Most people under lockdown, despite having an abundance of time to spare, are finding themselves able to do fewer things than before. The world has granted us with outrageous amounts of free time, the kind—I believe—people always meant when they said they would have to catch up on things one day. How is it, then, that we end up doing even less than before? Stress and uncertainty play a role, but I don’t think that’s it.

The pandemic has turned our lives upside down overnight. Our bodies, used to waking up early and going to work have nowhere to go but the living room, and minds used to a daily rhythm of activity have to adjust to something new and unstructured. Our life, which used to be pegged to the necessities of the daily routines, is now reeling for balance, as we became the prisoners of our homes.

Finding a new equilibrium is tiring and exhausting because, without many fixed points in the day, it takes a lot of willpower just to make it to the evening. It’s easy to feel lost. And the low-key backdrop of stress isn’t helping either.

Turns out the freedom of time that came with life under lockdown wasn’t the kind of freedom we need for healthy functioning.

Enter habits. First, the effect they have on our productivity is undeniably positive. Second—and often overlooked—a lot can be said about the good habits do for our mental health.

The lockdown presents us with a unique, though slightly uncomfortable, opportunity to observe our habits and change them for the better. Stuck home, we’re acquiring new habits whether we want it or not. The pandemic won’t last forever, and the habits you develop now are going to stick with you long past the lockdown. Might as well make them good habits.

I, for one, know I’ll be locking all the chocolate away someplace less accessible.

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