5 Quarantine Bad Habits (and How To Overcome Them)
Between the quarantines, curfews, and working from home this past year really threw us all for a loop. And with all that time at home, we may have developed some new habits - both good and not so good..
Let's examine 5 bad habits that a lot of us might have formed during the lockdowns and how we can reframe them to live a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
1. Drinking Too Much or Too Often
Oh yeah I fell into this trap. More time at home meant sleeping in more and one glass of wine every couple days turned into one every night which quickly become 2-3 and so on. It's easy to drink when you're working from home without a strict wakeup time, but that doesn't mean it's productive or healthy. Using alcohol as a coping strategy for stress is a slippery slope. Instead, I would highly recommend leaving the alcohol for fun, social situations and try to skip those drinks after work to numb the stress of the day. When you feel like having a drink because you're stressed, try to swap that drink for something healthy like a 15 min walk, meditation, or a workout. It'll feel better and remind you that you can handle stress without alcohol.
Another piece of advice, set a limit on yourself for how many times you can drink per week. This one really works for me. Instead of "only drinking on the weekends" which will pretty much always lead to you overdoing it (hello binge drinking), let yourself have a midweek happy hour or glass of wine with dinner, but limit the amount of times per week that you do it. For me, 2-3 times a week seems to be a good sweet spot where I feel good and know I'm practicing balance and moderation.
2. Sleeping In Late
This one got pretty much all of us. Staying up late leads to sleeping in late and vice versa. One way to ensure you get up on time is to first, get to bed on time, and second, set an alarm. I know, "duh" right? But if you're somebody who likes to hit snooze, consider setting your phone or alarm clock out of your immediate reach before getting in bed. That way you'll have to get up in order to shut the alarm off.
3. Staying Up Late
I feel like this one is harder to remedy than just getting up in the morning. When you can't fall asleep, it's hard to think about anything else. I have a few suggestions to help you get into a deeper sleep and stay that way all night. First, make sure at least one hour before bed time you turn off all the lights in the house that aren't orange/warm lights. Use blue light blocking glasses if this isn't possible. Try to start limiting all devices at this time too. If you're a TV or phone person at night, use the blue light blocking glasses for this as well. Next, have a night time ritual. Start winding down at least an hour before bed time. Shower, get on your comfy pjs, maybe make some warm tea with chamomile, challenge yourself to read a book instead of being on a device. Another tip is to make sure you eat at least two hours before bed to ensure your body is digested and ready for sleep. And finally, set your home to a cool 69 degrees. It seems cold, but while you sleep your body's internal temp actually rises. So keeping your house cool is optimal for good sleep.
4. Sitting All Day
A lot of us are guilty of this and even I have caught myself sitting a lot more recently. When working from home, it's important to break up the long bouts of sitting by scheduling walks and doing house chores throughout the day. One way to do it is to schedule a 10 minute walk for every hour you sit. Not only is a 10 minute walk completely doable, it will actually help increase work productivity as well. Whatever works for you, just be sure to get up each hour and move around.
5. Bored Snacking
Ugh the quarantine snacks. And what's worse is that we all stocked up while the stores were closed. When you're home all day it can be easy to overdo it on the snacking. I get it, I'm guilty of this too. What helped me most is to schedule times when I will eat. Breakfast at 12pm, Lunch at 3pm, Snack at 5pm, and Dinner at 8pm. This way I am not tempted to snack at other times, because I will know when a meal or snack is coming. And obviously if you are really hungry between meals or snacks, you can eat. But you will also know that next time, you need to eat more for the previous meal.
It can be easy to pick up bad habits here and there, sometimes we aren't even aware of it until it's already happened! Go easy on yourself and understand that everyone is in the same boat this year. We've all had to make some lifestyle changes and adjust our habits to fit this new world and we're all trying to be better for it. If any of these speak to you, try the resolution strategies and let me know how it goes. I'd love to hear how this post helped you!