You may be distancing socially, but are you also distancing yourself from your health goals? We are all being taken to a higher “wellness task level” now. It isn’t insurmountable, though maintaining or continuing on a healthy journey requires extra attention.
And if you can be successful during a particularly stressful time, living the lifestyle during “normal” circumstances will feel easy!
Read on to learn about five potential pitfalls associated with the current stay-at-home orders, along with suggestions on how to overcome them.
One can say that we shouldn’t argue semantics, though the truth is, specific word choice impacts mindset.
In terms of the word, “quarantined,” unless we’ve been exposed to Coronavirus and are legitimately sequestered from the rest of society for probable disease exposure, we are not truly quarantined.
Are we restricted? Yes.
Do we feel isolated? Yes.
And while isolation mindset can feel claustrophobic, the success lens shifts when the language we use shifts.
So, rather than focus on which activities are currently restricted, we expand our view on what’s possible with the freedoms we still have:
Note that these freedoms span not simply physical freedoms, but psychological ones as well.
Mindset remains a choice.
Now,that’s more freeing, isn’t it? At the same time, remind yourself that the current conditions are temporary.
“I’m Not Learning Anything from This Situation”
Many of us have responded to Coronavirus through the same stages that we experience loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
“No, this can’t be happening!”
“I’m so ticked this is interfering with the ways I go about life!”
…and so forth. But emerge out of this lockdown having not learn a darned thing, and you’ll have missed an opportunity.
I remember when initial panic set in and a client texted that his spouse purchased the wrong brand of tortillas.
Initially irritated, we texted about it, and I helped with some alternatives.
But the following week when we had our video session, his commented reflected something beyond missing one of his favorite food items.
He remarked, “I cannot believe I sweat the small stuff like my preferred wraps!”
It works like that, those “aha moments” – never anticipated, always amazed, and truthfully, one of my favorite parts of coaching.
• …have you learned to be more creative with your macros as you’ve navigated grocery stores with limited supplies of certain items?
• …are you more resourceful and resilient in a crisis than you used to think?
• …how much your daily lifestyle choices really do matter in boosting immunity?
• …are there social luxuries (movie theater popcorn, happy hours), that you really can do without…or at least enjoy much less of?
If not, it’s a great question to ask as we continue to navigate limited social exposure and travel - it’s not over yet.
A little over a month ago, many of us were cranking along in high gear and longing for a pause in life. “I’m soooooooo busy. If only I had time for [insert house chore or mental health break activity here]…”
Well, we may not be under the most ideal of circumstances, though our wishes for more time have been granted!
How are you spending yours?
Munch on a bag, box, or container of whatever. Wake up the next morning with a stomach full of regret, or no guilt whatsoever but the lingering pounds over time.
Think “healthy replacement behavior.” Take yourself to task! What is it that you’ve said to your kids in the past when they said they were bored?
Depending on your preferences, you can either choose
(1) accomplishment or (2) escape.
Not everyone loves the sense of accomplishment that an organized closet brings, but if that’s your jam, lucky you – orders to shelter in place also coincide with the magical spring-cleaning season.
Set yourself up for healthy success by:
• ridding the closets of too-large clothing - you’ve worked hard shedding those pounds, time to celebrate that much-anticipated, well-earned task!
• spiffing up the fridge – who needs that barbecue sauce from 2014 that didn’t taste that great anyway?
• reorganizing that pantry – order some meal prep containers, toss the tempting items that you think aren’t tempting but really turn out to be otherwise, and place your goal-getting foods front-and-center and within easy reach.
If you’re not the Good Housekeeping type, then choose the escape route. What hobby or new skill you’ve wanted to learn?
What type of writing do you enjoy? What language have you downloaded the app for but only opened twice?
Bottom line: whichever activity you can immerse yourself in(aka not checking the clock) is a decent choice with which to begin.
As for me, I’m going to pick up the sweater I started knitting several years ago but never pieced together. You’re going to see me more proficient at Excel when the COVID19 pandemic is over, too – but not before my spices are re-alphabetized and I’ve taken my stepson’s bedroom from age 11 to 18 with a fresh swipe of new paint.
On the flip side of escape, if you’re thinking there’s no escape, I’ll ask you to do just that: escape!
For wellness’s sake, though, aim to do so in healthy ways. You may be relieved to learn that some screen time is an acceptablebreak from which your brain benefits.
Now is an ideal time to immerse yourself in a bit of Netflix.
Notice I said “a bit” and not “binge.”
You know what’s binge-worthy? Balance!
It may not be productive time, and that’s perfectly fine. Getting lost in someone else’s story can help temporarily downplay the focus on our individual stressors and circumstances. Is it any wonder that Tiger King gained so much traction amidst this pandemic?
One of the best examples I’ve seen so far involves a post from one of our members. She and her family were supposed to be on a Disney vacation this week for Spring Break; with their trip cancelled, she shared photos of them virtually (via Smart TV) walking through the parks and “riding” the rides.
It wasn’t their Plan A, but it was a pretty darn creative Plan B. Plus, I’m sure they’ll always remember it – that’s the job description of a vacation anyway!
Therefore, I’m calling this approach,
“Adopting the Disney mindset!”
Find those creative outlets and substitutions.
Imploding or Impaired
Finally, if you feel like you’re drowning in worry, it’s time to get the heck outside of yourself! We all have a different set of resources and strengths to offer, ranging from time, money, prayers, and acts of service.
Research has shown that volunteering and giving leads to lower rates of depression.
Donate healthy meals to essential workers on the front lines.
Sign up to become an organ donor April happens to be Organ Donor Awareness month anyway!
Those of you who are able and willing may donate blood; it is needed, though most need to make an appointment.
Offer to pick up or arrange for groceries to be delivered to the elderly or immunocompromised. Pick up the phone and lift someone up who may be out of work right now and would benefit feeling appreciated.
In conclusion, now is one of those times when we cannot change the circumstances but have tremendous power in our reactions to them.
Mad praise or simply mad: how you will emerge from these temporary challenges remains a choice.
Don’t just suffer – succeed.
Coach Jodi Sheakley-Wright, PhD, is one of the lead behavioral coaches at KK Wellness Consulting. She has also achieved pro status as a natural bodybuilder, is a living kidney donor, and appreciates each day to help clients achieve more than they thought possible! Request a consult or related service at https://www.kkwellnessconsulting.com/services.
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