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A Novice's Experiences With Self-Improvement

Self-improvement can sometimes be looked down upon as a pretentious fad by people who don't quite understand the mindset. Wanting to constantly improve and be the best version you can be is a normal urge. But with an epidemic of obesity spreading all around the world, there is a real need for such a positive and healthy trend like this. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so far, I have dabbled in many different forms of self-improvement. I have found great results from each of these habits and will expand on them in this article.

Meditation is a great tool for slowing your day down and controlling how much fear and anxiety you experience. Pair that with the Wim Hof Method and you have the perfect toolset for overcoming obstacles in your life. I found that making this simple 15-20 minute routine a daily habit also improves your ability to commit to tasks and 'callous your mind', which means it becomes easier to begin a task and finish it. The Wim Hof Method has the added effect of staying calmer throughout your day, especially if you do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (so you can take deeper breaths). Chanting mantras has a similar effect on mood and your outlook on life that morning.

On the topic of good habits, only setting one alarm in the morning to wake up to and putting your phone on the other side of the room is a great way to get you up and going in the morning. This all or nothing approach was helpful since I have been a night owl since birth and getting up when I need to has always been a challenge. The temperature, darkness and noise of a bedroom play a pivotal role in determining how well you may sleep. I found that making my bedroom completely dark and silent and having a temperature that was slightly cool helped me sleep much better at night. Of course, this may be different from person to person, but this is just what works for me. Arrange your bedroom so there is the most floor space possible (store things vertically on the walls with hooks if necessary), as this helps to ease your mind when you're in there. If you constantly feel cramped because there's too little floor space, this will affect your quality of sleep. Be sure to also put things away straight away so your room stays tidy.

Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go also makes staying hydrated that little bit easier, because if you're going through the hassle of carrying it around, you may as well drink it to lighten the weight on you. It's true what your grandparents say, being hydrated will lessen your cravings for sugary foods. Carrying moisturiser and phone chargers is also a good habit to get into as well since you never know when you'll need them, and it's always better to be prepared than going without - that is an important lesson to learn.

Mindset and mental health play a crucial role in how we feel and view ourselves physically. I find that not comparing yourself to others and where they are in life, what they have that you don't and what their goals are can help in improving your mindset. Everyone's path in life is different, and the ages at which you begin certain steps can be different to people you know. It's okay if this is the case, so long as you reach that goal eventually and keep moving forwards. Some people don't move out of home until their mid-30s or 40s, but they have a car and a stable job, other people may have moved out in their late teens or early 20s but don't have a car and work casual jobs - so long as you get all the boxes in life ticked at some point, there is no need to compare yourself to other people who appear successful.

Human beings generally need things to look forward to, that's why having a list of things to do that you enjoy or need to finish is important. I am constantly thinking of things to write about every day. These initially start out as broad ideas where I then expand upon it into dot points, then into paragraphs. I may not always finish articles that I begin right away, but I always have that worklist there waiting. Journalling is a helpful tool for ensuring you stick to a daily routine, it also increases your memory as you have a record of the day's events which brings it from your subconscious to your conscious memory. When I do write in my journal I like to write in goals to accomplish the next day and give an honest reflection of the day in hindsight, and think about if small issues were actually big deals or not.

As I am yet to write a gratitude list, I have been consciously thinking of people and things I am thankful for in my life. This has done wonders for my mental health, especially after such a bad year that 2020 was for me. Some items on the list will be my friends and family, the dedication that I have learned from my friends and family and then put into my writing and articulation abilities, my resilience after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease so young and the material possessions I have, even though I'm not very materialistic, I am thankful to have them because they make my writing and creative processes easier.


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