It takes 66 days on average to form a habit according to most of the research that I’ve read this morning. It could be more, could be less; it all depends on the habit that you hope to establish. If it’s something easy, maybe only 21 days. The lockdown started exactly 28 days ago here in Oregon.
I’ve been wondering what habits I’ve been forming during this time. Will they “stick?” Do I want them to?
In many ways my life has not changed much since the lockdown began. I have been working and attending classes remotely from the small Oregon Coast town that I live in for about a year now. My day-to-day responsibilities are the same. I’m a bit reclusive; some, my husband among them, might even call me a hermit, so I was surprised when I realized how much time I spend out in the world accomplishing non-essential tasks.
So, what have I been doing instead? Well, there has been some wine, Oregon wine; I like to think that I’m at least supporting the local economy with my day drinking. This may be one of the habits that shouldn’t ‘stick.”
My house has never been so sanitary. Every morning—almost—I bleach and Lysol the kitchen, bathrooms, and “frequently touched surfaces.” I kind of like this one. It makes me strangely happy that my porcelain sparkles. And I’ve got the whole process down to about 20 minutes. This one, I think, is a keeper. Fingers crossed.
A friend started a “Morning Sound Mediation” group (she’s into singing bowls) on Facebook, inviting everyone she knows to join her in meditation from 9:30 to 10:30 each day. I’d been wanting to revive my mediation and yoga practice anyway, so I joined up immediately. My friend’s goal is that as a group we can send enough positive vibes out to the Universe during that time to help turn things around. I hope so too, but if not at least I at least feel more positive. It really has made a difference. I’m much less anxious on the days that I participate, and I feel a positive change in my panic level overall. I’m going to try and make this one a keeper as well.
I’ve been spending many mornings and evenings watching the birds at my feeders. This has led me to filling the feeders more regularly and with a wider variety of food—hummingbird feeders are on order. I’m sure the birds have their toes crossed that this habit continues and so do I. I’m not sure what will happen after the weather turns rainy this fall, but for now sitting outside in the evening before bed with a cup of tea turns out to be a wonderful way to sooth my nerves after watching the news.
Books. I’ve been reading for fun again. Well, I’m at least reading books that aren’t required for a class. Currently, I’m reading a book about pandemics—including the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic—which isn’t technically fun but does put things in perspective. Covid-19 is far from the first pandemic that humanity has faced and survived. I have faith that we will come out of this stronger as a planet than we were before. In my “spare” time, I’ve downloaded a fair number of books to my Kindle. They aren’t returnable, so at least, this one habit at least must continue.