Easy Does It
Not many of us have the time or money to attend a spa weekend. But we can still find our inner peace one piece at a time.
That's what a practice called habit stacking is about — building a healthier lifestyle by incrementally adding positive habits to your daily routine. If the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown you out of step, habit stacking might help you regain your rhythm with modest, stress-busting practices.
Look for opportunities throughout your day to slip in some serenity. For instance, every time you go to your mailbox, you could make it a point to pause, take in the sights around you and slowly breathe in the outside air.
Here are some other ideas for stacking habits to relax and inspire you:
|When you …||Try this …|
|Wash up in the morning||Smile at yourself in the mirror. Add in positive self-talk, focusing on your personal strengths and how you'll best address the day's challenges.|
|Eat breakfast||Savor the first mouthful of food. Chew slowly and note the food's temperature, taste and texture. Later, take time to smell (and swish) the coffee (or tea), too!|
|Check your daily schedule||Write down something or someone you're grateful for — and why. Then get in the habit of expressing your gratitude to that person.|
|Get behind the wheel of your car||After you put on your seat belt, take several slow, deep breaths before you start the car, and again when you arrive at your destination.|
|Prepare for a meeting||Roll your shoulders to release stress. Add in some neck and then some hand stretches.|
|End a meeting||List the three most important things you have to do next, personally or professionally.|
|Finish dinner||Take a moment to pet a dog or cat or hug a loved one. Then connect with a friend or family member online.|
|Go to bed||Tuck your phone away at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Read a book or magazine, then pray or meditate for relaxation.|