Hi friends! I’ve been in a bit of a funk this week, and today’s blog post idea came to me during a walk this morning. I talked all about new habits I’m continuing post-quarantine a few weeks ago, but we haven’t really talked about the not-so-great habits.
And I think it’s safe to say that we all have those, too.
I’m not going to label the points below as “bad” habits, per se, but they’re certainly not good ones that I would like to consciously continue for the long haul. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe that we all deserve some grace while surviving a global pandemic, but I also believe that there comes a point where a simple evaluation of habits might be beneficial.
I haven’t been my optimistic, go-getter self lately, so it was time for me to take a step back and look at some of the good and not-so-good things that I’ve been doing during this time of isolation.
I’m not an expert or any kind of life coach, but I knew I wanted to share this list with you as soon as I started going through it in my head. And I hope those of you who need to hear this today remember to offer yourselves grace during change, too. Nobody is perfect and we all have things to reflect on and reshape!
Here are some of the newer habits I’ve picked up over the past few months that I don’t plan to continue now that I’ve realized them.
Staying up late watching television.
Quarantine has awoken the late-night Heather I knew in my twenties, and I don’t like it. It’s worth noting that Skyler has been on a bit of a sleep strike during quarantine, so his sometimes 9:30 p.m. bedtimes might have something to do with my later bedtimes. Your girl likes her time to herself at night.
That said, by the time I get some adult time, I’m exhausted. My body just wants to sit and be horizontal, and I’ve fallen into a bad habit of getting addicted to Netflix documentaries. Scott and I have watched many series during these months of isolation, and we only sit and watch television together at night once Skyler is asleep. So, it’s easy for me to get tempted to stay up and watch something to spend time with Scott and unwind.
But, I’ve realized that sometimes I just stay up to stay up. And I don’t like that. I’m trying to get Skyler back to bed at an earlier hour (potty training and at least one nightmare wake-up every night has not been helping), and I’m hoping that enables him to get closer to his sleep schedule and me the earlier alone time that turns into an earlier bedtime for all.
Letting an entire year go by without seeing my family.
While I don’t feel like jumping on an airplane any time soon, it recently hit me that it has been over a year since I have visited my family in Florida. Skyler has changed so much, and it makes me sad that a lot of my friends and family miss out on so many of his milestones.
Scott and I have talked about renting or even purchasing a car to go on a few upcoming road trips to see family. Pray for us. Haha!
The point is, outside of dealing with a pandemic that requires staying homebound, we’ve realized that too much time goes by in between visits home, and both Scott and I want to work on that.
Getting caught up in a “tomorrow” mindset.
It’s easy to push something off until the next day when almost every day seems the same day in quarantine, am I right?
I’ve realized that I thrive off of a schedule, and it’s really thrown me through a loop to have a completely blank calendar on our fridge. I decided to move Skyler’s artwork off of it today and plan to start filling it in, even if it’s just with the things I like to do consistently. This can include specific days and times to create blog content, work on my online businesses, and even plan out dinners and workouts ahead of time.
I’ll admit that I’ve been too comfortable with time lately, and more things have fallen into the “tomorrow” category than I’d like. So I’m working on that.
Snacking right before bedtime, just because.
Gosh, this one hit me like a ton of bricks the other night as I grabbed a hefty serving of corn chips and salsa around 11 p.m. and realized that I had done the same thing the previous two nights as well. The kicker? I wasn’t even hungry. I think my urge to snack came out of boredom, and that’s not okay with me.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy something reasonable if you’re hungry, when you’re hungry. My problem has been snacking for literally no reason at all. Sharing a bowl of popcorn with a movie is one thing, but when chips turns into popcorn, chocolate, and whatever you see lying around … it’s time to step in and make a change. The first step is recognizing the problem, so tonight is a firm cut off for me.
Becoming frustrated about things that I can’t control.
This one is not easy for me. I won’t get into all of the details, but let’s just say that this period of recovery has deeply affected Scott and I’s plans for the future. I have good days and bad days with it. Like many of you reading this, we have no idea what life will be like six months from now … including where we will be living (New York City is expensive and is currently lacking the usual trade-off for shows, restaurants, and opportunities), what we will be doing for work, and what our day-to-day routines will look like.
You know that temporary job Scott got hired for over a month ago? That fell through. Instead, he’s been spending his days volunteering with our church and local organizations and food pantries distributing food and supplies to people in need. It’s been an amazing use of his time while I’m home with Skyler, but it hasn’t set us up for financial success, and that’s a hard pill to swallow every time we write a rent check without knowing our future plans.
So, we can harp on what we can’t control, or accept that some things were never in our control in the first place. Instead of getting down about it, I’m choosing what I can control to be what I focus on like spending quality time with Skyler, growing my businesses, and staying on top of my workouts for the mental release and physical conditioning.
