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What if?

Hate/anger/worry isn’t really the action plan one might hope for. SO…let’s play “what if”.

Updated 10/2020

Do you ask yourself this question, too?

Doesn’t really matter what the topic is. The “what if’s” of life are what an optimist like me appreciates and uses to help keep unexpected things from being scary or confusing.

What if we don’t like that meal because we’ve never made it before?
What if we DO?

What if we miss the start of the next meeting?

What if we don’t do that program like we did it before?

eeeeeeeeeeeeeek. Oh, it can be fun and perplexing all at the same time.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

It’s way more fun when someone will play out the different scenarios with you. It’s no fun, nor is there much progress, when someone is too nervous, scared, or whatever else, to pivot.

Enter the pandemic. Yes, yes, we’re pretty much all tired of the world having to go through this. So many of us are saddened/frustrated/angry about how this is playing out. We hate that people are ill, we hate the unknown of it. We hate that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hate/anger/worry isn’t really the action oriented plan one might hope for. At least it isn’t for me.

SO…let’s play “what if”.

Here is my short 2020 list in this interesting plot twist we find ourselves in, along with action step options if you choose to play along. Granted, there are loads of other things we could include. This is to inspire you, give you some important but easy things to try, and help you see how fun and impactful it can be.

PS: self care isn’t selfish. It’s the opposite of that because it makes you able to focus on other important tasks that you’ll be better at if you’re healthy. Keep that in mind.

What if we request that meetings end with 10-15 minutes before the next one started so we can stretch our legs, get a glass of water, go to the bathroom, and have a moment to think?

Action steps: If you are the meeting organizer, set time for 45 minutes, not 60. Use an agenda. Let people know that there is a “parking lot” for ideas that need further exploration, either offline or in the next call. If you are an invitee, cordially let the meeting organizer know you have a hard stop and will need to log off 3-5 minutes before the top of the hour.

What if meals and snacks were both tasty and nutritious?

Action steps: Write down your favorite foods. Consider cooking techniques that are your “go to”. Fried? Grilled? Steamed? Think about your last meal or snack. Did it have one thing or a couple of things (food groups)? Start simple, by making an effort to include at least two food groups. Pull out the measuring cups and have a look at what a “serving size” really is (read the package for starters, or go to and check out the food galleries within each group for a general idea). You can estimate portions and get better at balance if you actually know how much you are taking in. Fat, carbs, and protein? None of them are the bad guys, but they need each other to be their best for us, and we need a mix of these and other nutrients. Any food can be overdone and make you miss something else you need. Reconcile.

What if you made exercise and sleep a priority?

Action steps: set a bedtime alarm in addition to your wake up alarm. Make it easy to know it’s bedtime, especially as you formulate a new routine. Consider when you are more likely to exercise. I do my main workout within 30-45 minutes of waking up, and then take little mini walk breaks when I’m sitting for meetings or paperwork, just to give myself a break from sitting and get the juices flowing again, so to speak. I also make sure that if it’s not a required “on camera” meeting, I join by audio and walk around while I listen and participate. Socks or soundless slippers work best for this, fyi. 😉

What if we could stop “doing what we’ve always done” and try something new?

Action steps: Acknowledge that change can feel stressful. Reach out to colleagues or friends, depending on the situation, and tell them you want to try something new. Ask for their help, see if they want to join you, and/or think about the environment you are in. On the flip side, if you don’t want to engage with others and just want to try something new on your own, that’s ok, too! Just be sure if it’s self care, that you get expert help when needed. If it’s a work thing, don’t go rogue without understanding the work ramifications of your actions. Finally, if you simply can’t see a way forward that is different right now, give yourself a break. Timing is everything. 

What is on your “what if” list?

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.