Picked up a few bad habits during quarantine? Yeah, us too.
But there’s no better time than the present to break them.
Let’s start with how you probably ended up with them: as a method of fighting the quarantine feels, with despair and boredom at the top of the list.
Habits follow a sequence: trigger, routine, and reward. The trigger is the stimulus, the routine is the actual doing of the bad habit, and reward is benefit of the habit and associated release of the dopamine. As that sequence gets repeated, it becomes automatic and thus, a habit.
The best way to break a pattern is to do something unexpected. When you’re getting the feels, try reaching out to a friend, write down your thoughts, or “fight back” the negative energy with a fun activity like a 1-person dance party. Breaking a pattern in its tracks is the first step in retaking control.
Another way to break unwanted patterns is to create new, wanted ones. Switch out to an all-natural skincare routine, make one nutritious meal daily, or try an online fitness class. These will reinforce feelings of control while also enabling healthier habits.
Most importantly: be patient with yourself. Times are stressful. Start small, track your progress, and celebrate your wins.