Hello guys! 😀 A couple of moths ago, I read the quote “your daily habits define who you are” under an Instagram picture, it opened my eyes and I realised that I needed to change something about myself. Talking about a daily routine, while being sick and mostly house bound, is hard and almost unbelievable, but it´s manageable. A couple of months ago, I was “living” my life, without having any routine or purpose. I woke up, ate crap, felt crap, was lying on the couch the entire day and distracted myself with the TV or the Internet, completely disconnecting from my body and reality. I was constantly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook pictures, admiring the life of others, while hating my own. Seeing people grow, having fun, traveling and living their life is very hard, while being chronically ill. Comparing my life and myself to others just made me feel bad, depressed and more sick. I knew that I had to change something! The turning point in this journey was Toby Morrison´s online program, from CFS Health Center. I don´t want to go deep into that topic, but everyone who suffers from Chronic Fatigue syndrome or a similar chronic illness, go check out his homepage: http://www.cfshealth.com/. His entire program gave me hope that recovery is possible, as Toby himself suffered from CFS for years and is now 100% recovered. The main step of this program, is to build a daily routine and baseline, to find your way back into a “normal” life again. It helped me a lot to realise, that I can still do certain things to get myself back on track. His guidelines helped me a lot to motivate me and do the best I can with what I have. However, it´s very important to know that the entire work is up to yourself. Change is not easy and as soon as we get kicked out of our comfort zone, we tend to get scared. Nevertheless, we absolutely need to change in order to get healthy again!! That´s the same point with developing new habits. We have to step out of our comfort zone, to grow and change. Most people tend to exaggerate in those moments. Everyone knows this moment when they feel like “ok this is the day I will change some things in my life”. Just one advice, don´t try to change too many things at the same time, because you´ll certainly get overwhelmed! Focus on one single thing. Start very small! What do you want to change? What do you want to incorporate into your daily routine? For me it was yoga, meditation and writing a diary. However, I did it step by step. I started with 5 minutes of meditation per day and now, I´m trying to meditate 20 – 30 minutes daily. The other activities followed over the time. This doesn´t mean that you have to do the same. Simply choose something that makes you feel good! As I struggled a lot with sticking to certain habits at the beginning, I summarized some advises for you, which helped me to stick to my habits:
- Choose one habit and focus on that one for one month.
- Choose a habit that is easy and realistic.
- Choose a habit that is measurable (such as, 5 minutes of meditation daily).
- Make a plan! List your habit on a calendar (start with 1 month) and tick your activity off your timetable as you finished it.
- Don´t get angry with yourself if you don´t stick to it, see it as learning experience. Try again tomorrow.
- Try to train your mind, and visualize. Focus on the things that would go right instead of what can go wrong. Visualize how you´ll feel after you accomplished your activity/ task.
- Don´t do too many things at the same time. Set your priorities. What is your goal?
- Look for a role model. Search for people who model the habits you want to stick to. Try to learn from them.
- Know the benefits of your habits. Personally, I wrote down the benefits of meditation and yoga and read through them before I do my exercises. It motivates and encourages me to stick to them.
- I find it easier to do the activity first thing in the morning. Hence, I have no excuses in the afternoon and I feel refreshed and ready for the day.
In a nutshell, choose something that you enjoy, that is doable, but also has a bit of discomfort. Personal growth begins the moment you step outside your comfort zone! Creating new good habits will help you build a structured routine and certainly let you feel and be more productive. Good luck! 😀