COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. A recent study by Qualtrics shared some very alarming insights about our mental health shock caused by the pandemic. They found that two out of five respondents said their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly those who are now working from home. And as remote work is expected to triple in the near future, professionals will need to look to new routines to develop healthy habits and strengthen personal leadership.
The secret to a successful routine is having one in the first place. Personal leadership means taking ownership of our challenges and initiative in our own solutions. Personally, I have seen firsthand the power of having a routine. There is a popular saying: “We are what we eat.” Well, I would like to add that we are also what we do. Forty percent of our daily actions are impulse by our habits.
If you feel like you are out of balance and frustrated with your new routine, follow these 5 simple and powerful habits to help you develop your personal leadership.
- Prepare your new day the night before. Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes right, and distractions seem to pull you further away from your work? A key strategy to take control of your day is planning the night before. Make a list of the most important tasks you want to accomplish each day. Your list can include your daily chores, but most importantly it should include items that will make you feel better by the end of each day.
- Choose a positive attitude. A positive attitude is a choice; so is a negative one. When you are feeling like your thoughts are taking you down a negative spiral or rabbit hole, check yourself by saying this: “I am making these thoughts up and I can choose to think about something else.” Be very careful about how much media you are consuming. There are many studies revealing the psychological impacts of consuming too much information, especially click bait articles that trigger an emotional response. Choose your attitude wisely.
- Do exercise or stay active. It seems like everyone talks about exercise for the physical benefits rather than the mental benefits. I am a believer that exercise is more about taking care of your mind and making a commitment to a set time for yourself. You are the most important person in your life, and taking yourself out for a walk, a jog, or hike will provide you with an opportunity to be with your thoughts to reflect while your body gets circulation to activate the healthy hormones we all have. If you dread exercising, read habit number two again.
- Connect with people you care about. Remember, we are social creatures. Think about those relationships that make you smile. If you have not talked to any of them in a while, give them a call or schedule a virtual meeting. Listening to others allows you to practice empathy while reflecting on your own journey. Receiving feedback from loved ones during a time when everyone is apart can also help you feel more connected than before the shutdowns.
- Know when to unplug from all your devices. Remember, you own your device, not the other way around. It is no secret that we are using our mobile devices more to get work done; however, setting time limits will help you regain control of this area of your life as well. Set a schedule for responding messages, create auto-response messages when you are taking a break, or turn off all your unnecessary notifications to keep you focused on being present. Once the phone is away, go outside and watch the sunset, no pictures or social media necessary.
These habits will help you create a simplified routine, one which you can build from. Start with one habit and then work on implementing the next. As you commit overtime, the benefits will start to compound and you will feel stronger — mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. What are your success onlhabits?
If you are interested in joining our entrepreneur group to learn more, sign up for our bi-weekly Business Energizers! We discuss strategies, goals and resources in a virtual mastermind setting. The Business Energizers are held every other Monday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. You can register for free by visiting www.ccbsfoundation.org.
EDGAR RAFAEL OLIVO is a bilingual business educator, economic advisor and contributor for several media outlets. He’s a nonprofit executive who is passionate about education. He is certified in finance and data analytics and holds a business degree from Arizona State University.
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