In my last post I set out my twelve anchors which are practices I incorporate into my day to keep me grounded, feel safe and secure. I used the analogy of a boat anchor holding it in place. Our anchors are much the same for us. They give us something to hold onto when we feel overwhelmed, which many of us do at present. They provide the structure to my day. However, they aren’t my only coping mechanisms. Intertwined with these are feel good habits which help me to remain positive. These actions see me through day to day life and help me to maintain a positive outlook. Much like a cake sponge and filling, my anchors and feel good habits go hand in hand. It’s important to note though that there are times when I might not feel so positive but these feel good habits are great at getting me back on track, by encouraging positive change and happiness. Again, my intention isn’t to preach or patronise, I’m just sharing what works for me. Other things may work for you.
My twelve feel good habits
A daily reminder to myself
Making my bed every day – This may sound insignificant and I might not get round to making it until lunchtime but it’s a small win. It means that my bedroom is tidy and there’s nothing quite like getting into a neat bed at night. It contributes to my bedroom being a place to retreat to, a serene space to relax in.
No technology in the bedroom – Our whole household leave their phones downstairs to charge overnight so that we aren’t tempted to use them when we should be sleeping. I know I’d probably be scrolling through social media or doing some online shopping otherwise! We’ve never had a TV in our bedroom either. It’s quite widely known now that technology in the bedroom has a detrimental effect on how quickly we fall asleep and the quality of our sleep. There isn’t really anything that can’t wait until the morning (with a few exceptions).
Eating good food, made mostly from scratch – Cooking isn’t normally one of my loves, especially when it seems like no one wants to eat the same meals, the chef receives complaints and there isn’t much appreciation! But over the last couple of months I’ve started using some cookbooks to create family meals each week and most have been quick and simple to do. Each week I plan what meals I’m going to cook each day for the following week and then I organise my food shopping accordingly. My plan generally includes about four from cook books, plus a roast on Sundays, leaving room for a quick meal or perhaps a take away. I’ve actually started to enjoy cooking again. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about to be awarded a Michelin star but I’m receiving lots of appreciation from the Meir household!
Drinking lots of water – I have a water bottle on the go all day (and night) which gets refilled several time. I notice if I haven’t been drinking enough as I start to feel tired, get brain fog, feel irritable etc.
Flowers – I love flowers. Whether it’s a £1 bunch of daffs or a bigger bouquet I’ve always got some on the go. Flowers add colour and have the ability to lift my mood. There’s something about bringing the outside in which I love and at the moment it’s a glimmer of hope that spring is round the corner.
Listening to music – I’ve grown up with lots of music playing at home and love to listen to the radio or Spotify. It’s probably a form of escapism and I’ll often choose certain types of music to transport me somewhere i.e. a beach bar on holiday, my time at uni or my childhood family home. Love it! I really should dance more though! The kitchen discos need to happen on a regular basis!
Seeing myself as a learner – I know I can always learn something from every situation. I never profess to know everything (because I don’t) and try not to dismiss something just because I don’t agree with it or think I might know better. There is always something to gain in every situation. Sometimes this means that I have to reflect on something that has happened rather than learning as something is happening. An this can sometimes be difficult but it always comes good in the end.
Planning my TV viewing – We don’t watch too much TV and haven’t had Netflix for that long but I’ve found during the lockdowns (especially the one we are in at the moment) that if we plan to watch films or box sets during some of the evenings it’s a lovely thing to look forward to at the end of the day. We’ve got lots of catching up to do though!
Avoid watching/listening to lots of news – Since the pandemic started I limit how much news I’m exposed to. I’m not ignoring what’s going on. I do watch what I need to and check the government website from time to time but that’s it. Any more and I sometimes feel a sense of panic rising within me.
Observing my own feelings – I’m getting better at recognising how I’m feeling and dealing with it accordingly. Talking really helps and means that I generally don’t stay in a bad mood for long (obviously there are exceptions to this but it’s helped to become more self aware).
Staying clear of negative people – I’m forever trying to work on this and it certainly helps me to be surrounded by positive likeminded people. I use the analogy of radiators and drains and I like to be around radiators. They are warm, kind and encouraging compared to drains who tend to be negative, unsupportive and sometimes unkind. I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to stay away from the drains or limit my time with them and my life is better for it. I’m also working on not worrying what others think of me. I love the following quote and remind myself of it when I need to, “What others think about you is none of your business”. There is a sense of freedom which comes with that.
Engaging my brain – I like to learn about new things and be open to what’s happening around me. It could be simply reading an article of interest, reading a book or enrolling on an online course.
So these are my main feel good habits to help stay positive during these lockdowns. But to be honest, they are either actions I’ve done for years or new actions I’ve acquired that I will keep doing once the pandemic subsides. It’s all work in progress but as a family we really try to celebrate the small wins, the tiny positive changes and successes.
And finally… My parting comment is “Wear your best clothes, eat the cake (in moderation), drink the good wine (again in moderation) and continue dreaming about what you want to do in the future. It’s what keeps us all going!“
I’d love to know if anything resonates with you and if there are actions you do which help you to cope.
Until next time,