About a week ago it hit me—this is starting to feel, well, normal.
The pace of change has slowed.
The schools have established a regular teaching schedule and manageable workload and deadlines (at least here in Seattle). Filing an unemployment claim then receiving benefits is now a smooth process and a weekly thing.
We’ve gotten into a regular daily household flow, with meals, chores/cleaning, exercise and dog walks being worked in with less effort. I have regularly scheduled virtual training sessions with clients throughout the week.
I don’t wake up each morning wondering what new COVID-19-related revelation or crisis will have been announced, or if I’ll hear when we get to come out of our shelter in place order and my gym will open back up.
I’ve accepted that this is the way things are going to be for a while. Maybe (gulp) even a long while.
Which is to say that I’ve shifted from high-alert, crisis, fight-or-flight mode to one of being less manic, less anxious (well, 4 days out of 7 anyway), less fearful. I’m living less in a day-to-day ‘just survive this’ pattern to one that’s more predictable, more reliable, more…normal.
Yep, I’ve hit that ‘new normal’ state. At least for now.
Maybe you’ve been feeling this same thing, that what was sudden and new and terrifying in March is now a weird kind of normal—the staying in, the working exclusively from home, the helping kids with online learning, the use of video calls to socialize, learn or even workout.
There might even be more of a predictable ‘ebb and flow’ to your days, too.
Which means this: It’s time to stop coping so much, and time to start being more intentional with our energy, our time, our mindsets.
It’s time to reintroduce systems or reinvent systems that help us live in a more satisfying, dare I say healthier way.
It’s time to take back some control of our circumstances and get busy working on the things that matter, the things that make us feel purposeful, the things that make us feel good—and in my world, that means taking care of our fitness.
The stay-at-home orders that have swept our country over the past 6 weeks likely turned every system you had on its head, which then threw workouts, meal planning and getting groceries completely out of whack.
Compounded by overwhelming feelings of stress, uncertainty, anxiety, fear and being in our homes pretty much 24/7, it’s no wonder many of us went into survival mode—and probably started leaning on some not-so-helpful coping mechanisms (Cookies and wine anyone? Or is that just me??).
But now the proverbial dust has settled, and we have a choice: we can keep coping, just getting through the day each day (no judgment around this one) or we can create some new systems that work better for us, routines and behaviors that help us feel better, one day at a time.
I fully acknowledge that this can be HARD.
It takes time, and effort and a fair amount of mental space/bandwidth to take stock of all the new considerations in this ‘new normal,’ to redefine your biggest priorities, to step back from what’s been going on and set up a new way of doing things that works better for you, within the confines of this phase of our lives.
It can be hard—having just gone through this process myself, AND it will be worth every bit of effort you put into it.
If you’re ready, or WHEN you’re ready to take back the reins and start living in a way that is better for your mind, body and spirit (because they’re connected!), start here:
- Define your biggest current priorities, for example: work responsibilities, caring for family members, working out, making healthier meals/planning, household tasks, etc.
- Examine and Evaluate your current daily schedule:
- Where is your time going now?
- What’s ‘locked in’ and what can be moved around?
- What feels good and what feels terrible?
- Take time to create a new working schedule and establish new daily routines that support healthier, intentional living—less about survival, more about living in a way that makes you feel better.
Make it’s a schedule that you run, not one that runs you.
Make it a schedule that includes the things that are YOUR biggest priorities, a schedule that makes living in a more purposeful and satisfying way possible.
“What gets measured gets improved.” ~ Robin Sharma
We may not control how long this situation will last or how long we’ll need to stay at home, but we can ‘control the controllables.’
One of those controllables is investing time into our self-care, so make sure there’s space for you in your schedule.
I urge you to make sure that your self-care is one of your biggest priorities, and make that self-care happen a little bit every day.
Remember that you deserve your own love and care as much as anyone else in your life, and that taking care of your physical, mental and emotional needs isn’t a nicety, it’s a necessity.
Take good care of you, too. If you’ve slipped off your own priority list, it’s time to get back on it. It’s time to stop coping and start living—with intention, grit and focus.
You got this.
And I’ve got your back.
PS If you want more personal support and guidance during this strange time, reach out.
We can schedule a time to talk and help you get back on track and feeling more in charge of your health and fitness in no time.