A couple of weeks ago I felt a mixture of tired, despite having eight hours of sleep, and generally fed up; it was just one of those days. I got up out of bed fifteen minutes before my 9 o’clock lecture to find out that it actually started at 10 o’clock, so I took my coffee and breakfast biscuit bar back to bed. At 9:50, after so much groaning so that my cat came to sit on me and find out what all the drama was about, I got out of bed, taking my weighted blanket with me to my zoom class, still wearing my pyjamas.
In the lunch break I thought, “maybe I would feel better if I actually got up properly”.
I had a wash & changed into clothes that I know make me feel good. I ate lunch (my new favourite — chipotle, spinach, halloumi, and guacamole bagel) and I started to feel better. I learnt the art of getting up, and celebrated this as a little win.
Normally, I would argue the same as what you are probably thinking, “getting up isn’t an art”. But these are not normal times we live in.
We aren't programmed to celebrate our own small successes, and often not other's either. We cheer on those who get married, get their dream job, create something incredible -- but during a pandemic, these huge things are happening less frequently. Living in lockdown means we should be celebrating tiny wins of the day.
Research by a Harvard professor found that celebrating small wins positively affects our motivation and self-esteem, boosting us forward to achieve the bigger things. It was suggested that work places would be more productive if employers celebrated small achievements that paved the way for the big successes.
We’re also limited to ways that we can make ourselves feel better. Spending time with friends in coffee shops and in each other's houses, exploring new places, shopping, going to the cinema, are all things that are off the cards for the time being. Therefore, we’ve got to notice the small things that make us feel better and celebrate that. Although it may be shallow, getting changed into clothes that fit me well, are warm for this cold weather, and are comfortable enough to sit in front of a computer in for the rest of the day makes me feel better than staying in my jogging bottoms, and oversized hoodie. Getting up has become an art and it's a small success that boosts me to the bigger things, such as writing a dissertation.
I wonder what small things you can begin to celebrate. During a lockdown, no task is insignificant. Things that once were simple, routine, easy, now sometimes take more brain power, more effort, more convincing yourself that it will make you feel better. You got out of pyjamas? Congrats! You ate breakfast? Have a gold star! You did the food shopping?! Woohoo, #adultinggoals!