Quarantine and Covid-19 have provided us all with plenty of downtime—time to think, reflect, and reevaluate where we are in life. For many, this solitude and reflection time has led to new hobbies, skill-building, and life changes. In desperation for productivity and human connection, people have found revolutionary ways to connect to each other safely. Zoom happy hours and chat rooms have exploded across the nation in popularity. For those seeking social workouts while still social distancing, zoom workout classes are also becoming a new norm. For some, though, the nation-wide shut-down has served as an excuse to wear the same pair of sweatpants day-in and day-out and never leave the couch. Eating poorly became more acceptable due to sheer convenience, with grocery stores and health-foods potentially not being as easily accessible.
Habits like these can not only disrupt your physical health but can also contribute to depression, anxiety, and overall stress. And in an environment where you are already experiencing significant changes to your social life, allowing yourself to slump into poor habits is a recipe for mental and physical health disaster. So if you’ve been considering changing your lifestyle or have just recently noticed you’ve gained a “quarantine 15,” here are some reasons why right now is the best time to tune-up your lifestyle habits.
Why change? Why now? 2020 has been a literal train-wreck of a year. Massive bushfires in Australia, nation-wide protests in Hong Kong, locust swarms in parts of Africa, and a disease that affected the entire world – even by Biblical standard, this year has been one for the books. You may not, then, feel very inspired to be your best self when the world around you is in shambles, and it is understandable. But when things are not at all going our way, and we are struggling to find any shred of good news, one place you can always turn to for a glimmer of hope is self-improvement.
When you feel completely powerless and out of control, stop, breathe, and realize that you may be surrounded by chaos, but you can find your center in yourself. A single healthy habit can help to recenter ourselves amidst disaster and help anchor us in a storm. Waking up early to see the sunrise, making time to meditate and listen to peaceful music, going for a run, and enjoying the outdoors are all things you have the power to do. These are small things, but when done with consistency, move mountains in the arena of mental health. When you spend time with yourself, you want better things for yourself. You get out what you put in! Making yourself special or healthy meals, doing stretches before bed, or drinking the correct amount of water are all things that are easy to brush past or forget to do. Still, the simple act of making time for these healthy habits helps to reset and relax your mind and break-away from mass media, current events, and other stressors.
Doing something small for yourself and changing a bad habit into a healthy one may seem insignificant initially, but in a time of chaos and unrest, these small things can ultimately change your lifestyle and happiness. Change your life today, one healthy habit at a time!