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The habits and rituals we develop inevitably set the tone for our daily routines. But since the pandemic, life has been anything but routine. And it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative, given the rollercoaster ride we have been on since March 2020. A colleague of mine shared this New York Times article with my team last week and it really struck a chord with me. It names that blah that we’ve all been feeling: languishing (ie. the feelings of joylessness and aimlessness). It’s a must-read and sheds light on the symptoms that we all have in common.
Around this time last year, I asked some successful women to pause and reflect on their lives in light of the pandemic, their answers were heartwarming and poignant, each sharing how they find joy in these unprecedented times. So given we find ourselves in yet another lockdown, I thought I’d channel my energy towards focusing on the positives and share the three things that I’ve been doing to find my ‘flow’ and my antidotes to this languishing we’ve been doing:
#1 – Carving time out in the morning just for me
Now that my commute from ‘home’ to ‘office’ is 15 steps (20 steps if I take the long way), my morning routine has drastically changed. And it’s incredible the time gained without needing to commute to and from the office each day. Breakfast isn’t as rushed and my husband and I enjoy our morning coffees together. After dropping the boys off at daycare in the morning, I’ll dedicate some time to myself before starting my work day. It might be listening to a podcast (I’m loving business and productivity ones at the moment), or really taking my time with my skincare regime, or doing some light exercise and stretches before logging on for the day. These are simple ideas but they’re a treat as the experiences are just for you.
#2 – Setting (and achieving) small goals
I’ve been setting small but achievable goals at home and it’s been rewarding to celebrate all those little wins. Again, these are simple goals like heading out for a half hour walk after lunch, publishing a blog post that’s been in draft for a few days or trying out a new recipe. The NYT article talks about how setting small and ‘just-manageable’ difficulties clears the path to finding ‘flow’ as it stretches our skills and heightens our resolve. So whether that means carving out some time in your day to focus on something that matters to you – an interesting project, a meaningful goal – in turn inching your way towards getting back that pre-pandemic energy and happiness.
#3 – Putting devices aside for the evening
I think we’ve all fallen victim to ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’ where we stay up late at night to reclaim the freedom that we’ve missed during the day. I’ve done this more times that I can count, just (doom)scrolling through my Instagram feed or refreshing the news, searching for something to capture my attention for more than a few seconds. I’m now putting parameters in place to put my phone away for the night from 10pm and to go to bed at a decent hour. This is proving to be really challenging as old habits die hard, but it’s my way of taking control back.
Did the New York Times article strike a chord with you? Have you been finding ways to combat languishing?
I’d love to hear how you’re all doing and the things that you’re doing to stay positive.
As always, thanks again for stopping by.
P.S. My current WFH routine (and how I’m finding motivation) and the four items from your wardrobe that you should purge before returning to the office.