In one of my recent posts, I talked about tricks you could use to shake yourself out of any bad habits that you might have developed during #QuarantineLife.
But! If you’re one of those unicorn people who developed some good habits during this quarantine mess, then you’re probably having the opposite problem and panicking because you don’t want to lose these lovely new habits that are actually helping you.
Somehow, I am both the cave troll that needs to get her life together but also the unicorn who has shockingly managed to cultivate some good habits during quarantine. Does that make me an ultra unicorn? Possibly. I’m going to say yes.
Anyway, keeping the good habits can be as much of a tricky balancing act as shedding the bad ones. Once again, I’m here to help! Just think of me as your friendly neighborhood ultra unicorn, full of great advice.
If you’re one of those unicorn people who developed good habits during quarantine, keeping the good habits can be as much of a tricky balancing act as shedding the bad ones.
Tip #1: Sort Out the Good and the Bad
This is kind of like cleaning out your house. Before you can tidy up, you have to decide which things go in the “keep” pile and which go in the “toss” pile.
Take some time to sit down and make a list with all of the good habits you’ve developed during quarantine. Then make a list of anything that’s not so great. Having these lists will help you to see where there is work to be done.
Tip #2: Be Realistic
Just like I said when I talked about getting rid of bad habits, you have to be realistic when it comes to keeping the good ones, too.
Have you been doing hours of yoga every day? Taking long, leisurely walks? Baking all of your own bread from the sourdough starter you’ve been lovingly caring for like it’s your child? (Um, if so, wow. You deserve an award.)
These are all great habits, and you should absolutely make the effort to continue them when life goes back to some semblance of normal.
But listen. As unfair as it is, you probably won’t be able to keep up your intense yoga practice and Little House on the Prairie baking ways. Instead, try to think about what regular life looks like for you, and see where your new, healthy habits could find a home.
Maybe instead of one long yoga session in the afternoon, you can do a few short sessions during your lunch break or after the kids are in bed. You could even block out a weekend time slot or a weekday evening to enjoy a long, intense yoga session as a treat.
If you’ve been taking walks outside to boost your mood, keep doing that! You can walk while you eat lunch, before your family wakes up in the morning, or in the evenings after dinner. You might not get to take a long, rambling stroll every day, but even short walks are great for physical and mental health!
Tip #3: Keep Taking Your Needs Seriously
If there’s one silver lining to all of this awfulness, it’s that there has been so much more conversation about mental health, self-care, and being honest about your needs. It’s unfortunate that it takes a global pandemic to get us to reevaluate how we live our lives, but I’m glad that there’s finally a push for everyone to start admitting when they’re not okay!
It’s probably a safe bet to assume that your pre-pandemic life was packed and busy and wildly stressful, right? If so, let me tell you something that you might not fully realize.
You DO NOT have to pick up right where you left off before all of this. There’s no rule that says you have to shoulder the same too-busy, too-stressful life you had before. Sure, you might still have to go to the office or run more errands, but you don’t have to start shoving down your needs and wants like you were doing before just because the world has shifted out of neutral and back into drive.
Don’t take on that thankless extra work project because you’re hoping it will impress your boss (it won’t).
Don’t agree to social gatherings because you feel guilty saying no (you probably don’t like them that much anyways).
Drop the class with the crappy instructor (that pile of busywork is not worth it).
And remember this: Even if you were an amazingly resilient person who rarely felt overwhelmed or overly emotional pre-pandemic, you might not be able to hop back into those shoes right away.
You’ve been experiencing a constant undercurrent of stress, fear, panic, and uncertainty, even if you weren’t consciously aware of it. That’s very taxing to your brain and body, and it will take time for you to recover.
Embrace the Shiny New You
I applaud anyone who has managed to become a better version of themselves during these Quarantine Days. If you’ve started taking your mental, physical, and emotional health more seriously, that’s amazing! You can and should carry these new good habits into post-pandemic life.
Do you have any plans for keeping up with healthy habits when life opens back up? Let me know in the comments!