I’m incredibly lazy. There, I said it. Is that the best thing to say on the internet? No, but it’s true. Therefore, whenever I see articles (like this one) telling me to implement habits into my life, I normally just roll my eyes — either because I’ve tried it already or I just couldn’t be bothered in the first place.
With that being said, I’ve dabbled in the following five habits over the past year and realized that when I am doing them consistently I feel infinitely better. All of these habits are thankfully incredibly simple to implement and are guaranteed to reduce your quarantine fog.
- Daily Morning Walks
Living downtown, I’ve always been a walker. Yet, I’ve generally always viewed walking as a means to get from one place to another, with an added bonus of some fresh air and exercise. However, over quarantine, I’ve noticed that daily walks are an essential part of what makes me feel whole and healthy. However, it was only recently that I consistently began to walk every morning, instead of at different times in the day. I made this change because I find that by starting my mornings off with a 40-minute walk, my days are set up to be more productive, while also leaving me to feel more awake and reinvigorated.
- Not Sleeping with my Phone in my Room
Like many, I have a disgusting addiction to my cell phone. It’s so bad that when it is within my sight, I’m always reaching for it. The worst part is it’s never for anything productive or useful; it’s just completely mindless scrolling that can take up hours of my life and completely messes with my sleep.
Until two weeks ago, I used to sleep with my phone right beside my head. Falling asleep used to consist of me trying to fall asleep and then getting a notification at 1 AM, then proceeding to scroll on my phone until 3 AM. Then in the mornings, the very first thing I would do is grab my phone and scroll my social media.
I’ve tried so many times to break this habit, forcing myself to grab a book instead of my phone first thing in the morning, but those habits would not last long, as my phone being right beside me would simply be too great a temptation. After hundreds of hours of elevated cellphone and technology usage due to the pandemic, I decided that my eyes and brain could not physically handle any more excessive cellphone usage, as I could feel myself getting progressively more and more unhealthy. Therefore, around 10:30 pm every night I put my phone in the office and close the door, and don’t retrieve it until after I’ve gotten out of bed the next morning.
I have only been doing this for a brief period of time, but it has been life-changing. Although I (unfortunately) don’t see myself completely giving up my cell phone any time soon, I have been able to develop a deep appreciation for those few hours I spend awake without my phone on me.
I’ve definitely always had an inconsistent relationship with journaling. When I was younger, I had so many diaries at once, yet definitely never committed to any of them. It wasn’t until this past year, after hearing anyone and everyone discuss the power of journaling, that I thought I would give it a real try.
In every English class I’ve taken over the past couple of years, the teacher/prof always starts the class with a five to ten-minute timed writing exercise, and I’m always amazed by how fast the time goes by. Therefore, I decided to take this approach into my journaling. I allot myself five minutes to journal every day, and when the timer goes off I put my pen down. I love this approach as it is such a small amount of time, that it prevents me from getting overwhelmed with the task.
I have come to love and appreciate journaling because, like many, I am always in my head spinning in my thoughts and twisting things in my mind into the worst possible outcome. By putting things down on paper it allows me to take them out of my head, and most of the time stop the thought pattern in its tracks.
- Making My Bed Every Morning
I’m embarrassed to say that making my bed every morning is only something that I began doing within the past year. I honestly don’t think I made my bed once in highschool. However, after making over my room this year, I decided a messy bed wreaked havoc with the aesthetic of my newly decorated bedroom. Instantly I noticed a change in how I felt in my bedroom space when my bed was made versus when it wasn’t.
Given the fact that I have spent nearly all my time at home this past year, I have spent way more time than usual in my bedroom, and having an unmade bed throughout the day makes my room feel claustrophobic and disorganized. Furthermore, on the days that I postpone making my bed until the afternoon, I notice that I am significantly less productive that day. Therefore, it has become a must of mine to take an extra bit of time before I go downstairs in the morning to make my bed, as it sets myself up for a successful and intentional day.
It can honestly be so difficult to develop healthy habits, but thankfully these four are so simple to apply and will leave you feeling so good that they will become habits in effortless time.