With the world changing in ways we never imagined, staying healthy has become so much harder. Going into a grocery store or even making our way to the gym has become an actual nightmare that, for many us, gives us anxiety. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about people who have caught Covid-19 while just going to the grocery store. It’s all to scary. Covid-19 and its effects have hit us all in one way or another and while staying positive can be hard, I’ve chosen to adopt a different outlook this year. We need to stay motivated and we need to keep moving forward, only this time, it’s going to be a very personal journey. I’ve used some of my quiet time to do some reflections and really, really examine my lifestyle and where I want to be in a few years. I’ve taken a look back at my past bucket lists and personal lists of goals from previous years, and I’ve realised that I never really pushed myself to my full potential. This year, I’m making the change.
As we adjust to this new norm, I’ve taken some time to look back on all those lists, re-evaluate my habits and really think about what I need to do to re-align my life and get to where I want to be. And while it’s only twenty-five days into the new year, I can already see a difference which is why I want to share those with you.
Here are 10 healthy habits to adopt now in this new world we find ourselves living in.
Set your goals
Knowing what you want out life is so important to being on the right path and making the most of your time on this Earth. Setting goals – whether it be for your career, health or personal life helps to give us direction and start putting the steps in place to achieve what we want. I like to write down on separate lists, what my goals are for my career, health and personal life and then review them periodically to see how much I’ve achieved. This year, I’m trying something a little different – I started by writing down my goals and the I created a vision board that I’ve stuck up in my apartment to visualise and manifest my goals and dreams.
It used to be a norm for us to meet up with friends at cafes and restaurants but the pandemic has changed all that. While we can still eat out, for many of us we get all the more anxious just being in a public space with other people. So we chose to dine in and cook at home. It’s a great way to spend more time in the kitchen and finally try those recipes we’ve long wanted to. For me (and this blog) I’m finally starting my International Travel Recipe page where I share recipes of the delicious foods I’ve seen and tried on my travels.
For many of us, we found ourselves in month long lockdowns as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened. Just going to the grocery store was hard, but as many of us stayed home, and even continued to work from home, our eating habits changed drastically. I found myself eating noodles as a quick fix meal in between meetings and more than that, I would take constant five minute breaks away from my computer to… well… the fridge. As a result, I put on more weight, my skin looked awful and I just didn’t feel good about myself anymore.
This year I’ve started by actively changing my eating habits. When I say actively, I mean consciously making the decision to chose healthier options. I restrict how much junk food I buy when I’m at the grocery store and when I want a snack I put the effort in to chose a fruit. For lunch and dinner, I consciously tell myself not to be lazy and just throw something in the oven, but rather take a few minutes out to make a fresh salad. My skin, body and mind is already thanking me for it. It’s only been 25 days into the new year and I’ve been receiving compliments on how the complexion of my skin has changed.
I haven’t cut out junk food completely but I balance what I eat for my bigger meals. I’ll still have a chocolate everyday after dinner, but by just eating more greens and fresh salad, I can see a difference.
Spend more time with YOU
Staying home has meant more alone time with myself and I have to be completely honest… I love it. I could spend days on end at home by myself and not get board because I always have a million thoughts running through my head. I’ve always wanted an art studio, so I’m turning my second bedroom into one. I’ve always wanted to try creating a vision board, so I did. I want to read more, so I created a little reading spot on my balcony and sit there on weekends when I want to read. Being at home more means that you can actually start actioning those thoughts and dreams in your head or at least start researching how to action them. That in itself is the first step to spending more time with you and making your dreams come true! Only you can make your dreams come true. But first, you have to actually start.
Schedule “R&R time”
After all the crazy at home activities, you deserve some R&R time where you really take care of yourself. I’ve started actively scheduling this time in to my schedule everyday because if I don’t I tend to push it out and forget or just do a half hearted skin care routine because I spent too many hours blogging or watching Netflix. Now I’ve set an alarm for 8 pm everyday to start my winding down routine for the night. I start by playing a podcast and while that’s running in the background I brush my teeth, wash my face, floss, put on a mask and just do all the things that make me feel good. On the weekend, I schedule extra time on Sundays to try out new face masks, exfoliate, have a bubble bath and do those things that make my mind and body feel good. I light a few candles, put on some café music and just clear out my mind.
Many of us learnt that we needed this during lockdown. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of everyday, but actively focusing on YOU can do wonders both physically and mentally.
Take a break from social media
Sometimes you just need to switch off. So much of time goes on scrolling through social media platforms and then all of a sudden we don’t have enough time to do the things we really want to do. Don’t get me wrong, social media is great for keeping motivated – I love scrolling through the small business videos on TikTok and looking at travel posts in Insta, but I’ve also become aware of how much time I spend scrolling through my phone. Take a look at how much time you spend on the internet and decide if it’s okay or not.
Spend some time with loved ones
With so many of us being stuck at home during the pandemic, it became clear just how much we took for granted that our loved ones will always be a car ride away. We so often put off spending time with family and friends because of our busy schedules. Reach out to the people you want to spend time with, even if you aren’t in the same city or country. Schedule a video call or maybe call them and if you can, block out some time to visit them.
Learn Something new everyday
Learning something new everyday is a great way to grow and start feeling accomplished. It’s also one of the small things we can start doing to help us grow as human beings and, it’s one of the most fulfilling things a person can do. It doesn’t have to something a big as taking an online class (even though that is a great way to learn a new skill) but it could be something as small as watching a YouTube video, reading a blogpost, watching the news or reading a book. Aim to learn something new everyday and watch how you grow.
Learn more about yourself
Knowing who you are as an individual is the first step to becoming who you really want to be in this lifetime. Often so many of us are influenced by our surroundings or the people we hang out and slowly but surely, their actions shape who we become and before we know it, we don’t even recognise ourselves anymore. Having all this alone time, means you really get to spend time with yourself, try new things and learn about what you like and don’t like. Learn about what your limitations are an individual and really look at them, and ask yourself is it really a limitation or is it a limitation that someone else (parents, employers, religious leaders, society even) has set for me. You won’t know what your true and full potential is until you truly learn about yourself without the influence from other people.
Clear your mind and be present
Being present in all you do is such a powerful thing. It means you’re body, mind and soul and focused on the task at hand you’re giving it your absolute all. I often find that if I’m worried, stressed or upset about something, my mind, body and soul suffer. It’s usually because I haven’t said something I wanted to, done somatising I knew I needed to or released some pent up feelings about a situation. As a spin off, I’ll get chest pains from the stress, I won’t focus on the task at hand because I’m still thinking about the previous situation and I just feel like something is off balance. Find ways to deal with what’s worrying you, release stress and talk about your emotions – maybe practise yoga or kick boxing at home, go for a run, start journaling or painting or maybe even read more about how to deal with things you’re unhappy with. All of this will help you be more present when completing current tasks and give 100 % of your mind, soul and body.