5 Habits I use to Stay Balanced (Under Quarantine.)
It’s crazy to think what’s happening. We are actually living the theme of almost every science fiction book about political powers being tested as the world battles to survive an outbreak. In real time, it’s not a fiction book, and the entire planet is at a stand still, while a world that is mostly divided by politics and religion, must now work together to stop the spread of a virus that has already taken more than 10,000 lives.
We’re all feeling it. Everybody is experiencing the same thing right now. The economy is standing on a bubble and we won’t know anything until this pandemic is over.
We’re not working. We all have loads of extra time on our hands all of sudden. But there are rules in place. We must keep a social distance from each other. We’re asked to stay home, and to avoid traveling as much as possible.
Are nerves are wined up. We have no idea when this will end. There is a sense of of uncertainty about so many things, including our own health, that you can’t help but feel underwhelmed and unbalanced.
Now you think about how you could settle your nerves and what could feel good right now— sleeping in, eating sugar, gaming, watching everything possible on Netflixes that you haven’t seen yet. I’m sure more of us than most are doing that right now.
Another option to stay balanced is to build a new habit. One that, would greatly benefit your life. Habits are hard to create and master. All mastery is achieved in solitude — which are all experiencing right now. In outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Maybe and hopefully it won’t come to 10,000 hours. However, in the mean time, here are 5 habits I am currently working daily through that you can start learning today.
Build a morning routine. I know the first thing you’re thinking. You wake up at 6 am everyday to go to work, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year, for the last ten years. Fuck that. You’re sleeping in. I get your logic. You have every right to sleep in. But hear me out.
Think about a typical day for an average 8-4 worker; wakes up just in time to not be late. Thinking about napping during the day. Thinking about dinner at 2 pm. Gym after work. Watch tv till 2 am. Barely get any sleep in. Repeat. Is that you? Doesn’t matter. Think about the average successful entrepreneur: wakes up 5 am, workouts, meditates, sets goals and journals. Money in the bank. Living with purpose. Never a dull moment. Is that you?
There will never be (said with a grain of salt) this kind of opportunity to start a morning routine made easier for you than right now with this time you have. Build it into your wring until it becomes part of you. When you go back to work, watch how your day unfolds.
Learn to train your body just using body weight (and stretch).This is not just a call out to all individuals living that fitness life, this is for everybody on this planet that seeks vitality and longevity. This is great opportunity to not only change it up, but start to train your brain differently. Have you ever wondered how many pushups you can actually do? How about if you did your maximum rep count everyday… Do you think you would get stronger? I’m finding out every morning. Instead of bar squats and leg presses, start working on pistols instead (1-leg squats) and not only build unbelievable strength in almost every area of your body, including core, ankles, and knees, you are increasing your bodies movement capabilities. Do the research and choose a few beginning movements as warmups and start moving into more challenging exercises. Make sure to include warm-ups, cool-downs and deep isolating and active stretches.
Starting read daily. But do it the right way. Pick a subject (or a person) you would love to learn more about. A few examples: maybe a business you’re interested in starting but you told yourself you never had the time. Now you do. Read about any entrepreneurs or influencers or historians that has done what you think about doing. Find a book that you connect with it on the topic. Something that inspires you. Read the book once. Twice. Feed your brain. Develop a habit of reading daily. Research has shown that reading daily increases empathy, learning and memory, creativity, ambition and productivity. All character traits that rise above ego.
Learn to cook. We’re all scrounging shelves for whatever is left of alphabet soup and pork and beans. Has it come to this yet? This doesn’t have to be boring. Learn to make a few of the basics. Most people I know are more about meal planning for the week these days than trying new ideas in the kitchen because of time. Their life is geared around a busy work and social life schedule that we all forgot what the enjoyment of cooking delicious food does for our creative minds and palettes. Learn to cook pasta, make a poached egg, bake a cake, make homemade pizza and meatballs. Watch a few episodes of Masterchef. Get some ideas.
Practise Mediation. This fits into the morning routine as well, but I have to give this practise it’s own spot. I have recently let go of this practise. But since being home bound, I’ve once again added it into my daily rituals. It’s life changing. There’s nothing more to say. The power of mediating is learning to build self-control. You are teaching yourself to control your thoughts and create a skill of mindfulness and deep concentration. This is where all internally healing begins. I meditate every morning when I wake up for 10 minutes after my breathing exercises and again in the evening. It takes time to make it into a skill. But it’s worth the effort.