Make your bed, change your life and improve your creativity
Hello Creative QB’s,
Can you make your bed, change your life and improve your creativity, all before breakfast?
Dr Nick Coatsworth says YES!
4 minute read
It might seem obvious, but for Australian’s living with Covid restrictions, in lockdown or working from home, making your bed each morning is a healthy habit worth considering.
Making your bed is a simple tonic that sets you up for a good day, encourages a positive outlook and re-sets your creativity.
Even Dr Nick Coatsworth says so! Do you know the cute doctor that comes on our Aussie TV screens to reassure and inform us each day? That is Doc Coatsworth. Yesterday when asked what can Victorians do to help their mental wellbeing during this time, he said, “make your bed each morning”.
When I heard that, I thought, wow finally! We are talking simple, practical things people CAN do to help improve their situation right now without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
Simple, small things practiced every day can change your life – this is no Pollyanna effect. It’s real, scientifically and anecdotally proven.
He didn’t stop there, he also said, do something you enjoy every day.
I think it’s pretty groundbreaking for a doctor to be recommending this as general health advice. Especially because creativity often underpins so much of what we enjoy. It’s the inherent freedom and expression we get from the experience of creativity that brings us joy.
Positive daily habits help with structure, good habits support your wellbeing while discovering and doing something you enjoy every day is rewarding and deepens your sense of meaning and purpose.
Setting yourself up each day with a good, simple and practical habit like making your bed, begins to inform the habit loop in your brain, helping to make new neural pathways. It matters that we take time to maintain and care for the development of positive daily habits so our connections to love, happiness, health and creativity remain nimble and open.
If we get back to basics, like making our bed at the beginning of each day and continue to make our bed, subconsciously we build positive associations to other experiences throughout our day, all because our neural pathways are creating new connections.
When you master the habit of bed making, it helps support other, simple habits that give you that happy feeling.
Try these additional simple, daily habits to encourage making good neural pathways.
5 back to basics habits
1. Make your bed
With or without the pillow and cushion arrangement. I love a good creative cushioning, but sometimes the thought of all that arranging is kinda too much first thing in the morning. Be mindful – your stack of cushioning could be a roadblock to making your bed.
2. Get dressed
Admittedly there are days when you would rather stay in your PJs, work from the soft office (your bed), binge on Netflix, or even work at the kitchen table in your dressing gown. It’s so darn tempting, so get dressed every day, ready for the day.
3. Pick up the floor-robe
This one I am very guilty of. The floor-robe, chair-robe, door-robe, I throw clothes anywhere other than hanging them back into the wardrobe. You know the ones, the half clean, half dirty clothes that you never know what to do with. (I have a wire drawer in my wardrobe to help solve this, and I’m trying hard to sort half clean clothes from ready to wash. (We all know the sniff test always works…right!)
4. Put shoes on
Ok, this one requires some re-classification of footwear for Uggboots and slippers. I would love to wear mine all day long. So here is my litmus test – would you wear them to the shops? I have a pair of fancy black ugg boots I wear to the shops in the dead of winter, so yes, but most days I wear joggers, vans or flats. I also remember how good my uggies or slippers feel when I put them back on at the end of the day.
5. Wake up at a certain time each morning
Ok this is the biggest vice and I reckon right about now it’s probably the same for you. Set your alarm each morning for 7.00am. I’m not saying you should wake at 7.00, but at least setting your alarm is a habit.
If you are ready to level it up, here is an advanced version of happy habit making.
5 ideas for advanced habits
Before you dive in, here is the truth about more advanced habits – if you did all these, you may have to wake at the crack of dawn to fit it all in. Build upon each one, little by little. This builds your habit muscle and springboards you into another. Be discerning about which habit might be the most appealing to you.
It took me years to get into meditation. I found it anxiety-inducing, rather than relieving. But now I can’t start my day without it. Try sitting on your bed for 10 – 20 mins each morning to start your meditation practice. There are so many great apps and online guides you can use. You can also download this grounding meditation >> HERE
2. Yoga stretches
If yoga is not already part of your fitness routine try 5 -10mins of yoga breathing and stretching. A couple of breaths in and out, a few rounds of salute to the sun and your body will start to thank you as your mind quietens.
3. Natural oils
Try a few drops of lavender, ylang-ylang, or orange natural oils in warm water to splash on your face each morning. Or a few drops in an infuser to help clear and lighten the day.
4. Lemon Water
I love this and do it every day. As soon as I hit the kitchen the kettle goes with 1/2 lemon squeezed into hot water. I wait for it to cool slightly so it’s warm (usually while I meditate) and sip it throughout the early morning before breakfast.
Journaling is the big kahuna of daily habits. If you were to pick one additional habit, choose to journal. Writing first thing in the morning, two pages of longhand is meditation. Journaling is a tool for wellbeing, creativity, mindfulness, problem-solving. memory keeping, this list goes on. Journaling gifts you with acceptance, connection and playfulness. Even if you have to wake up when you set that alarm, the journey of a journal is worth the reward in creating a powerful, positive habit that will change your life and improve your creativity, all before breakfast.
I dedicate a whole chapter to daily habits in my new book ‘Daily Acts Of Creativity’ and dive deep into how our brains can re-wire connections to help us be more creative and increase our wellbeing. Plus there are heaps of everyday ways to spark your creative joy. Learn more >> HERE
You can also sign up for my FREE 10 Days of Everyday Creativity e-course below ⇓
A happy, healthy and creative morning to you!
PS. Wall art image, ‘Thorn In My Side’- from my recent exhibition Willful.
Photo Credit: Trish Evans Photography