusting to what I could stomach; and I’m now back to a regular eating and activity schedule. There are setbacks that I will work through, but nothing permanent or “unfixable”.
How are you adjusting to the slow roll out of post-pandemic life (I don’t think we’ll be out of the woods for a bit, but slowly things are getting back to a sense of maintainable normalcy)? How are you managing getting back to balancing social and personal time? Did you stumble recently and need to reset? How did you do it/
I want to hear from you! I want to learn about others’ experiences, especially lately, and we’ll be back with some fun food plan ideas and recipes later this week!