I started making this list for myself, to remind me of what works for me & then I decided to share this list with you. Some are things that I have managed to maintain; others are things that I have let slide & need to get back to.
Here we go:
My Top 8 Daily Habits For a Healthier Mind
⚡️BRAIN DUMP – Brain dumping is one of those things that I wish I had discovered twenty years ago. The idea is just to take all the things that keep spinning around your head and get them onto paper. I have two columns for my brain dumps – personal and business and as soon as i get all the worries & niggles, it feels as good as when I declutter my cupboards. And to reduce that feeling of overwhelm that often comes from looking at long to do lists, I remind myself that this isn’t a race and not everything needs to get done today. Don’t underestimate the magic of writing it all down.
⚡️ME TIME (doing something you love) – I have no idea why I deprive myself of this. No one asked me to. It’s something I’m really working on (and I’m hoping I will feel more accountable now by sharing my intention with you). At the moment, we are a bit limited in what we can do and where we can go, so we do what we can with what we have, right? And we make a plan to have me time without attaching any guilt to it or asking for permission. Right? Right!
⚡️DITCH THE ‘SHOULD’ – Don’t should all over yourself and don’t let anyone should on you either. You don’t need to be doing things because you think you should or because other people think you should; that’s a sure fire way to feel overwhelmed & burnt out. There is something so mentally liberating about saying ’no’ to things that you don’t really want to do!
⚡️WORK IN BLOCKS OF TIME – When I first heard about this concept, it overwhelmed the heck out of me. I was trying to block time like “10am is my time for being creative” or “at 2pm every day I need to make dinner’ but my brain doesn’t work like that & I automatically rebelled against it. I thought I was broken. I though there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t keep to the plan. Obviously there wasn’t; I just needed something more flowing & flexible. Enter the Pomodoro Technique. I learned that I could work in blocks of 25 minutes (or longer if I wanted!) and then take a break & switch to something else for 25 minutes. Perfect for me.
⚡️CHECK IN WITH OTHER HUMANS – I realised I was going days without speaking to a friend. Personally, nothing lifts my spirits at the moment more than a good old FaceTime with a friend. It’s so easy to pick up the phone, I don’t quite know why my brain overcomplicates things so much. Reminder to myself to do this more.
⚡️GET FRESH AIR & SUN – See above for overcomplicating things. I’ve got so used to staying home that I can forget how wonderful sun & air are (and we are blessed here in Israel with lots of sun, even in the Winter.)
Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and endorphins, and all the happy hormones associated with good mood & feeling calm.
⚡️MOVE – I used to work out 5/6 times a week. Then I had some health issues & I changed my regular routine. Now I am starting again from scratch, with the easiest thing in the world, which is walking. This week I have committed to starting with 2,000 steps a day with an aim to work up to 10,000. Watch this space.
⚡️LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA – ::Raises hand and looks sheepish:: Pre-Pandemic Situation I was so disciplined. I had taken the Facebook app off my phone and only used it for a limited amount of time a day, from my computer. I had an Instagram timer set on my phone to tell me when I had been on for 30 mins. Fast forward to April 2020 and all of that discipline kind of went out of the window, over the hills & far away.
I am now making a gradual effort to get back to how I was before. One thing I have always kept to is switching off social media notifications on my phone; next step is to go back to plugging my phone in outside of my bedroom at night so that I am not scrolling before bed.
What works for you? What would you add to this list?