Picked up a few healthy habits while you’ve been isolating at home? You don’t need to say goodbye to them now that restrictions are lifting. Here’s how.
To say it’s been an interesting two months would be underselling it. As a country battling the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen our physical and mental health come under threat not just from the virus, but from the realities of social distancing and isolation. But it hasn’t all been bad news.
Given the opportunity to stay or work from home, many Australians have been able to reconnect with their loved ones, make the most of shorter commutes by creating a full-blown wellness routine, learn a new language or take a free TAFE course, and, not to forget, thousands of Aussies have also discovered the soothing benefits of baking.
“During isolation, people may have allowed themselves to explore various avenues of self-discovery and self-care, perhaps making space for stillness each day, spending more time investing in relationships or discovering/recommitting to fun and creative hobbies,” explains psychologist Martha Tsakalos from The Indigo Project.
So it makes sense then that some people feel anxious about returning to their pre-corona life now that restrictions are lifting. By having enforced ‘me time’, we’ve all been able to carve out a few healthier habits, and now that life is slowly returning to normal, it’s scary to think they could be taken away – but that doesn’t need to happen.
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“If there have been routines or behaviours you’ve felt to be really beneficial while in iso, it’s possible to weave them into your weekly routine,” assures Tsakalos. “Our habits are so important for shaping our lives, and as our realities shift (yet again!) it’s a great opportunity to instil behaviours that soothe and support us.”
Here, Tsakalos reveals the best habits to keep, and how to actually stick with them.
The best healthy habits to keep out of isolation
#1. Making time for your interests
“Passion projects and hobbies remind us that life can be more than just the workday grind,” says Tsakalos. “They help us learn more about ourselves and develop cool skills. See if you can schedule some time to dedicate to your hobbies each week – consistency is key, so 10 to 15 minutes a few days a week is better than one three-hour session every other month.”
#2. Prioritising exercise
“The benefits of keeping your body fit and healthy are immeasurable, but the key to making this a habit is to find exercise that you actually like. Another way to keep up this commitment to yourself is to have a workout buddy, someone to hold you accountable to weekly workout sessions,” tips Tsakalos. [Check out our body+soul LIVE @ home workout series here]
#3. Connecting with friends and family
“The quality of your relationships shapes the quality of your life, so it’s incredibly important to make time for them,” explains Tsakalos. “Set aside a day each fortnight or month to catch up with close friends, or plan activities to take part in with the family – giving you all a little something to look forward to. Also stay mindful of relationships with energy vampires – people who consistently demand a lot of you and your energy and resources with little reciprocity.”
#4. Showing gratitude for what you have
“A daily gratitude practice has shown to be amazingly effective at refocusing your attention to all the great stuff you’ve got around you. To kick the day off right, see if you can list three things you’re grateful for and three things that will make the day ahead great,” tips Tsakalos. “This activity will help prime your mind to the positive, and take some of the negative charge out of your day.”