Part 2: With less built-in structure to our days, one of the hardest habits for the self employed or work-at-home professionals is healthy habits, or productive self-care. This article is about healthy habits: finding your “why,” what some healthy habits are to consider, and practical strategies for making it happen…. whichever habit you start with.
ZeroCater provided me with this infographic, pictured here, which is the stepping off point for this article. It really caused me to think about my work-at-home/self employed clients, what they wrestle with and have solved in our work together as we discuss self-care. And I’ve got a few other articles for your reference as added perspectives. [I have not worked with ZeroCater; I think you’ll really enjoy their perspective in the Infographic and that should ideally tell you something about a company’s philosophy about how they do business.]
Part 1 if you missed it is here and covered: Healthy Habits: What We Wrestle with in Our Home Offices; As Simon Sinek Says, What is Your “Why” for Healthy Habits; and What Can We Do: Start with Easy. Continuing on ….
Start by Sandwiching Healthy Habits
If you are already doing any of these healthy habits, then “sandwiching” a new one with the current one can work well. Instead of remembering to: drink your water AND get up and walk around, set your timer and do both when it goes off. Sandwich means the two habits are all together, kind of in a sandwich together. It’s easier to remember to do both as a routine rather than two as separate habits. Grouping like with like, sort of like with organizing our Things.
Start with the Biggest Frustration/Biggest Impact
Sleep is usually a foundational habit which, once improved, affects all other areas. It is, though, one of the toughest to start with, so consider that. Here’s how to figure out where your sleep habit is breaking down.
- What are you doing in the last hour before you go to bed to sleep? Is that keeping you awake or is it helping you to wind down. If it’s revving up your mind, then move the habit to earlier in the day or evening; don’t end your evening with it.
- Are you using any technology within 2 hours of when you’re trying to get to sleep? Research proves brain chemicals wake up with all the light and speed of what’s happening on the screen. Do this earlier in the evening or shut it down at the end of your workday completely if necessary.
- Are you reading email at night? Pay attention to whether that gets your brain moving faster instead of slower. Or if an email sets you off emotionally. If so, set a time by when email goes off. Move the app to a different screen; shut off the pc entirely, etc. Small ways to simply make you stop and pause before you automatically go there.
- Do you have too much to do – chores, etc. – at night? Look at the list as individual puzzle pieces. Which can be moved to the prior weekend, prior evening, into the morning, or to someone else to handle, whether it is the whole task or parts of it?
- Figure out a calming, wind down routine which starts at least an hour before you intend to go to bed and follow it. Use reminders, a timer, tracking in Google Keep or your calendar, or visible post-it notes around the house to help instill the habit.
Stretching, hydration, eating well, healthy snacks to keep you going, keep moving …. Where are you starting?
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And do take a look around my Pinterest Boards. I curate on several topics and I’d love to have you there, too, if you’re not already. [But of course, not within an hour of when you want to sleep, right?]