5 Tips to Break Out of Your COVID-Potato Habits
Have you acquired some bad habits? Turn over a new leaf this spring and refresh your current lifestyle.
Sunlight has begun to noticeably grow longer throughout the day and the morning nip in the air might be starting to fade away. Spring is in the air and you might be feeling that you want to refresh your current lifestyle and break out of some bad habits that you have acquired during COVID.
You may be one of the many people, who have indulged yourself, in some of the not-so-healthy stay-at-home COVID-potato habits. Have you found yourself puttering around the house most days in your jogger pants, but not actually doing any jogging? Noticed your screen time has increased significantly? Grabbing for those not-so-healthy drinks or takeout meals more often?
Here are a few tips to help you break from your COVID habits and turn over a new spring leaf.
Tip 1 - Identify Your Triggers
As you go about your day, try and make mental notes, or better yet, write down what your daily patterns are. You may or may not be surprised what you discover about yourself.
Do you tend to put off your shower till later in the day, which causes you to hang out in your pj’s all morning? Whenever you grab your lunch, do you always think of your smart phone to grab and scroll through it the entire time your eating?
Seeing certain items or performing certain tasks could be a trigger that leads to something else. Taking an early shower could be a good trigger to start your day off on the right foot. Or seeing your phone on the table as you sit down to eat, could be a bad trigger that causes you to grab it and be unable to take your eyes off of it.
Identifying your daily behaviors will be the first step in helping yourself to alter your habits.
Tip 2 - Create Motivation
Have you ever told yourself that you will start anew tomorrow on a goal only find the next day end up being just like the day before? To change your behavior, sometimes you need a little more motivation than just a good intended thought.
Here are some strategies to get you motivated and help keep it.
- Treat your goals like a business plan. Mark up a calendar, printed or digital, with all the goals or lifestyle changes you want to make and post it where you will be forced to see it. Make yourself check it off everyday. You could also do this in a bullet format.
- Create a vision board. Put together a collage of images that inspire or reflect the new lifestyle changes you want to make. It could be an array of images of people engaged in exercise, inspirational quotes, healthy food platters, etc. Post it where you will see the board every day to inspire you, like on your desktop background.
- Tell a friend about your goals. One of the best motivations is to tell a friend about your goals and ask them to check in on you every now and then. It’s easier to incentivize yourself to fulfill something, if you know your friend may call you that day asking an account of your goals.
Tip 3 - Replace Triggers or Make New Patterns
Try replacing your triggers that could lead to a bad habit or create new patterns that will lead to a good habit.
Leggings, joggers, no pants, oh my!
- Are you always throwing on your stretchy clothes and then finding yourself feeling like you just want to lounge around all day? Pre-plan your outfit the night before and lay it out. Choose an outfit that reflects what you want to accomplish or how you want to feel the next day. Dress for success!
Excessive screen time.
- Is your phone the first thing you grab in the morning before you get out of bed? Place it away from the bed, so you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm. Or purchase a simple alarm clock and store your phone in another room before going to bed.
- Do you use social media or TV shows as a relaxing recreation during meal time? Try replacing it with an audio book or podcast.
Bad eating or drinking habits.
- Have you noticed your bin is full of more glass and aluminum cans, of unhealthy drinks, than you would like to admit? Replace your drinks with an alternative such as unsweetened sparkling water or coconut water. Also you could start a new activity and make a batch of your own kombucha or kefir water.
- Were you part of the bread baking craze and now your meals consist mostly of sugar and carbs? Pre-planning is key, so that you don’t just grab the unhealthy convenient option. Make multiple healthy meals beforehand or have all the fixins stacked in the fridge together, so that they are convenient to grab right when you get hungry.
- When you grab your afternoon snack, are you eating half of the box? Do not take the package with you when you go and sit down. Put a reasonable amount in a small bowl and put the package back in the back of the cupboard. Doing will be easier for your munchies willpower.
Exorbitant online shopping.
- Have you become acquainted with all of your package delivery drivers by their first name? Challenge yourself and let your Prime membership run out. You can still get free shipping without Prime, on many items, if you spend more than $25.00.
- Have you been spending more time engaging in online shopping than breathing the fresh air outside? Look up some local small business that you have never been to and plan a shopping date. Invite a friend to join you and make it a coffee small business shopping date.
Rare outside exposure.
- Are you working from home and rarely get out and expose yourself to the sunshine? Designate a time in your day to take a short walk around your neighborhood. When you grab your lunch, take it outside to eat on your porch. Is it too cold outside still? Move your work station or eating station right next to a window with good sunlight exposure and open the blinds wide and give that window a good cleaning.
Slacked in your exercising.
- Has it been a while since you have broken a sweat and raised your heartbeat? First thing in the morning, put on your best exercise outfit with the anticipation that you are going to exercise. And I mean the most serious exercise outfit you have. Such as an 80’s jogging suit, leg warmers, a muscle tee that says “Do it or Lose it,” or a head sweatband. If this idea does not work for you, go to tip #4.
Tip 4 - Plan a Reward System
Knowing you will reward yourself after you have accomplished one of your goals is a great motivator for success. For example; if you perform one online workout video or take a jog around your neighborhood, only after these tasks, do you get to watch that next episode or spend a certain amount of time playing video games. But don’t outdo yourself with too many ambitious goals and rewards that you become overwhelmed to the point of giving up.
Tip 5 - Do Something for Someone Else.
Setting your mind on helping another person may help you break up or switch around your own current lifestyle or mindset. It could be something simple like offering to make someone dinner or offering to mow your neighbor’s lawn. Doing something for someone else switches up your normal daily schedule. It is easier to motivate yourself, if you know other people are expecting a result.
You could also take this tip and go long-term with it such as making it part of your weekly schedule. Have you ever thought about volunteering at a local soup kitchen or food bank? Or volunteering as a dog walker for an animal shelter? What a great way to start off the new spring season and turn over a new leaf by giving some of your time to help others.