Coping with Healthy vs. Unhealthy Habits
As we are faced with re-triggered trauma, loss, uncertainty, stress, and restraints, now is the time to access our best parts - not only to weather this storm well, but to be ready for what’s next.
When we allow ourselves to numb out and shutdown, to sink into a hole, to spiral out of control, or to simply press pause on our life and our dreams, we are hindering ourselves now and making things more challenging for later.
Hey, I get it. This are unprecedented times we are living in. This pandemic is impacting all areas of life and the world. It has thrown life as we know it into a tizzy. But you know what - you don’t have to let it kick you in the teeth!
You do have a choice as to how you deal with your life and everything in it, including the impact of this situation. Please don’t choose being disempowered.
Before this crisis, you might have been living your life by how you preferred; now you have to live your life by your character strengths. If you were not fully owning your life before the crisis started, you are probably having an even harder time than others now. My heart goes out to you. The struggle is real! I get it.
But you know what? You can start turning things around right now. All you have to do is decide...yes, decide.
Decide what? Decide that you will not indulge in explanations, excuses, blame, self-pity, or gloom. Decide that you will take charge of yourself. Decide that you will own your life and make the most of it. Decide that you will rock it today and going forward, no matter what.
How you are feeling and how you are doing are the result of the choices you make. We have so much knowledge and research in the fields of psychology, sociology, neurobiology, epigenetics, and a host of others to know that we create our own state of wellness, health, and success. We create our own reality. Yes, even if the worst is happening.
I refer you to Man’s Search for Meaning, a story of triumph by Viktor Frankl, an internationally renowned psychiatrist who developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy based on meaning as a motivational force, while he endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps.
This is good news. For now, it might rankle, as you might have dug yourself into a hole, but in the end, this means you can create whatever you want. This means you start now, regardless of the pandemic.
It doesn’t cost anything to own yourself. It doesn’t cost anything to do basic self-care to change your state and how you feel. It doesn’t cost anything to make healthier choices. It doesn’t cost anything to have great supportive and empowering habits.
If you are struggling to the point where you can’t function, have been moping around and laying around, can’t make good decisions, and the like, then it’s impressive that you are even reading this. You get a gold star.
And this tells me you can start taking better care of yourself. Start really small. Get additional support if the struggle is really great. Why suffer unnecessarily? And, if it’s a financial thing, there is plenty of free content and support out there. If you can’t bring yourself to find and engage in these, ask a loved one to help you. Start somewhere.
The key is to not let the world's chaos dictate our life, but to find internal peace and operate from such instead. This we have control over. This is what makes the difference…I promise!
If you have been thinking, "We are in this lockdown, everything is closed, there is nothing to be done" and you are waiting for things to reopen and "go back to normal," I have news for you: You are shooting yourself on the foot.
Stop this thinking immediately. This does not serve you. Your life is not on pause! This is an opportunity to reconnect, redefine, recalibrate, and reset. To course-correct. Your life, as is everyone else’s and the world at large, is going through what I’ve been calling a necessary deconstruction to reconstruct.
If you are snoozing, are on pause, or are white-knuckling through this, you are missing out on an opportunity. You are making things worse for yourself. For once the lockdown is lifted and we go back to what will be a new normal, you won’t be ready for it.
You won’t have made the necessary adjustments and experienced the growth needed to thrive in the new world. You’ll continue to have a struggle, or just go back to things as usual without the ability to do better. Please don't let this happen.
If you are just waiting to “go back,” you are missing out on the growth and development you are supposed to have. You are missing out on making the changes you are supposed to make in your life anyway. You are missing out on seeing the opportunities to innovate and serve through this crisis and in the new world. You are missing out on tapping into your purpose and living a more meaningful life. You are missing out on living.
So, what does this mean?
This means living more intentionally, mindfully and proactively.
Don’t do these!
- Overeating, overloading on carbs, over-snacking, or eating late at night.
- Partaking in stimulants and suppressants – caffeine, alcohol, etc.
- Taking all kinds of over-the-counter medicines to help you sleep, go to the bathroom, for sniffles, for this, for that.
- Laying around, sitting for too long, and otherwise not moving or exercising your body.
- Bingeing on Netflix, where you are consuming seasons upon seasons of different shows.
- Killing time gaming.
- Getting lost in social media, the news, or scrolling online.
- Policing, minding, and hating on what a neighbor, a friend, a coworker, a politician, or an influencer is doing.
- Over-stocking your home with goods.
- Focusing on what your partner is doing or not doing.
- Eat healthy.
- Take supplements.
- Detox and alkalize – first thing in the morning, drink warm lemon water with turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper as desired. Stay hydrated.
- Exercise, stretch, and do intentional movements throughout the day. Take walks or bike rides.
- Meditate (here is a nice meditation), listen to affirmations, journal, and plan your intentional day.
- Listen to or read inspirational and motivational content.
- Clean and declutter your environment, organize your home, and tackle overdue projects and tasks.
- Pursue a hobby or interest. Stay social by creating and attending virtual gatherings and staying in touch with loved ones.
- Spread positivity with praise, compliments, appreciation, acknowledgement, and shifting to higher-level conversations.
- Brainstorm and innovate to address an issue or serve better at work or in your business.
Take advantage of this opportunity to shift. This is what you’ve been waiting for. This is the 2×4, this is it!
Assignment: I love playing with creating and developing new habits. I wish this for you, as well, as it makes a massive difference on how you feel and how you do. Pick one unhealthy habit you can commit to letting go of and a healthy one you can commit to integrating into your daily routine that you’ll do instead. Be compassionate and gentle with yourself, but don’t enable yourself to fall off. Don’t allow yourself to get too far off-course in the face of obstacles or getting in your own way. Get back on it, and keep course-correcting.
You have a chance to shift into your better life. How often are we faced with such a colossal opportunity? Will you jump on it, or will you stay behind? It is up to you.
[Related: How to Lead in Times of Change]
Emma Viglucci has been in the mental health field in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. She is the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com, a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling with getting on the same page and feeling connected.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Founder, Clinical Director & Supervisor
Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC
I've been in the mental health field in varying capacities for the past 20+ years. I'm the Founder and Director of MetroRelationship.com a psychotherapy and coaching practice specializing in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial couples who are struggling getting on the same page and feeling connected. Our Team at MetroRelationship.com helps couples create a radiant and authentic relationship and meaningful life by becoming a strong partnership and increasing their connection, intimacy, and fun. I... Continue Reading
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