Even for raging optimists, we are unsure if this pandemic will get better, forget over, by the end of 2020. But the pragmatic in us is nudging us to be prepared and remember the lessons we can’t forget long after 2020 is over.
Our lives have been on some degree of pause for over five months now, if not more. Mother Nature gave us the chance to re-evaluate how we lived and created room for growth.
7 healthy habits you should continue after pandemic
Here are the seven habits we intend to continue working on cultivating long after the pandemic is over.
1. Pay attention to what we need less or more of
Most of us tend to have an attachment to materialist goods. Be it work clothes, workout attire, shoes, handbags, gadgets, cookware, groceries, or anything else…we have that extra piece in our homes because we believe we might need it. With online shopping being a click away, it’s so easy to buy things without thinking impulsively.
But the pandemic(1) has taught us that there is no point in accumulation. Life happens when we are busy planning it, so spend your time with people and building memories, not hoarding items. Less is more, and there is only so much we need.
[Also Read: Remaining Resilience & Grateful During COVID-19]
2. Say Gratitude
In these times, it might feel like a struggle to wake up every morning and find reasons to be grateful. But gratitude is a daily practice. If you are breathing, be thankful. If you have a home to live, say gratitude. If your loved ones are healthy, don’t forget to say thank you.
If you can clear your bills and feed your family, have a grateful heart. If you have excellent health on your side, whisper gratitude.
3. Set healthy boundaries
Having healthy boundaries is a radical act of self-care. Some limitations will be around yourself, others, with people. For instance, consider rationing how much news you consume. Stop scrolling mindlessly through social media and believe that everyone has a better life than yours.
Say a NO to phone calls, and Zoom invites if they don’t nourish you…without feeling guilty. If someone wants to discuss politics and devastations around the world, be okay with saying, “I’d love to talk about something else right now.”
[Also Read: Mental Health Challenges Post Covid-19]
4. Power of the present moment
We live in a world where most people are either chasing tomorrow or thinking about their yesterday. Because living in the present moment is considered ordinary by many. There is nothing more centering than acknowledging the power of now.
Having the presence of mind is crucial for staying happy and healthy. It helps you battle anxiety, cut down on your rumination and worrying, and keeps you grounded and connected to everything around you and yourself.
On the contrary, the tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave you perpetually drained out and feeling out of sync with yourself. Living in the present moment, or the “here and now,” means that we are mindful and aware of what’s happening at this very second.
We are not distracted by worries about the future or ruminations on the past but centered in the present. All our attention is focused on this very moment (Thum, 2008).
5. Reach Out
Check in with your friends and family to see how they are doing. Everyone is coping right now. Things might seem A-Okay on the outside, but no one’s life is perfect. The pandemic might have made you realize that not everyone will tell you that they are struggling.
Don’t bring your ego into relationships. Make sure to connect with people who matter. It’s okay to ask for help.
6. Prioritize what’s important to you
Make “me-time” in your daily schedule—social distance from your stress. “I’ve become a mother this year, a twin mom. It was somehow super important for me to maintain the lifestyle I’ve been leading before, only with two babies attached.
Pre-pandemic, I was often having coffee somewhere around the city two to three times a week, scheduling multiple calls in the naptime, and overall being available anytime to maintain a social life – and a certain picture. It was exhausting, unnecessary, and unsustainable. Most of all, it was so out of tune with what I wanted.
It turned out, I wanted to do much less,” said Pavla Lokajová (writer, journalist, and corporate storyteller).
Another inspiring woman, Rachel Hills (author, producer, and founder of the New York City-based community PowerBitches), said, I’ve reaffirmed that making space for creativity is more important to me than maximizing my income.
During the initial few weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, increased family responsibilities meant I had no time to do anything but my highest yield working. Losing the time I usually spend thinking, reflecting, and creating reaffirmed how vital these things are to me, and I’ve taken up freelance writing again after a two-year hiatus.
[Also Read: Life After COVID-19]
7. Move your body every day
Aside from the apparent reasons for exercising, you should know that movement is suitable for refreshing and recharging our mental pathways. It will bring you creative freedom. Unplug and move.
Stay away from the disruptions of social media, emails, conference calls, grocery lists, household chores, family obligations, and other social commitments. Make it a daily habit and be better than your excuses. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people.
It’s so easy to go into a spiral if you are writing about painful experiences. It’s like hoping to heal while picking on scabs, you know? Exercising even moderately boosts endorphin levels, and these feel-good chemicals protect our brains and bodies while reducing the risk of depression.
Besides making memories stronger, exercise can help one focus and stay on task.
About The Author:
Sweta Vikram is an international speaker, best-selling author of 12 books, and Ayurveda and mindset coach who is committed to helping people thrive on their own terms.