After living in a pandemic for over a year, it hasn’t been easy for anyone. There’s constant uncertainty about COVID-19 of when it’s ever coming to an end. Undeniably, the impact of COVID-19 includes limited socialisation, work from home, online classes, and some businesses closing down. The result of isolation had increased mental health problems across the globe. Hence, have you ever wondered ways to help yourself in these challenging times? Read on the best habits to develop for a better version of yourself.
1. Write Down Things You Are Grateful For
Ask yourself, what’s the first thing you do in the morning as soon as you wake up? Is it checking your social media? Is it replying to messages or emails? Or is it to read the news because you feel like you might miss a lot while you were sleeping? Everyone is guilty of this – reaching out for their phones first thing when they wake up.
Although this action is difficult to be avoided, it’s actually doable. Every night before you go to sleep, make sure you place your phone somewhere far from you where you can’t reach from your bed. Replace the gadget with a notebook or journal on your bedside table – and it should be the first thing you see in the morning.
Every morning when the alarm goes off, make use of the 10 minutes by writing down the things you are grateful for before you start the day. These don’t have to be complex, rather they can be as simple as drinking coffee, admiring the blue sky, the ability to have opinions and make judgments. The little things are more important than you think because it keeps us grounded while keeping us away from negativity. Consequently, starting the day with positivity can make a big difference. Sometimes, we are blinded from our blessing unless it’s clearly written.
2. Take a 20-Minute Walk Every Day
Now that you’re reminded of the wonderful things in life, you wonder, “Where do I go from here?” The answer is: outside. The morning is proven to be the best time for a walk to inhale the freshest air. Some people go for a jog, but you can also opt for walking while enjoying the morning scenery.
Any form of movement helps to get your blood pumping and it instantly wakes you up without feeling sluggish. You’ll be able to feel more energetic throughout the day. Though, there are some who don’t have this privilege due to studies or work-related responsibilities. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to walk in the morning, you can still do it in between classes or work or in the evening.
It really doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do to improve your blood circulation. Soon enough, you will notice the changes in your life and how more content you will feel.
3. Invest in Experiences, Not Things
The next habit you should develop is to invest in experiences rather than things. After getting your pay-check, do you already decide to buy yourself something that you’ve been wanting for a long time? Do you already have a wish list of things? It’s true that retail therapy helps especially when you’re feeling down or bothered. However, investing in things aren’t as fulfilling as investing in experiences.
Instead of splurging on shoes, designer handbags or anything at all, go ahead and splurge on going to places you’ve never been. Museums, art galleries, the zoo are fun places to venture into. You can also take up pottery classes, painting classes or baking classes to pick up new skills. Scratch the wish list and make a new list about all the places you wish to visit. Rest assured there are many activities you can choose from. Gaining as much experiences as you can will not only build your confidence, but also looking at things in different views and perspectives.
4. Stay Off Technologies One Hour Per Day
Last but not least (though, the hardest one yet) is to allocate one part of the day to stay away from any form of technology. Switch off your phone and your laptop or set it to Do Not Disturb mode for at least an hour a day. We’re so attached and dependent on our gadgets that we barely have time for anything else.
Alternatively, use this time to read a book. If you haven’t read in the longest time, read your favourite book again. You will be reminded why you loved that book in the first place. Set a goal for your reading habit – 10 books a year or 2 books a week. Books are actually an escape from reality when you need to.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed out, try meditation. It allows you to let go of the bad thoughts and you’ll be able to look past them positively. Based on mayoclinic.org, meditation helps you to feel calm, peace and balance that benefits your emotional well-being and health. Moreover, you don’t need to keep meditating to be calm – you’ll feel it as you go on with your day.
And of course, self-reflection. Think deeply about where you are now. Did you want to be here? How different is your life now from a year ago? Do you have any regrets, or do you have achievements to be celebrated? Are there things that need to be changed in order to be better? Ask yourself these questions. Self-reflection helps us to keep on track – life-wise – while motivating us to improve.
Revamping yourself doesn’t have to involve drastic changes. Developing these habits needs a lot of determination and effort. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you try and never give up.