How to make positive habits stick
If you've developed productive and healthy habits during lockdown, you might not be prepared to go back to exactly how things were before. This is because adding simple habits, or rituals, to your day can help boost mood and positivity.
Research suggests that one way of helping new habits form is to incorporate them into a pre-existing habit, like making a cup to tea or brushing your teeth. Here are some of our favourite helpful habits you can do, while the kettle boils, to stay motivated, positive and calm throughout the day.
Set daily intentions
Start each day feeling motivated with the help of intentions. Setting intentions and goals is an extremely useful practice says Andrea Gottlieb, Ph.D., a psychologist.
Whilst you make your morning drink, set 3 intentions for the day ahead. Having just three things to focus on will help you stay centred and accomplish more, even on days when everything hits the fan. Many people probably do this in their head all the time but sitting down to write this out makes you more likely to follow through.
For morning motivation, Matcha is a great choice for its uplifting properties and natural caffeine. Matcha is a great alternative to coffee, as caffeine is not the primary compound found in matcha and green tea; it is balanced out by other pigments and compounds that help prevent the characteristic ‘crash’ so often attributed to coffee. Thus, providing us with a sustainable and healthy energy boost.
Even the most motivated people can find themselves tired or unfocused the afternoon. Whether it’s due to a lack of sleep or a heavy lunch, beat the afternoon slump with a dose of warmth and movement.
For the afternoon, we recommend a spicy, invigorating tea – like our Turmeric Active tea – as the perfect pick-me-up to get you feeling lively. While your turmeric tea infuses – try a ragdoll yoga pose. Bend at the waist into a Standing Forward Bend (Uttānāsana), separate your feet hip-width apart and catch opposite elbows. Take a generous bend in your knees if you'd like, to allow your chest and thighs to connect. Allow your head and arms to hang. Hold for 30 seconds. This can help blood flow to the head, helping rejuvenate the mind.
Creating sleep rituals, that you love and savour, is the perfect way to help your body and mind unwind. Try to avoid caffeine in the evenings, instead opt for calming herbal teas. Our Night Time tea contains calming chamomile, lavender and valerian. These herbs help you drift off into a peaceful rest.
Whilst your final tea of the day boils – find 3 things you are grateful for that day. Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Studies in the US have found that people who make a concerted effort around gratitude in their lives improve a whole range of physical wellbeing – from sleep, to immunity, to everyday aches and pains. People also ‘feel’ better – more alert, vibrant and optimistic. They’re also more social – more outgoing, friendly and feel less lonely and isolated. All round, it’s a pretty interesting area of psychology. Write it down if you like, as simply writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process and understand them more clearly.
Author: Marion Mackonochie
Senior Herbal Specialist
Marion is Senior Herbal Specialist at Pukka and a practising medical herbalist dedicated to furthering herbal knowledge and understanding. Degrees in pharmacology (UCL) and herbal medicine and a masters degree in plant chemistry and medicinal natural products (UCL) mean she is well placed to help plan Pukka’s extensive programme of herbal research, as well as advising across Pukka on herb benefits. She has worked on the Journal of Herbal Medicine since its launch in 2011 and is currently Associate Editor.
B.Sc qualified in herbal medicine (Middlesex Uni, 2009), M.Sc (mCPP) qualified in pharmacology & physiology (UCL, 2002), MSc medicinal natural products and phytochemistry (UCL, 2016)
Years of experience
12 years in medical herbalism
Member of College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy