Some of us have more time on our hands with many working from home. The kids are at home from school too. All outdoor and extracurricular activities have been banned, gyms and malls closed. We now have time for new ideas, projects and gathering new self-care tools as we move forward into a ’’new normal.”
It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to unlearn old habits that no longer serve us. We have time to reflect upon and examine what has worked – or not worked in our lives. This could include our job, friends, relationships, our home location etc.
Recognize that ‘unlearning’ is the highest form of ‘learning.’
Let’s talk about habits and patterns, or the usual ways of living our daily lives:
We have what are called neural pathways in the brain that carry information quickly and easily. These are also known as habits and patterns. For example: when we feel stressed we reach for a cigarette or a glass of wine – this eventually signals to the brain that these things calm us down. It then becomes a habit. We might reach for carbs late at night when feeling lonely. Or exercise excessively to stay busy. Even using the left or right hand all the time creates a specific pathway in the brain.
Neuroplasticity is a term indicating we can change the actual brain. Oh yes we can! This provides us with the opportunity to learn new habits and patterns; healthy ones that support our growth and wellness.
Here is an example: if we drive to work taking the same route each day we have created a neural pathway in the brain for that specific activity. Then one day there is construction and we can’t take the usual route – we have to take a detour. It feels challenging and time-consuming at first, but eventually we get used to it and it becomes easy. The same principle applies to any change we wish to make in our life – it feels difficult at first – but remember, we are slowly rewiring the brain for this new way. It takes 40 days to shift a habit, that’s it. It is very doable.
Try doing things differently to rewire your brain;
– brush your teeth with the other hand
– get out of the opposite side of the bed
– sleep on the other side of the bed
– when you feel a craving – stop and feel into what emotion or thought might be underneath it. Feel into it, recognize it and make a different choice that supports your wellness instead. Rewiring is occuring in that very moment.
Being aware of what we are doing first then gives us the opening to make positive changes.
Then try this:
Take some time to write a personal list of the aspects of your life you would like to change or shift (be gentle with yourself). We all have that internal list that we may have avoided for years. Then pick one item from the list and work on that one. When it feels like you have created the change you intended, move to the next item and so on.
I am here to support you in this process. Just reach out to me and we can book some time together.