We’re all dealing with different challenges and uncertainties right now, and I fully support taking days to just exist when you need to. That said, I personally don’t like continuing this type of thinking for too long, as they can easily become excuses for why anything hasn’t changed for the better.
We’ve handled a lot of hard setbacks that we didn’t see coming over the past four months. We’ve both lost business trips, an inconceivable amount of income, vacations, a family pet, and our sanity some days. This warrants a level of grieving, but, just like other challenges that we’ve faced in the past, there comes a time where you have to get past the excuses and make a plan.
My plan moving forward is to allow myself to have the days I need to unplug and simply survive, but to save most days for productive work and optimistic thinking.
Having a nightly glass of wine.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten into a habit of drinking more wine and cocktails in the last few months than I have in a long time. Skyler has been through a lot of changes during the last three months … and this might have something to do with it, but it shouldn’t.
On top of the daily stresses that have come along with being quarantined in our home, we have gotten rid of his pacifier, we moved him into a toddler bed, and we are in the midst of potty training. We’ve come a long way since March, and that feels good, but it hasn’t come without additional stress, tears (from all parties), and frustrations.
Some days I can’t wait for my glass of wine to relax during or after dinner, and I do feel it’s deserved. But, I realized that I don’t necessarily need a glass of wine as much as I’ve been pouring one during quarantine, so I’m working on it. Am I cutting out adult beverages all together? Absolutely not. But, I’m turning my nightly excuse to pour into more of an every other or every few days type of thing and seeing how it goes.
My intention in cutting out the habits you see above is to feel better and closer to being the best version of myself. Quarantine is a strange time, y’all. It’s easy to get into a funk, but it can also be easy to get out of it if you take a breath from it all and formulate a plan.
I hope this list has helped those who may need to hear about something other than silver linings through this challenging time. It’s natural to spiral into negative thoughts, but instead, I encourage you to take that as an opportunity to look back at some of your habits and reassess.
What are some healthy habits that you’ve picked up during this time?
What are some not-so-healthy habits that you’ve picked up during this time?
What are a few little things you can work on as early as today?
I’d love to hear more about some of the habits you plan on carrying over (or not carrying over) post-quarantine in the comments.
Thank you for reading, be well and talk soon!
Heather, You mentioned that you are not a life coach… Well, I *am* a life coach, and I loved reading your post! You have great self awareness, and you have an ability to step outside of your habits and realize that they are being driven by thoughts that you are having. I like how you recognized that you can’t blame your circumstances for how you are acting, but you can take full ownership for changing things. That’s a very empowering way to live! And, above all, we are all human, and no one is perfect in life. You’re doing a great job.
Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your words, especially coming from your credentials! I should add that blaming your circumstances is hard to get over, and is something that took me YEARS to do. But we’re making the slow climb and just dealing with it all one day at a time. Thanks for your work and stay safe out there!
Man. This is pretty much everything I’m feeling as well. You nailed it. It’s so hard to trust the unknown, even harder to stay motivated through it, and not look at that glass of wine as a pacifier for turning off your brain at night. Hang in there. We’ll get through this!
Hi Tanya! I’m sure you can relate to having things feel like they’re out of your control right now. Such a weird time for all! And yes to the wine — but I’m still saving a few glasses here and there 😉
I have been following your life’s journey FOR YEARS AND YEARS and my heart is going out to you and Scott for what you are enduring this challenging season of your lives. I know without a doubt that you all will come out on top again and THRIVE. All that you were so courageous to open up to all of us about in this post is so admirable. EVERYONE is battling these strange times in all kinds of ways. Never beat yourself up for any of it. The habits that you had during this time, the ones that you will not bring you going forward, THEY NEEDED TO HAPPEN FOR WHATEVER REASONS IN THIS SEASON. They got you through it all.
Long comment just to say I am SO proud of you. In the end you are truly blessed with your beautiful family. Having THAT has always been what is most important to you, so really you have it all!!!!! The rest will certainly fall in to place. I promise you this.
Sending you a huge hug,
Hi Donna! Oh my gosh, you are so sweet. Thank you for the kind words and for your encouragement. We are all struggling with different things right now, I’m sure. I really appreciate your readership and support through this and also throughout the years. Wow! So much truth to what you said. Thank you for sharing! xo
I relate to so much of this post!! I have really appreciated your response to coronavirus and the racial justice movement and have been quite turned off by other bloggers’ responses or lack thereof.
Hi Brynn, thank you for reading! It’s not always comfortable, but I think it’s so important to use a platform like this to share things that aren’t always “fluffy” if you will. I appreciate your support!
write my paper for me
I recently started reading your posts as I’ve began my own blog. There’s always helpful tips and I always learn something from every post. So, I just wanted to start by thanking YOU for this post and I look forward to reading future posts.