You’ve made mashed spuds before, right? Next time you prepare to smash the boiled potato, think how effortlessly it happens. Your movements around the kitchen, as you open the fridge and grab the butter and milk from the shelf, then turn back, slightly lifting your leg to nudge the refrigerator closed as you return to the counter.
Stick with me, this is leading somewhere.
You barely think about what you’re doing, the scenario is nearly an out-of-body experience. What about when you walk out the door of a morning and slide into your Jaguar (Mm okay, Corolla), isn’t it true that sometimes you don’t even remember sections of the drive to your destination?
That is the Power of Habit – being comfortable and at ease in the everyday. And we don’t just have a few habits, each of us has hundreds, to make life easy.
Humans are creatures of habit, beautiful creatures, with habitual needs and these habits help us through our day.
But what if our habits or routines are interrupted and we can no longer work on autopilot? Can we become comfortable with the uncomfortable?
When habits are broken this can bring a strong sense of unease or anxiety for many people.
Feeling stressed is an experience that you may likely feel when it comes to managing your family’s needs in relation to COVID-19, so here are some thoughts on reducing anxiety and forming good habits.
1. Firstly, avoid watching, reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information to take practical steps to protect yourself and loved ones.
2. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, just once or twice. The constant stream of news reports about the pandemic can cause anyone to feel worried.
3. Get the facts. Gather information from reputable websites like World Health Organisation (WHO) and local health authorities’ platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours. Ps Facebook is NOT reputable!
4. Protect yourself and family but also be supportive to others. Assist elders and other community members in their time of need. This can benefit the person receiving support as well as yourself in managing anxiety.
5. Employ helpful coping strategies by getting enough rest, eating healthy food regularly, exercising daily whether in nature or at home and stay in contact with family and friends including through digital methods. Even using strategies, you have used in the past to manage anxiety can benefit you now.
6. Maintain familiar routines and habits around the home and in daily life as much as possible. Even more so if you have children.
7. Children mimic adults’ behaviours and emotions for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times, so by getting ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable’, you can ease your children’s worries and behaviours.
8. Acknowledge your feelings. This could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative, or practising meditation.
Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable and forming new habits means breaking free from the status quo. In today’s world, you can’t run away from change because, ironically, to live fully is to step into the unknown.
Martin Luther King Jr hit the nail on the head when he said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”