A long crisis can take a heavy toll on your wellbeing. Here’s how to look after yourself.
With the potential for restrictions on our socialization, travel, and other freedoms we’ve taken for granted looking likely to continue well into the year, at least in some form, we need ways in which to look after our long-term wellbeing.
Some of us may have adapted quickly and formed great new habits already, but for the rest of us, it’s likely that reality is dawning and the good intentions have begun to wear off.
Here are three things that can radically and easily improve your wellbeing right now and keep yourself feeling better throughout this crisis and beyond.
Cut out negative triggers
Many things impact our wellbeing, but only if we choose to let them. Take time to notice what triggers you into feeling less than optimal. What causes your mood to dip? And then think about how you can reduce or even eliminate those things from your life right now.
I’ve unfollowed a number of people from social media, deleted news apps from my phone, removed myself from negative group chats, and started shopping at our local shops instead of the large supermarkets.
All of these were causing me unnecessary upset or negativity that I really didn’t want to tolerate right now. Funnily enough, I’m not feeling like I’m missing out on anything either!
What choices or simple changes can you make to reduce negativity in your life right now?
Create new habits from habits you already have
Forming new habits isn’t as difficult as you might think. We all go on auto-pilot thousands of times each day because inherently our brains are lazy little creatures and love to repeat things they’ve done before whenever they can.
So what do you always do that you could add on a new habit, to improve your life as a result?
For example, if you want to drink more water, always have a glass by your kettle and drink a small glass of water every time you go to make a cup of tea or coffee. Or place a glass of water by your bedside each night so it’s ready and waiting for you when you wake.
Can you tie something beneficial in with something you do every day like brushing your teeth, having your morning cup of tea, meetings, or cooking dinner?
Habits are proven to stick more successfully if they’re repeated for at least 21 days. And by attaching a new habit to another one significantly increases the chance of it becoming part of your auto-pilot functioning.
What do you want to change and what habit or routine can you link it with to automatically improve your wellbeing?
Make life easier
Who doesn’t want an easier life? Well now is the time to look at what you do and think of ways to actively make life feel easier for yourself. If things are easier, we feel happier and less stressed about them. Plus things we perceive as easy are typically things we’re more likely to do and keep on doing.
To make your life feel easier, can you…
- Let go of things that really aren’t important. Do you really need to iron that duvet cover or have all the knives pointing the same way in the dishwasher? Once you get into a mindset of letting go you’ll be surprised as to how many other actions or thoughts you let go of… it’s truly calming and liberating!
- Get more organized so important things are always in the place they need to be, to save you constantly searching for your keys or a pen by your desk.
- Apply the Do-Delegate-Ditch principle. Do the things you’re good at and enjoy, and delegate or stop everything else.
- Learn to say no. Often. And especially if they annoy you, create more work for you or throw you off track for the day – you know what (or who) they are!
What one change would make your life feel easier right now?
At the end of the day we can all choose how we want to react to things that happen in our life. And while none of us have chosen to experience lockdown, we can choose how we deal with it and choose better outcomes for ourselves as a consequence.
What choice will you make?