Being quarantined at home, you probably have found yourself with a lot more free time and perhaps difficulty in finding ways to fill this extra time. However, it is possible to use this time at home to create new healthy habits and routines, that will not only benefit you while staying at home, but even after life returns to normal (or whatever our new normal is). Try these seven steps below to start creating healthy habits for a healthier lifestyle:
Step One: Write down a list of your goals. Set a timer for two minutes and write down whatever goals come to your mind — big or small. Think about the goals you’ve been wanting to accomplish, but life just got in the way. This is one of the unique advantage of our current situation – more time to do the things we want.
Examples: Be healthy; walk 3 miles every day; write a novel!
Step Two: Next to each goal, write a daily habit that will help accomplish that goal. Habits are the building blocks of accomplishing these goals. Think of one habit that will move you in the direction you want to go. Keep in mind that habits stick when you make them small.
Examples: Be healthy – drink more water, eat more vegetables.
Step Three: Choose one or two new habits from your list to work on this week . Try to make them specific. The best habits are:
1) easy to begin
2) small enough to follow through
3) require minimal resources
It is best to choose a maximum of two -“ this helps you to discover what works without overloading yourself with too many new demands.
Example: From “Drink more water”- to “Drink one glass of water when I wake up”
Step Four: Plan your new habits into your already existing routine. Choose an existing routine and attach the new habit to it. This can be a time of day, or an activity, or a place in your home.
Example: “Drink one glass of water when I wake up” will become “After I brush my teeth, I will fill up a glass of water and put it on my bedside table.”
Step Five: Design your surroundings to remind yourself of the new habits. Think of creative ways to put reminders in your environment. Physical ones work best, but phone notifications also work well.
Example:”When I wake up and see the glass of water on my bedside table, I will drink it.”
Step Six: Track your progress and take notes. Experiment and write down what worked for you. Write down things to change that might work better. Share your progress with an accountability partner.
Keep track of your personal achievements over time. Imagine at the end of the quarantine that you can do 100 squats or pushups in a row, sleep consistently for eight hours, do some jump rope tricks, learn to play a new instrument, draw portraits, or even speak a new language. All these accomplishments begin with building daily habits.
Step Seven: Once the new habits become automatic, choose new ones . When it seems like the habit takes less effort, choose one or two new ones to try and begin the process again. Each person and each habit will need a different amount of time to take hold, so be patient with yourself.
Remember, living a healthier lifestyle does not have to be daunting or overwhelming. Take advantage of the time at home and use it to create the kind of changes you never had time or energy for before. Use a positive statement for getting through the pitfalls. Instead of: “If I don’t don’t do it now, I never will.- Try something like: “Now is the best time to be my best self !”
Nardeen Faragalla is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a personal advocate for living an energized and passionate life. She works with teens and women to help them create happy, healthy lives in a way that is flexible, fun, and free of denial and discipline. Together, they discover the food and lifestyle choices that best supports them.
Nutrition is often overlooked as an important solution for good mental health and can play a beneficial role in helping with mood regulation, stress management, focus and attention, and increased energy levels. Health coaching has the benefit of tailoring a program unique to your health situation, needs, and personality.
Visit Nardeen Faragalla to book a free 30-minute consultation.