In this post: During a time of prolonged crisis, routine and good habits can keep you sane. These 10 healthy lifestyle habits can add pleasure to your daily life.⇒
I could stay at home a looooong time.
I work from the house, I have plenty of space and I love the things in my surroundings.
But even I’d go crazy after a certain amount of time if I didn’t adhere to some well-developed habits. Some are classic daily routines that are aimed at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But others are a bit less obvious and address a more obscure aspect of our lives: the part that keeps us going with a positive outlook.
You don’t need me to tell you to eat right and exercise, or to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Instead I’d like to share some good habits I’ve adopted to gain a sense of control and to cultivate optimism.
Here are 10 healthy lifestyle habits that will bring a hint of pleasure in a time of crisis.
1. Bask in the sunshine
This is my favorite new habit that I’ve developed since working from home and it arose rather organically. In fact it’s so pleasant and uplifting that I hope to continue it as often as possible for the rest of my life.
On our patio in the morning there’s a swath of sunshine that shines onto a small corner of our sectional couch. I love to wrap up in a fleece blanket and nestle into this corner and feel the sunshine brushing my face. If I come out too late, I’ve missed my opportunity, as the shadows overtake the sunshine which has moved somewhere else.
It can be for just 15 minutes as I drink my coffee and reflect on my hopes and goals for the day. As the sunshine inches across the patio I scootch over to grasp every last bit of this delicious elixir.
2. Order flower delivery
You know I love flowers. Especially fresh flowers! They are such a luxury to light up a bleak day.
When I can’t get to the store to buy them myself, I’ve gotten into the habit of buying a bouquet online. Just pretend you’re sending flowers to someone else, but use your own address for the delivery address.
If you’re ordering groceries, you can also just add them to your grocery delivery. You’ll have to be specific about what you pick and maybe a bit more flexible, but it’s still worth the indulgence.
3. Order luxury hand soap and moisturizer
This is something I’ve been doing for a long time and it falls within my preference for upgrading daily rituals to small pleasures. If you’re going to use hand soap, use one that smells delightful! You’ll be happy to wash your hands as frequently as necessary. I’ve recently added the moisturizer in the matching scent, as repeated hand washing calls for moisture replenishment. I keep them by the sink in a pretty holder made for the set.
4. Clean out or organize something
If you have time on your hands from staying home, put it to good use and tackle a big project you’ve been putting off. Organizing, in particular, gives us a sense of control and power, and it’s something I love to do when I’m feeling stressed from a crisis.
I’m currently working on several big decluttering projects which I’ll be sharing in depth over the next few weeks.
In case you missed these past few, you can check out:
5. Start a family group chat
I’ll bet many of you have already done this. A family group chat is a great way to feel connected and creates a sense of belonging that counters isolation. Even better to include extended family members to keep things cheerful when any one person is feeling down.
Group video “hangouts” are also great, so you can get together for a virtual meal or a Friday happy hour. This can be done very simply via Facebook or Google hangouts, or any number of other apps readily available for download.
6. Organize a video book club
As an extension of the tip above, you can also start topical group chats, like a virtual book club done exactly the same way. I find continuing our monthly meetings, even though they’re done via the web, keeps life a little closer to normal and fosters an additional opportunity for community sharing.
This is also a great time to start a group with people out of town, that you maybe never realized you could with meet with virtually, and then continue to meet even after the crisis has passed. Many years from now you may still have your monthly meetings and remember poignantly how your bi-coastal book club got started.
7. Shop online and start a new collection
Ok, let’s face facts. If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, you can’t underestimate the curative power of retail therapy. Need to clear your mind and get lost in another world? Pick a preferred shopping category and visit your favorite shops online.
Love decor? Consider starting a new collection. If you’ve been cleaning out your cabinets you already know what you have enough of and what you could use new. I’ve just started an ironstone collection that came about from one of my cleaning projects, when I realized I wanted to restyle some of my shelves.
If you’re temporarily out of work and more concerned about finances, do a little fantasy shopping. Hopefully when things calm down, you’ll be back to work and the things you placed in your cart for safekeeping, can then be purchased for a little self gratification.
8. Order groceries online and try new recipes
I’ve always been an online grocery person, but at a time when you’re confined to home, it’s ever more helpful. If delivery times are hard to get, consider hiring a local teen to shop your order.
Then enjoy experimenting with recipes you’ve wanted to give a try for a while. You might also experiment with new ways of cooking by ordering the necessary appliances online. For instance, I’ve been thinking about giving air-frying a try. For you it might be Instant Pot or smoothies or waffle making.
9. Try a new Netflix series
I’m fairly certain we’re all doing this, but some people need to be encouraged to try something new. We’re not very big into watching television series, so at first we had to be prodded. If this is you, start slow with a mini-series. We have progressed to the The Crown, with its 30 episodes, which at first seemed like a lifelong commitment. Now we’re loving it!
10. Walk outside and listen to music
Of course this is dependent on the weather in your area, but getting outside for a walk is truly inspiring. It’s great for exercise, completely free and you can do it alone. Put on your favorite tunes and enjoy a bit of bliss. You’ll come back a rejuvenated person!
A few more tips and ideas:
- Get dressed in the morning
- Touch base with one person you haven’t spoke to in a while
- Organize your photos from an uplifting vacation (or just look at them)
- Start that book you always wanted to write but never had time
- Change the furniture arrangement in a room
- Soak in the tub (with bubbles, of course)
- Indulge in a new fine wine
- Order dinner from a favorite restaurant and set a beautiful table
There’s no question that routine and rituals can help keep you sane during times of great stress. Adding notes of luxury to these tasks can help elevate your mood. By doing these things repeatedly they can become habits and some can even be appreciated when the crisis has passed.
I know I will be enjoying my morning coffee on my outdoor sectional a good 8-10 months out of the year. And if I want to extend it to 12…
I just need to get a heavier blanket.
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