Overhauling your life can be a tempting option, especially after the last year and a half of lockdowns. However, it’s not only large changes that can make a difference in your day-to-day. Smaller, more sustainable changes in habit often lead to the biggest changes in lifestyle, as they are easier to stay consistent with and build off of.
Although each of us lead different daily lifestyles, there are common themes of action that have consistently been shown to create a positive impact on a person’s overall wellbeing. Below are some ideas on lifestyle changes that, though they may be small, can have a hugely positive effect.
Don’t check social media first thing in the morning
The temptation to grab our phones and check social media can be irresistible fight when we wake up. Especially if we use our phones as an alarm. However, getting an information overload right when we wake up can sometimes be too much for our brains. It can lead us to getting distracted and wasting time scrolling instead of prioritizing our tasks for the day.
Consider instead taking the morning off social media for as long as possible. Try journaling your thoughts and objectives for the day, make yourself your favourite breakfast or even just head for a morning walk before school or college. If you want to take it one step further, invest in an actual alarm clock instead of having to look at your phone at all.
Consider working in short, timed periods
Whether it’s a bunch of readings you need to get through or an assignment that’s almost due, it can be hard for your brain to stay active and alert for long periods. Allocating your work into short time periods with consistent breaks can help you focus easier and get through your work faster.
The Pomodoro Method recommends working in intervals of 25 minutes, with a 5-minute break between each. Giving yourself these consistent breaks can mean that the standard of your work can also improve as your brain doesn’t lose focus and can stay engaged. It’s important to keep your breaks as a reward to yourself; get up and stretch your legs or even grab a coffee.
Connect with others
It’s not always possible for us to see our families and friends in person these days, which can create feelings of isolation and loneliness. During this time especially, it’s so important to keep in contact with those we care about so that these feelings don’t become overwhelming. Zoom game nights can be a great way to connect with others. If you don’t feel up too much talking and would rather just enjoy watching a movie on Netflix with someone virtually, Teleparty is a Google Chrome extension that lets you do just that. Alternatively, if you and your friend both have Disney+ accounts, you can stream something together straight from the app.
Curate your perfect playlists
We all know the feeling of dread that comes with having to get up for a 9am lecture or a morning work shift – especially if you were up late the night before. Having a positive, mood-boosting playlist is one way to get yourself in gear.
You can also create playlists for just about anything; instrumental music to help you study, upbeat music for going out or coffee shop chill if you’re going on a morning walk. With tasks that you just can’t get the energy to do, a playlist of music you love is great motivation.