Being quarantined at my house with my husband and kids for the last 2 weeks and practicing social distancing has been a lesson in daily habits for me. You are the habits you do daily. They’re either building you up or tearing you down. These 10 habits, Rachel Hollis’s 5 to Thrive and an additional 5 habits have been helping my mental health and giving me some positive structure to my days.
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Why Positive Habits Matter
Our daily habits are what make up a huge chunk of our day. According to studies our habits make up roughly 45% of our days. Those habits can either be serving you and building you up or they be detrimental and they can be tearing you down.
Every day you are building habits, whether you know it or not. Charles Duhigg writes in The Power of Habit that habits are basically made up of 3 individual components.
First comes the cue which is something that triggers that habit. During a time such as this the cue could be feeling stressed or out of control.
Next comes the habit or routine. This is what you have trained yourself to habitually respond with when that cue surfaces. Maybe your habit during times of stress might be to eat junk food or to have a drink.
Then comes the reward. This is the positive association with the habit that tells your body subconsciously to repeat this habit again in the future.
So a negative habit during times of stress may look something like this:
- Cue- Feelings of stress or being out of control with what’s going on in the world
- Habit- Eat junk food to cope
- Reward- Feel better while you’re eating
The trick is to take these negative habits that we all have and try to hack them. Instead of building a negative habit that you know isn’t going to serve you long term, try building a positive habit that will serve you for years to come even when this super difficult time has passed.
A new positive habit pattern might look something like this:
- Cue- Feelings of stress or being out of control with what’s going on in the world
- Habit- Recognize it’s out of your control. Control what you can and go outside for a walk
- Reward- Feel better as the sunshine is hitting your face, connect with nature
Whether we realize it or not we are building habits all day every single day. Let’s focus on making those habits ones that will serve us for years to come.
The first 5 Habits: What is 5 to THRIVE?
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of both Rachel and Dave Hollis. Girl Wash Your Face and Girl Stop Apologizing have been life changing for me and I have learned so many positive things to incorporate into my daily life.
I have followed Rachel’s 5 to Thrive list of the the 5 habits she practices daily to be her best self for yeaaars. Each year she hosts a Last 90 Days challenge to end the year with the same good intentions that you usually start a New Year with.
With everything going on with coronavirus and with people being quarantined at home Rachel and Dave will be hosting a free Next 90 Days Challenge to help keep all of us stuck at home on track with healthy habits
Join me and millions of others as we stick to the principles in the 5 to Thrive to build healthy habits and use this time of social distancing and quarantine to rise and become the best versions of ourselves.
#Next90Challenge starts Monday, March 30th, 2020.
5 to Thrive
1- Wake up an hour earlier than you normally would and use that time for yourself
We have all used the excuse “But I don’t have enough time” Now during social distancing and self quarantine we are all stuck with an abundance of time. But things can still get tricky with parents working from home, kids out of school and off routine and just the general chaos of so many people all trapped in one house.
Wake up one hour earlier every day to get a jump start on your day and use that hour strictly dedicated to you. Read a book. Workout. Work on your hobby. Read your Bible. Just devote that time to yourself. Especially now in the chaos of everything you need some time to yourself every single day.
2- Move your body for 30 minutes every day
As Rachel Hollis says often “Move your body, change your mind” Exercise gets your endorphins pumping and releases all kinds of feel good into your body. It is a huge stress reliever and during what is arguably one of the most stressful times in all of our lives we need mood boosters now more than ever. Move your body in any way you can with what you have every single day.
3- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
I would say that the majority of us aren’t drinking anywhere near the amount of water we should be every single day. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water every single day for your body to function optimally. It helps with flushing the toxins, with your skin, with your mood and with overall hydration. I have seen so many positive benefits from upping my water intake every day.
Simple math, if you weigh 100lbs you should be drinking 50 ounces of water every day.
