Positive habits

I’ve noticed that without a regular routine during lockdown, it’s very easy to lose structure to your day, when you don’t have to get up to go to work. Before you know it, it’s 3pm and you’re still in jogging bottoms and are sat around watching Homes Under the Hammer, still unshaven. If you’re like me, it all feels a bit decadent and well just wrong.

I talked a little bit about what I was doing to keep myself in a good space mentally in a recent video blog, and having had a good couple of days where I felt noticeably more upbeat than I had, I think it’s starting to pay dividends. For me, it’s quite important to start the day in a good place- feeling good, taking some time for myself, so that I don’t just get up and get in front of a laptop or switch on the news and obsess over the latest coronavirus news. It’s easy to do- and so I have felt a conscious need to prioritise time for me, something I’ve not always been good at. In recent years, I have spent quite a lot of time “working on myself” (not a euphemism!) to become more mindful and ensure that I enjoy a lot more. One of the courses I did, with a great company called The Powerful Man, emphasises the need to take the time to make sure you are ok before helping others. At first glance, this appears to be selfish- family men, in my experience, often think that the idea that we need to have time for us appears to be a luxury, that we don’t really have time for. But that is so corrosive. Over time, what happens is that we can become numb to how we ACTUALLY feel and disconnected to those around us. And there is a very real risk of burnout and overwhelm. So we need to take care of ourselves- sand when we do we can better take care of those we love and be more present in the rest of our lives.

In these crazy times, there is a huge amount of pressure on everyone. We all need to make sure that we’re ok. Start the day happier, and over time you will feel more resilient and better able to cope with whatever life throws at you. At least that’s the theory. Have a think about what might work for you. Here’s my morning routine for reference:

  • Pint of lemon juice and warm water
  • 20 minutes Qi Gong exercises (kind of like Tai Chi)- you can find some great videos on You Tube to get you started if you’re interested
  • 60 press ups
  • 15 mins meditation
  • Journaling/gratitude list
  • Take my first meal of the day around midday and my last no later than 8pm (16:8) rule

It’s a work in progress and I often so some kind of exercises, like going for a run or do a yoga/pilates session too (but not every day). I don’t always do it, some days like today I just needed to rest, so I did, but I’ll do it again tomorrow.

I want to get better at tracking it, so I have looked into habit tracking apps. If you’ve not heard of these, they’re apps you can use to track your progress and success (or otherwise) in sticking to your goals, over time. Some of them have a gamified experience to encourage engagement, if that’s your thing. Here’s a list of some of the best, up to date apps on the market you might find useful:

https://www.lifehack.org/668261/best-habit-tracking-apps

I’ll let you know which one I go with and how I get on with it.

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