Full disclosure: Everyone who knows me well, knows that I strive to eat super clean, because it keeps my mind clear. And the past few weeks of the Corona lockdown have created a vicious cycle of me stuffing myself with food after dinner. I have not yet found a way out of this hole, but I am on it.
Daily habits have been a key part in my life, and the more I stick to them, the more energetic and creative I am. So whilst scanning through my inbox yesterday, to see what to file, read later, or delete straight away, my eyes caught a recent BIG THINK article on why we are so tired when nothing much happens during our Corona days. It happens to be one of the times where that click on Social Media did not lead to a time suck, but to a blog inspiration.
This lockdown has battered our daily routines like a sledgehammer!
There are many reasons for this tiredness, and emotions play a big part of it, no matter if we are aware of them or try to push them out of our consciousness. What’s more, this lockdown has battered our daily routines like a sledgehammer! And this is where I wanted to hit myself on the head for not heeding my own advice which is based on three years of consciously building and tracking daily habits, based on the excicing science of habit creation. If you choose to make the time to read, there are great (audio)books out there, and the latest great one is James Clear’s Atomic Habits.
Habits matter, and they are linked to your levels of energy and willpower.
Every thing we do, involves taking a myriad of decisions, unless we do it on autopilot.
Every decision we make during the day, empties our – finite- willpower reservoir. That’s why I wake up full of resolve in the morning, and then binge food in the evening. That’s why you binge alcohol, snacks, or Netflix, or whatever your go-to is.
So what can we do as we have all been forced to suspend our healthy habits of connecting to others, going to the gym, or just going for a pint into in our local pub?
We have to rejiggle. How can we transfer the habits that used to serve us into our present circumstances? Make a list: What daily routines could you establish now? Like replacing the pub visit by making a call to enquire after someone you care about. Or, signing up for a virtual gym class (best together with your accountability buddy).
What if you don’t have time for anything that seems non-essential?
You might not have time for that, as a parent working from home, or someone who is still working crazy hours. Granted, in this case, your number one willpower and energy replenisher is: sleep.
And in this case you are unlikely to read this blog, but perhaps someone points you to it. In that case: How about something which takes no extra time at all? For example, setting your alarm every full hour, to do deep breathing, so that you feel all of your lungs, on the front AND the back:
inhale deeply and as much as you can,
hold your breath, slowly counting till 5,
breathe out forcefully, and
repeat this five times.
You could also define recurrent specific times where you are off social media and the phone.
Tiny habits can make a huge difference!
The more we routinise our days, the less willpower we need, and the more energy we preserve.
Needless to say, this is one of the blogs I am writing to myself, as I realise I need a reminder to follow my own advice.