Looking after yourself this summer: Time for a new habit?

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We’re all creatures of habit. Many of us like to wake up at the same time and follow the same patterns every day, yet often when we try to include a new, healthy habit, it seems impossible!

Working intensely, especially at a time when it feels like everyone else is on a break, it’s easy to either just keep working without consideration for your wellbeing – especially with looming deadlines, or feel a bit demotivated. So, it could be a good time to think about trying to introduce a new habit to help you take care of yourself, and, here’s some tips on how to build healthy wellbeing habits:

Make it easy:  We’re more likely to form new habits when we clear away the obstacles that stand in our way. So starting with small habits, planning ahead and making time for our new habits will make it easier to stick them.

Stack your habits: Experts say the best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit. Try looking for patterns in your day and think about how you can use existing habits to create new, positive wellbeing habits. 

Do it often: British researchers studied how people form habits in the real world, asking participants to choose a simple habit they wanted to form. The study showed that the amount of time it took for the task to become a habit ranged from 18 to 254 days. The median time was 66 days, so don’t get frustrated if you’re finding that building a new habit is taking a little longer to stick than you expected!

Get others involved: Friends and family are a great way to hold yourself accountable, and make building a new habit more sociable. The more you enjoy building a habit, the more chance it has to become part of your everyday routine. 

Reward yourself: Make your new habit as enjoyable as possible. This could be listening to audiobooks while walking or watching a favourite show on the treadmill. Treating yourself regularly can help reinforce a new habit!

If you’re wondering what habits you can try this summer check out The Six Ways to Wellbeing for inspiration. The ideas and suggestions you may find here can help you make positive changes to keep feeling good and living well! You could also use this goal and activity planner or weekly planner to assist you.

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