How to Instill Good Habits to Overcome Social Anxiety
They say that it takes 30 days to instill a new habit. At the same time, doing something on the same day each week is another way to develop a wellness habit. If you think about what you do each week at the same time, you’ll know what I mean.
For example, perhaps you must put out the garbage every Sunday night or watch a special TV show on a particular day of the week. Over time, the habit becomes associated with that day.
If you are dealing with social anxiety, there are certain things that you should be doing all the time (daily) to improve your wellness, but then there are also things that you can do on a weekly basis that will help to reduce your anxiety.
To get you into a schedule of doing these things at least once a week, you could create a weekly plan where each day of the week is linked to a different topic.
(P.S. – credit for the idea of the weekly plan format goes to FlyLady.net!)
Weekly Wellness Plan
Below you will find an example of a weekly wellness plan, with suggestions on what to do each day. Feel free to adapt this plan to what suits you best. The idea is to get into the habit of thinking about doing certain things each day of the week.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of things you should be doing to overcome social anxiety; rather, these are some important components of any self-help plan for social anxiety that you should consider incorporating into your week.
Monday is Social Skills Day: Whatever you do this day, practice using your best social skills. You might try to be a good listener, engage in small talk, make good eye contact, and smile at others.
Tuesday is Alter Ego Day: This is the day not to feel constrained by who you think you are or what other people think about you. Try out your alter ego for a day. If you aren’t sure who your alter ego is, get busy with a journal and some writing prompts to explore the best possible version of yourself (without social anxiety).
Wednesday is Get It Done Day: Anything that you’ve been avoiding because of your social anxiety gets done today! For example, making phone calls, going on errands, making plans for the weekend, or checking in with friends and relatives.
Thursday is Leave Your Comfort Zone Day: If you are house-bound, this is the day to tackle that fear. If you aren’t house-bound, this is the day to go somewhere or do something out of your comfort zone. That could be anything from going to the grocery store to signing up for a Zumba or Karate class. Choose activities that will help to boost your confidence as well as challenge your anxiety.
Friday is Friendship Day: Have lunch, dinner, or drinks with a friend. A friend can be a family member. If you don’t have a friend, spend some time today brainstorming a list of potential friends, such as acquaintances whom you would like to get to know better.
Saturday is Helping Day: Whatever you do, focus on how you can help those around you. We know that helping others can take the focus off of yourself, which in turn helps to reduce social anxiety. Bonus—people will love you for helping them, and you’ll make new friends along the way!
Sunday is Self-Care Day: Take care of yourself on this day, in whatever way makes you feel good. If you need some time alone, make that a priority. If your soul is feeling low, fill it up with some art therapy or spiritual pursuits. This is your day to spend in whatever way builds you up and gets you ready for the week ahead.
Create Your Own Weekly Wellness Plan
This is just an outline of a basic weekly wellness plan. You’ll want to fill in the blanks with details on how you might carry out each of the daily assignments. Or, you could use a journal to record what you do each day.
Don’t take this too seriously! It’s meant to be a fun way to remind yourself of those things you should be doing anyway to work on your wellness and reduce social anxiety.