One of the most intimidating things about recovery is all the empty space and time that was once filled by your disordered behaviours or preoccupations. Thanks to a couple great books and podcasts, regular therapy, good friends and medication I have found a few tips to creating a new happier healthier lifestyle. There are many small things that have been making this year feel more solid and secure than before, here I have picked out my favourite four methods to share with you...
#1 Ritualize Daily Tasks
I can't say how much this small tip can make a difference on everything from showering to getting ready for bed or setting a time for reading. This year I've gotten into the ritual of setting up my room for after I shower at night. After tidying up I light an incense and a few essential oil candles, I turn on my heated blanket and my salt lamp (I love the glowing flame colour) and finally set out whatever comfy clothes I'm spending the night in. There is such a sweet and poignant feeling of self-love and compassion when you open the door and see everything carefully placed and arranged to give the most welcoming and serene atmosphere possible. A ritual by you for you, an indulgence that only takes a few minutes is certainly worth the effort!
#2 Declutter Your Space Beforehand
So many times I start on an assignment or project, even just checking emails, and within only a few minutes I feel the need to take a break from the stress. It's taken me a while to pin-point what is causing this very distracting temptation to leave my work and although I am sure there are many factors, one thing I can say without hesitation is cleaning up my workspace and setting up my supplies really sets the tone; "it's time to stop playing around and do work." Try it out, before you start working (or drawing, reading, writing, etc.) step back and take a couple minutes to set yourself up for success. You'll probably be surprised how much an orderly workplace helps when tackling any task!
3. Treat yourself every "weekend"
In a 2017 poll, 76% of American adults reported severe Sunday Night Blues; a condition marked by anxiety, dread and depression on the last day of the weekend. There are a lot of possible tips to combat this sinking feeling of hopelessness and despair. My suggestion is to give yourself a "spa day" on the last day off in your week, even if you're a guy! Taking care of yourself the night before your week sets you up for a great morning and lets you start the week with your best foot forward. Spa nights do not have to be time-consuming or difficult, it can be as simple as putting on a nice face mask while your checking emails or watching Youtube. You can also go all out with a nice bath, relaxing music, face masks, hair treatments, foot/hand soaks, deep stretches (yoga anyone?) and essential oil diffusers. Whatever small effort you can make helps to make you a priority worth keeping up with over your work week.
4. Standardized your social time
A major goal for most people is to make more time for friends and family and in 2018 I have found it immensely helpful to have planned weekly hangouts. This takes so much of the work, planning and guesswork out of getting together with friends, even when the planned day does not work, planning a "make-up" day to catch up is so much easier when there are a couple sets of potential plans to pick from. It can take a week or two to have this really become a weekly habit but after that, it becomes more obvious when your contacts are slipping away and losing touch. Try to plan a cool weekly event to attend or just a day to pick a new venue for drinks or games, you'll be surprised how much this day becomes a light in your week, something to anticipate and look forward to! Suggestions? Pick a night you all have off to choose a new bar/cafe each week, plan a weekly flea market/thrifting day or a day to walk around a park, no money needed!