4- Give up one category of food you know you shouldn’t be eating
The quarantine snacking is real y’all. If I’m not careful I end up every day standing in front of the pantry eating all my feelings. Especially during this time of stress it’s important to fuel your body with real, whole foods and not junk. Pick one food you know you shouldn’t be eating and give it up for 30 days.
5- Write down 10 things you’re grateful for every single day
A daily gratitude practice makes such a difference on your outlook for the day every day. Instead of waking up every morning and checking the news immediately, wake up and write down 10 things you are grateful for right now. If you’re looking for things to write down every day that you’re grateful for it can really open your eyes up to the simple things in life to be grateful for, especially in this time of crisis.
I have started my day every single day for the last nearly 2 years with a gratitude practice in my Start Today journal. It helps me to focus and set my intentions for the day each day and really helps set the tone for my day.
My new 5 habits
I have been practicing my 5 to Thrive habits for nearly two years now. Lately I have been keeping track of those habits in my daily planner.
Especially in times of crisis and chaos I think it is so important to fall back on healthy habits like gratitude and taking care of your body rather than falling back on bad habits like eating or drinking to numb the stress.
In the last few weeks I have added a few extra habits into my daily routine that have made a world of difference in my mental health.
These are all things that I already did almost every day pre-social distancing. But now I am making them a focus in my day. These are just nice to-do’s these are must-do’s for me.
I know that these 5 habits make a difference in my day every day and I hope they are helpful for you too.
5 TO achieve during quarantine
1- Get at least 15 minutes of fresh air every day
It would amaze you how much getting out in nature and fresh air every day can improve your mood. Just taking in God’s creation and breathing fresh air into your lungs is such a game changer in my day.
My kids and I have been taking a daily walk just to get outside, stretch our legs and break up the monotony of being inside. If it’s raining or too cold I’d suggest just standing on your porch for 15 minutes or poke your head out the window. Whatever you have to do to get that outside time in.
2- Do one thing creative/just for fun every day
It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen a status symbol.Brené Brown
You might be tempted to use this time at home to do.all.the.things. Clean out the garage, get ahead on that project for work, make sure your house is sparkling. While I don’t think these things are bad they shouldn’t be all that you do.
You might also be tempted to fall down a worry-hole and binge news all day long and make yourself more and more anxious.
Make space every single day for something that is creative or just for fun. Something that serves no other purpose that you just enjoy doing it. You’re not “accomplishing” anything. You’re not doing it to make money or to earn someone else’s approval.
3- Fill your mind with something good every day
Your mind becomes what you feed it . If I’m feeding my mind a steady stream of news, other people’s negative opinions and grim outlooks then I find myself riddled with crippling anxiety by the end of the day.
By contrast if I feel my mind with good, uplifting, pure things then I find myself reflecting that same energy back into the world. Make it a focus to consume every single day that fills your mind with positivity and light and helps you grow.
It could be a podcast, book, or music but just make sure you’re pumping your brain full of positivity every day.
4- Get at least 7 hours of sleep every day
When you are lacking in sleep you are much more likely to be anxious, irritable and moody. It’s hard enough to deal with a situation that none of us have ever been faced with before. Don’t make it harder on yourself
Studies have shown that getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night has a huge impact on your mental health. Focus on building good sleep habits and going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day.
The affect of a good night’s sleep on our mental health should not be overrated.
5- Read your Bible every day
When I can feel all the worry, doubt and stress of this current situation creeping in to my heart I know that I’m spending more time worrying and less time digging in to the Word.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
I know that fear is not of the Lord. Worry is not of the Lord. Anxiety is not of the Lord.
When I can feel all of those feelings suffocating me during this uncertain time I turn back to what I know to be certain. God is sovereign over all. He is in control, not me.
Quick tip: YouVersion has many Bible reading plans available to make opening the Bible and even knowing where to begin very easy and accessible. It’s 100% free.
There are many plans that speak to what the Bible has to say about worry and anxiety. This is the plan I am currently reading it is helping me so much.