Written by Kim Lee
We spend our lives pursuing things, thinking that if we do enough, we will eventually be happy. But how much is enough, and how will we know if what we are chasing will improve our wellbeing?
As we take a step back and look at what we have been doing for more than a month on quarantine, ask yourself, how are you, in all honesty?
Bloomberg says that the pandemic workday has wrecked one’s balance and lifestyle, with people working an average of three hours longer than usual. Seemingly, boundaries have virtually disappeared, and we have been struggling to adjust to the new normal. Whatever happened to the renewed hopes of having more time for staying fit, learning a new language, or honing our crafts, have outright gone down the drain.
Seemingly, boundaries have virtually disappeared, and we have been struggling to adjust to the new normal. Whatever happened to the renewed hopes of having more time for staying fit, learning a new language, or honing our crafts, have outright gone down the drain.
However, know that you are not entirely out of control, and you can do simple, concrete steps that will not just help you stay sane during this pandemic, but also set you up for better progress in the long-term. Here are the top 3 things you can do to improve your emotional wellbeing.
1. Protect your time.
The goal here is time affluence. According to Yale’s Professor Laurie Santos, who specializes in Psychology and Cognitive Science, time affluence is the idea that you never feel like you are fighting for time. You simply have the opportunity to be still for a while and appreciate things.
Studies say that people who prioritized time for money are way happier in general. One key strategy in attaining this is to time block and focus on one thing at a time. You can do it by writing down your daily schedule up to the smallest detail and doing your best to stick to it.
Science says that time blocking, in contrast to multitasking, allows you to accomplish more by dividing your tasks into smaller chunks in an uninterrupted period. It even makes you more fulfilled as a result of seeing your overall progress.
One caveat, however, is that you still have to make an effort to listen to your body. You can do this by taking short breaks to measure your current level of wellbeing. Ultimately, we can all agree that we are more productive when we are working at our optimal levels rather than when forced.
2. Increase social connection.
During a pandemic, there is a scientific reason why we are relatively more exhausted from being isolated, even when we carry on our days doing simple tasks. It is defined as allostatic load, which is the result of repeated exposure to stress hormones during a crisis. Even when we feel like we got everything under control, our brain tells us otherwise.
The first step is to acknowledge that we are struggling. Toxic positivity will cost you later on, so it is better to be honest with yourself at the onset. Next is to reach out to specific people you trust who can healthily be there for you. We, as humans, are all designed to be social beings, so it is just necessary to set a time to connect for whatever reason.
The game always changes when you feel that you are not alone. Allow yourself to feel for what is, not for what should be.
3. Stock up on kindness.
Studies bring us various empirical evidence showing that simple gestures of kindness contribute to our happiness. Thus, if a simple kind act promotes our wellbeing, we should be seeking avenues to do this. It could be as simple as volunteering for a passion or cause that you care for.
In an interview conducted by Harvard, it says that among the 122 senior executives correspondents, all acknowledged that engagements outside of work were vital to leadership and career progression.
Keith Krach, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, likewise stated that when you make time for outside activities, you are less prone to burnout.
Personally, my volunteer engagements serve as my breather. It widens my perspective and adds a little more color and meaning to the gifts that I share to help others. You can consider them as your college organizations in real life!
At this point, we were able to revisit the top 3 scientific-backed yet simple measures to improve your wellbeing. In a world that continually measures our worth with the level of productivity that we have, it also pays to prioritize our body, which allows us to do all these.
In a world that continually measures our worth with the level of productivity that we have, it also pays to prioritize our body, which allows us to do all these.
If you are currently looking for a way to help or take action during this crisis but do not know how, finding a support group with the same interests or causes can be beneficial. As mentioned earlier, more opportunities to do acts of kindness contribute to overall improved wellbeing. Allow us to help you achieve this through our Re-Action program, a national community response program that can be done all from your couch. You can read more about it here.
Check those smiles! The re_action volunteers are everyday people who decided to spend one hour per day to help those who need it most during this crisis.
But we can’t do this alone! Join us, and let’s start collaborating for social impact. Click here to learn more about re_action.