By now you’ve probably read my posts about how rough 2020 was on me, so I thought I should also share the positive aspects that have come out of it.
I created new healthy habits during this pandemic.
You’re probably wondering how this is possible when most of the population, lived on their couches, were under high stress situations, gained weight or didn’t leave their homes. Here’s how it happened… (please keep in mind I am not a doctor and I do not have kids so my struggles were different yet hard)
I will not get into too much detail about my new love for long-distance running as I have written two posts about it in How did I get here? Fitness talk. and How confinement made me fitter, but that was definitely an important healthy habit I created in 2020.
I also jumped back into a previous habit I had of reading more books. I had been on a dry spell for a few months after reading 20 books in a year. I took this opportunity to vary my selection of books and lose myself in fiction books as well as work on myself with self-help books.
A new habit I created during this pandemic is early morning yoga. Something shifted in my body in the last year and waking up before the sunset started occurring naturally. At first I was upset because I wasn’t able to go back to sleep, but then I started appreciating the very quiet, slow, early mornings in my apartment. My routine would go as such: wake up, wash my face, make my bed, start the coffee machine, put on some slow morning tunes, roll out my yoga mat and just let my body flow to the music for as much time as it desires. Some mornings it was only a few minutes, others more than an hour.
Another new habit I created during the lockdown is my skin care routine. I’m sad to say I didn’t have one before other than just splashing my face with water in the morning. Now, thanks to U.SK Under Skin, I have a full skin care routine going in the morning and the evening. I have very sensitive skin and their products are fantastic and never irritated my skin. Their Rice Scrub is my favorite as it has saved me from mascne throughout this whole pandemic.
Intuitive eating is also something I started paying more attention to during this past year. Throughout the last few years, I naturally started realizing that my body had a hard time processing certain foods such as fried foods, donuts, heavy cream sauces, etc. I didn’t realize that there was a term for it, until it became a trendy thing to talk about! At first I thought it was just that my brain had tricked me into thinking that I didn’t like them because they weren’t healthy… but then I started paying more attention to what was really happening in my body. I started tasting the foods differently and realized that I didn’t enjoy the taste of fried chicken or the fatty taste that donuts leave in your mouth, for example. I also started noticing that I had a hard time digesting onions, garlic, peppers and cruciferous veggies which caused major discomfort. I have not changed my diet per se, but I listening to it more closely… and don’t get me wrong, I’m still eating Brussels sprouts (I LOVE THEM) but I just know going in that I will be in pain after so I don’t eat them as often.
I started texting my 96 year-old grandmother every day. When we lost my grandfather in August, I was devastated and I can only imagine the pain she went through. I was lucky enough to be able to spend some quality, one-on-one time with her in her room, even if it was still a lockdown situation in Montreal. When I left Quebec to return to California, I promised myself I would text her every day to send her love and show her that I think of her daily. My grandmother was married to my grandfather for 69 years, so you can imagine the empty space it must have created in her life, topped with the fact that only a few people were able to see her in person since then.
Learning to be alone in my apartment was another interesting challenge, and it became part of a healthy lifestyle. I was always an independent and happy woman alone but I never realized it was because I had a choice to go out or stay in. With the lockdown, I no longer had that option. Going out to a bar or choosing to say no to a party were no longer decisions I had to make… and honestly I miss it only slightly. I realized, within this time at home, that I am more of an introvert. I like seeing my friends, and going out into the world, only when I’m in the right mood. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go out and listen to live music in a bar with friends or a date and eat tasty food at a restaurant. I miss dancing at the bar with music blasting… but I know that I don’t miss empty random conversations with strangers. I don’t miss crowds at events. I don’t miss networking with people. I know that when all of this blows over, I will CHOOSE to hang out with the people I care for but I will no longer feel bad about saying no to events I don’t care for. Life is too short for that.
Living in the present… second. This year I was reminded that life is a precious gift. That the life as we knew it was a special gift that we took for granted. I used to loosely use the expression ‘live in the moment’ as I thought I was doing so. Let me explain: as a flight attendant you never know where you will be tomorrow, with whom and for how long. So I savored my moments at home, those moments that belonged to me and in which I felt free to do whatever I wanted to. Then Covid hit and it put everything back into perspective. I started enjoying all the little moments of happiness even more. I found myself hunting for them on days where everything was very grim. I learned to see the light in those moments of darkness: a bird singing, seeing the stars, feeling the sun on my skin.
I used nature as therapy. I always knew I loved nature, but in the past few years it became more apparent to me, especially when you live in a crowded neighborhood such as Hollywood. Moving to Redondo Beach was a good first step, but not quite enough to satisfy my craving for the wilderness. I started noticing that when I didn’t feel quite right, my body seemed to be asking for nature, for trails, for freedom. 2020 was the year I fell in love with hiking again. It was the year that I spent the most time in nature: between the cross-country running and biking, the road biking, the hiking, snowboarding and swimming in the ocean, I really reconnected with my wild, natural self.
I definitely created new healthy habits during this pandemic that I hope will continue when the world reopens.
I hope this post can help you see the positive impacts this lockdown has had on you and possibly inspire you to create new healthy habits for 2021.