When a pandemic like the Coronavirus makes you sit at home, it gets you thinking. How can you manage yourself and your time better? Because I’ve been working from home for the past one year, I decided to update my own suggestions on this post. Here are 7 self love habits worth doing in 2020, especially when you’re working from home.
You will thank yourself later for doing this!
#1 – Start your morning on YOUR terms.
Our time is consistently divided between balancing our career, family and friends. And in the midst of all that, we neglect ourselves.
While talking about self love habits, I think the best piece of advice I’ve heard is to fill your cup up first, as Iyanla Vanzant says. And then you overflow with love for the world.
In other words, you become more capable of taking care of others, when you’ve first taken care of yourself.
And unwinding the day with ‘me-time’ just isn’t enough, you also need to wake-up to be with yourself.
It might be an early morning jog, reading a book, meditation or an extra 5-minutes enjoying your breakfast.
Whatever it is for you, give yourself enough time in the morning to start on the right note. This is only possible if we’re not snoozing the alarm or in contrast, checking out work emails before work begins.
Read More : 5 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance
#2 – Intermittent Internet
We’ve all heard of intermittent fasting from food, but it’s essential that we start detoxing our mind too – from the internet!
Matt Haig was right when he wrote, “There is no shame in not watching news. There is no shame in not going on Twitter. There is no shame in disconnecting.” in his book, Notes on a Nervous Planet.
We are overwhelmed and saturated with information overload. Our attention span is as bad as a goldfish!
And if you’re sitting at home, there’s no limit on how many hours you use different gadgets throughout the day! So, a few tricks worth trying are:
- One hour before bed, keep your phone away from you, preferably with the internet turned off. The next time you should use your phone is in the morning to shut the alarm off. This simple practice will slow your mind down and get your mind prepared for bed-time.
- Use the DND feature on your device at night, to ensure you are not being disturbed by notifications and tempted to check your phone.
- Don’t turn on the internet until AFTER you’ve done your morning rituals of self-love (read point #1).
- Have dedicated periods of use, such as lunch break or while you’re chilling. This prevents mindless fiddling.
- In general, turn off all the notifications that cause distraction and keep your phone out of sight so that you’re not eager to keep checking it every time it lights up and you spot it from the corner of your eye!
- I loved this minimalist guy’s recommendation to keep a check on how many social media apps you’re using!
#3 – PRACTISING A Self-Care routine
This is different from self love, in the sense that self-care is more about what you NEED to do versus what you LOVE to do. Now, I want to take a minute to talk about the obstacles that prevent us from doing the things we know are good for us.
- Just not remembering to do something.
Make a list of actions you need to do but have been neglecting.
Then stick notes in the respective place – bedroom/bathroom/kitchen so that you remember to do them. Even better if you can set some reminders on your phone.
The psychology behind this is, you are more likely to do something if you are directly or indirectly given a ‘cue’ for it.
- Not feeling motivated to carry the task through.
A simple piece of advice can help you do this, without fail.
Make the first two minutes of your habit easy by having a ritual that precedes your habit. For example, if you need to workout, just change into your workout clothes. If you need to read, keep the book next to your bed. If you need to stay more hydrated, have more water bottles lying around your space.
Self-care is what makes or breaks our relationship with ourselves. Start giving yourself the care you deserve! Here’s a video that extends upon the various self-care tangents that you can bring your focus towards.
#4 – Get Your Beauty Sleep. Twice a day.
Did you know that a sleep-deprived person driving is more likely to have a fatal accident, versus a drunk driver?
This fact, and countless other convincing studies were shared in one of the best books I’ve read this year – Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
And the crux of the matter is this.
- Yes, 8 hours a night is mandatory, and no we have not evolved from this necessity yet. Also, sleep is not for the weak. The consequences of less than 8 hours a night are not limited to long-term memory loss and heart attacks. Don’t take sleep casually.
- AT LEAST give your body 8 hours to be in bed. Please note – this doesn’t mean you are still able to sleep the required 8 hours, so be generous with yourself and maximize the time you take to wind down.
- Taking a nap in the day significantly reduces heart problems, improves brain function and makes you feel better.
So, one of the best acts of self love you can do for yourself, is to rest. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend getting your facts straight about sleep by checking out Matthew Walker’s work on the subject.
#5 – Give your Mind Time to wander
Essential so that you can regather your thoughts, think through what has happened over the last couple of hours, and gain some clarity. When your mind is constantly running, it can become ‘saturated’ and clouded. Wandering is the quickest way to hit the refresh button.
Meditation is of course one of the most organic and effective ways to relax and reset your mental energy. But it is not the only way to achieve a clear mind. Here are some other suggestions:
- Take a casual stroll around the block. Alone. Without using your phone. Though listening to music is absolutely fine!
- Write it down. It doesn’t have to be a 3-page mindless rant, though Julia Cameron’s advice from The Artist’s Way is worth trying out.
Just writing down the person/event’s name, and a few emotions that were triggered can be enough to get your mind off of things, and onto the paper. Brain dump really works!
#6 – Educate Yourself
Let’s face it, what we learn at school is not enough. It’s about time we start taking our education in our hands, and making our highly-stimulated, highly-potent but underused, minds count. You can pick your weapon of choice.
- Work on a DIY project. It could be something techie like an IoT device, or a science project, or even a craft-oriented activity for the home.
Anything that gets your mind to learn and do something unusual, so that you channel your creative energy in the process is crucial, every single day.
Now doing a new DIY everyday isn’t possible, so here is the next set of suggestions, you can do everyday.
- Read. And I don’t mean fiction. I mean read something non-fiction that gives you more direct and real insight about the world.
Related : 10 Must Read Non-Fiction Books in 2020
- If your excuse is that you don’t “like” to read, unfortunately, it’s outdated. There are Audio Books for people that learn best by hearing, and TED Talks for the visual learners. There IS a means of learning suitable for you – find it. And use it.
- Also, if your excuse happens to be, “I like books but I don’t have time”, there’s a solution for you. Read blogs! Most non-fiction book authors have their blogs – if you hear of a good book, just head to the website and see what smaller doses you can benefit from.
#7 – INVEST IN YOUR PARALLEL UNIVERSE
I am neither for, nor against the notion of making your passion a full-time career. But I am of the belief that your passion and career can co-exist.
Most of us are are doing what helps pay our bills, but seldom are we doing it with the zeal we had when we first had that ‘Corporate Orientation’. Just because our passion may never pay us its worth, we deem it worthless in today’s world.
Yet – does it stop being something your soul feels called towards?
The simplest way to overcome this mind-block is to start investing in the things you “wish” you could have been doing, had you been in a “parallel reality”. Why not make it into this reality?
Whether you are passionate about painting, writing, dancing or something else – you have to do it. Even if it’s 5 minutes a day. Start somewhere, do something that ignites the fire within again. Because somewhere, it’s linked with your purpose of being. And here is how you can determine your Life Purpose.
This is outside the frame of self-love. Because what I’ve come to learn is that our passion is bigger than us, the person experiencing it.
The world is in a growing need for people doing the things they love, that’s the only way we’re going to bring the major course-correction we are in dire need of!
Yes, it is not easy forming new habits, and motivation can run out really quick. Especially if you work from home, it can drive you crazy if you’re not conscious about the choices you make everyday!
But the one thing that finally helped me start changing my habits was James Clear’s clear approaches defined in his book, Atomic Habits.
If there is one self-help book we all need to read to really be motivated to overcome the obstacles of 2020, it is this one.
Picture credits : Pixabay.com
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