Habits come, habits go, and Covid comes to wreck and renew.
Keeping Life Going
I've been considering habits at lot recently. In times of great stress some habits will fall away, strong ones stay and others reappear from our past.
For most now is one of those times. And its when some habits come through to keep us functioning. Getting up with the alarm, going for a daily walk, having to write a fortnightly blog post.
These are the habit that form the framework after sleepless nights, when our minds are occupied with other things or we don't know what else to do.
There are lots of opinions and research around habits and what triggers them and how we form new ones. “It Depends” is often the answer, as each of us have formed our own ways of doing things.
Two of my habit resources are Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. These are books I've consumed them in Audiobook format.
The Current Environment
Coronavirus and the events around it haven't been seen for a century, and times are so much different than then, for technology and society
Many of us are working from home, and some with children or vulnerable family full-time. Movement is restricted and activities are curtailed. Many are restless.
And yet we've adapted. With Zoom calls and home deliveries, with changes in how we use tech and an appreciation for different things in life.
It's a time when the many restrictions mean we know what to expect each day. It's a time we can look at what we want to bring into our lives. We can experiment with less outside influences.
Now we're used to the rhythm of lockdown. Outside distractions are fewer, social interactions are harder and travel is heavy restricted.
Its a chance to pick out habits. Prune or replace ones we don't like and strengthen others. Also a time to form new habits.
Habits are often triggered by location and other interactions. Strong ones now and new ones we pick up might not be practical when life moves on.
If there are things you want to learn or try out then now is an opportunity. Think about what the change is for. If its part of long-term change or to get you through the current crisis.
Trying lessons online, returning to a creative pursuit or making changes to what you eat.
I work from home for myself and live alone. I'm forced to try new things or go mad. And my favourite tactic for trying new habits is starting small and making it easy.
I'm finding some of the biggest impacts come from small changes.
I really miss dancing but started dancing around the flat to three songs each morning. It slots into my morning routine before breakfast. It doesn't require any new equipment and is kept simple by putting songs on shuffle.
It's given me back a lot of energy and also I've started connecting my previous dancing time with creativity.
One of my long-term goals is language learning so I'm paying for Polish lessons. Recently I changed these to 9am. I have to be ready by then and it has a couple of benefits. There are less deviations from the morning routine and it is kept simple. Also we're finished by 10 so there's the rest of the day for work and life.
Like many others I've had time to think and figure out what things are coming next. And trying lots of little changes as part of this.
Understanding our habits is key to making big life changes in little steps.
What new habits have you picked up during Covid?