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Simple Habits to Adopt This Year for the Tired & Unmotivated

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

Take a moment to clap for yourself. We’ve made it halfway through the first month of the new year. For me though, this year doesn’t feel “new”. So far, 2022 has been a drawn out continuation of what we had before. I’m not even sure what we supposedly had before, but I mean that in all the negative ways you might think. It’s not just me. I’ve been hearing from friends in real-life and strangers online how straight-up tired everyone is. I am SO tired. I feel like a hamster running on a wheel. At this point, I’ve forgotten why I’m running yet I still bolt ahead at full speed. Motivation is low, but somehow each time my tank is about to hit empty, I find the means to fill it up just enough to run on. Is everyone at this level of exhaustion? How much longer do we have until we can step off the wheel and take a break? I don’t think anyone knows the answer.

My lack of energy delayed me in writing my new years resolutions, something I typically do within the first three days of the new year. This year, even when I had the pen and paper in my hands I had trouble thinking of resolutions. Do I really want to hold myself accountable for MORE things? If I do, they have to be small, bite-sized resolutions. Or maybe, let’s not even call them “resolutions”. Just hearing that word depletes my energy tank.

Instead, I’ve compromised a very short list of modest habits that I can see myself following through on. Some might say I’m going easy on myself. Perhaps, but shouldn’t we all be a little easier on ourselves?

1. Use a silk pillowcase. Protect those curly locks!

Switching out my cotton pillowcases for silk ones is an easy change that will reap great benefits. In fact, I’ve already done it so I can put a checkmark next to this habit already. I’m protecting my type 3c curls by using a silk pillowcase which prevents breakage, retains moisture, preserves curls, and prevents frizz. I’ve always felt that in order to style my hair the way I want it, I’d have to shower every morning and get it soaking wet. Since the silk pillowcase preserves the curls and prevents frizz, I can style my hair the next day without getting it drenched again. This is better in the long run since continuous washing dries out your hair and curly hair is naturally already dry. Plus, second day hair has so much more volume.

2. Floss every day.

I admit I have not been scheduling my bi-annual dentist visits for quite some time. Thankfully, I mustered up the courage to visit the dentist at the end of 2021. Though my teeth were in good shape, it was definitely a wake-up call.

Personally, my dentist’s diagnosis was a severe need to floss daily. I must prioritize dental health by remembering to floss every day, not just once a month or whenever I feel like it. Flossing once at the end of the day will prevent cavities and gum disease by removing sticky bacteria called plaque. That plaque is what can get you in trouble.

I’ve heard many times that dental health affects overall health, and it’s true! According to the U.S. government Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, there is enough evidence to link gum disease to other chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Perhaps even scarier, poor oral health in pregnant women is linked to premature births and low birth weight. And, of course, bad dental health can lead to a slew of oral diseases including mouth and throat cancer. It’s challenging to be motivated to do something you cannot visibly see results for, but your future self will thank you. Tooth pain is no joke!

3. Spend a few minutes outside every day and practice taking deep breaths.

I never was a homebody. Even though I’ve gotten used to staying in more often, I do not deny myself the simple pleasure of spending a few minutes outside. Since I started working from home in 2020, I have to force myself to step away from the desk and go outside every now and again. It recharges me to see the sky, whether blue or gray. I like the smell of fresh air, even on a cold winter morning. When I’m inside it’s so easy to forget that I’m not the only one in the world. As weird as it may sound, just standing out in my front yard reminds me that there are people everywhere. It’s not just me and my computer.

According to the Harvard Health Letter, spending time outside is good for you! First, the sun provides vitamin D, a vitamin most Americans don’t get enough of. Additionally, regularly spending time outside is proven to provide several major benefits; it can lower the risk for diabetes, lower the risk of cardiovascular mortality, lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve immune system function, and improve anxiety and depression.

I’ve known for a while that being outside is beneficial to my health, but I still struggle to take the time to do it. In theory, you’d think that working from home allows you to take as many breaks as you want but, it had the opposite effect. You sit at the desk in the morning, and before you know it, your coffee has gone cold, your stomach is growling, and it’s dark outside. This has happened to me way too many times. That’s why I’ll start very small. My goal isn’t to go for an hour-long walk (especially in these Chicago winters). Instead, my goal is to remember to step outside, feel the fresh air and light on my face, and breathe. For five measly minutes, I’ll breathe in…And…Breathe out. For five minutes, I’ll remember that the world is not just me and whatever work I have waiting for me at my desk.

Let’s keep it short and sweet. Those are my 2022 new year’s habits.

This is the frame of mind I want to have when working on all of my new habits this year. I’m showing myself grace by realizing how hard I worked last year and how I continue to do my best even when life gets rough. Yes, it’s now 2022, I’m tired, but I’ll regain my strength soon. Until then, I’ll focus on the small things I can do to improve.

What are some of your new year’s resolutions or new habits you’d like to adopt?

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