5 Habits for Surviving Home Sweet Home
It's the dream of many nine to five workers - four day weekends, more sick days, in essence - extra time at home. All the hundreds of hours wasted at a job which serves the purpose of keeping the very home we must spend so much time apart from are dreamed about, sought after, and longed for. If only we had more time to get those extra Zzz’s, learn that extra skill, spend more time with family, do the things that make us happy. It’s ironic that being given the very thing we wanted should bring so much boredom, turmoil, and frankly end so many marriages. It’s true - divorce percentages have soared, creating an unexpected social crisis on top of the one we already face. Is there something inherently wrong with the human psyche, something that brightens the color of the grass on the other side of the hill, but at the same time dulls the benefits of current perspective? No, it’s habit that dooms the average person’s experience to be a dull one. Being so suddenly ripped from a nine to five routine, and given an entirely “new” environment - our homes - to function in throws equilibrium out of balance, and habit is left wanting. Our great ship of state has crashed, and we must find our sea legs. So here’s a list of habits we can make that might help us to remember what we love about our home lives…
1 - Set That Hated Alarm Clock
It’s very tempting to sleep-in every day when we’re given the directive to binge watch Netflix for a living. Who wouldn’t want to catch up on some undoubtedly needed sleep, but using valuable morning hours to do it would be a mistake. Studies show that, ironically, oversleeping causes fatigue, adding to the lethargy of a directionless stay-at-home experience. Conversely, even the proudest of night owls will naturally return to a healthy sleeping pattern if deprived of all electronics for a week and given a bed under the stars. The point - unless you’re dealing with chronic insomnia, sleep will get caught up on. Trying to stuff it into our mornings will only succeed in ruining the day. If we feel as though we’ve wasted our morning, we’re much more likely to waste the day as well. Instead, follow that time tested suggestion - “Seize the Day!” early on. Another frequent problem with that hated alarm clock is, even if we’ve set it and woken to that horrible call to action, we’ll often just click it off and go right back to sleep. Don’t let that happen to you! Place your phone, or that good old fashioned alarm clock, across the room from where you sleep. This will force you to get up to shut it off, and ultimately make it that much more likely that you’ll actually stay up. Tip of the day… Try to find a gentle alarm sound. Not too gentle or you won’t wake up but one that won’t put you in a sour mood right out the door.
2 - Personal Care
Another common tendency of stay-at-home circumstances is to let one’s personal appearance/hygiene slip. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional pajama day. In fact, it would be a great culture booster to have an agreed upon pajama day for everyone in the household - when the family can get as creative with pajama choices as they like, but choose a day like Saturday for such a leisure practice. Most days it would be in everyone’s best interest to devote as much time to getting ready for the day as they normally would. Psychological studies indicate that only those with severe low self esteem or a history of abuse tend to overlook personal care on a regular basis. Much like a revolving door, physicality affects mentality just as much as mentality affects physicality. We might just end up lowering our self esteem inadvertently if we choose everyday as our designated pajama day. Tip of the day… Try out new styles, different make-up hacks or change up your scented cosmetics! There’s nobody around to judge.
3 - Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day
Before you, the Reader, reach for the back button bare with me. Starting the day well is the first step to having a successful day at all. Nourishing the body before the Facebook wall is probably the best thing anyone can possibly do for themselves, in any situation not just a stay-at-home one. A protein rich breakfast before noon will increase energy levels throughout the day, and your will to do the things you actually want to do! What’s the use of having extra time if fatigue takes it all up? Tip of the day… Make your breakfasts fun! Try new recipes and don’t skimp on flavor.
4 - Your House Is Your Temple
It seems simple to say, but it's surprising how easy it can be to push tidiness out of mind, even though it’s lack can be very much in sight. Everyone is ordered to stay home - who’s going to be visiting anyway right? Wrong! You’re going to be visiting twenty-four seven, and you deserve just as much as any visiting acquaintance to spend your time in a pristine atmosphere. Try to impress yourself with how homey your home can be. Make it a place you’d want to hang out in because nothing is a worse mood killer than a sink full of dishes and an un-vacuumed living room. Tip of the day… During the stay-at-home order try temporarily moving around well loved furniture to give your environment a fresh novel feel.
5 - Patience Makes Perfect!
This will be by far the most difficult on the list to put into practice. It’s a commonly accepted fact that being confined in an enclosed space for long periods of time produces cabin fever, the symptoms of which are unpleasant at best. Irritability and listlessness can be major culprits of noncooperation and unhappiness in the home, and of the above mentioned divorce incline. There must be hundreds of self-help books on how to deal with both irritability and listlessness, all of which cannot be condensed into one article let alone one paragraph, but let's try something new. Let our tip of the day be a challenge… can we try to make a habit of counting to ten before answering an annoying comment with an equally annoying retort? Instead, treat an annoying comment as a genuine call for help, and genuinely ask for help in return.
Many of the things on this list are so common, and talked of in just about any lifestyle magazine, that many readers will probably chalk this advice up to just that - advice. But recall, this article is about habits not advice. If an absence of the habits we’re used to in the workplace is what’s causing most people to go stir crazy in their own homes, then it’s habits designed for the home environment that are going to help us adjust - to make the most of this free time that’s being gifted to us. If we can get these mundane habits under our collective belts by lunch time that leaves two thirds of the day, two thirds of our lives, to do anything from watching Netflix to connecting deeply with family. Time, a linear principle, is the most precious commodity because once squandered it’s irretrievable. How will you spend your time?