I've been wanting to try and write something for the last couple of days that could share with you all how I am feeling, to see how you are all feeling and to share how I'm getting by in these weirdly wonderfully strangest of times we have found ourselves in.
It seems quite apt in a way that April is stress awareness month, so my list of trainer advice is mostly around coping with stress.. that is some incredible timing.
But today Rather than just create a post that talks about coping mechanisms I wanted to get a little more personal with you.
So firstly, How are you? How are you feeling? And is there anything I can do to help you?
For me I'm finding this whole thing an emotional roller coaster,I often refer to it as the covid ups and downs. One moment your riding high, motivated about all the things I'm going to achieve during this time. Full of positive thoughts, Exercising, writing classes, mastering zoom, getting out on my bike and just generally upbeat about the whole situation. I wouldn't say enjoying it but on those riding high days, I'm quite content and positive about all the great things I can do without the pressure of outside life. Its almost like I'm in this bubble.. happy as Larry in this new world filled with endless opportunity, Loving all the things I'm doing.
But like every roller coaster that goes up it also comes down, and then there are those days where I quite simply wake up, cant be bothered to get dressed, feel lifeless, emotional and can quite easily end in tears. Where all the motivation from the day before has left and everything seems quite gloomy. I miss people, I miss contact with you all, I miss classes outdoors, the mountains, family.
The covid roller coaster of emotions.. Can anyone resonate with that ??? Its totally normal if you do, after all we have lost our normal way of life, we are restricted on the things we can do, were missing family and loved ones, friends and work.
These emotions are normal and if that's you, go with them, acknowledge them and accept them, But don't allow them to take over your days.
I would like to share some of my strategies in the hope that they can help you like they do me. Firstly I always acknowledge how I'm feeling and I allow myself to be kind to myself. This doesn't mean I allow myself to wallow in my PJS it means I mentally acknowledge today I'm a little emotional and that is OK. The first step to getting through any day is being at one with your feelings, rather than running from them or burying them, and well right now there's no where to run away too !!
Each day I set myself a goal, I strongly advise you guys to do this.. if you ever take any advice from me, take this one. Set a SMALL goal each day. Yes small, this is NOT the time to star a degree and stress yourself even more.
Just a small goal, one each day that can be easily achieved. My daily goal is to exercise. Five Morning's a week I go out into my garden and I exercise for 15- 30 mins. It doesn't need to be hours. I wack my music on and I workout, I laugh and I enjoy it.
By setting one goal and doing it each morning, I've achieved my goal for the day which leads to positive mindset, exercise releases happy hormones so it also makes me feel great. .. I'm therefore more likely to carry those positive feelings through the day and be a little more productive. Its also improving my health which is a bonus. I love that time in the morning its MY TIME, and during this time I urge you to TAKE YOUR TIME. Its not selfish and your not failing your family, it is essential for your physical and mental health.
I know many of you are working still, key workers and many of you will have children, so you may not have the freedom to go and workout each morning. Then I would strongly recommend taking 5 minutes out before your day starts to sit alone and just mentally prepare for a positive day but set goals to workout whether that is with me, or not.... and stick to it.
I'm not telling you to exercise because it's my job, but because EXERCISE is the BEST form of stress release and control there is. It is the best thing at releasing endorphins, at making you feel like you've achieved something and making you feel great. Plus if you do it online with us yo are still engaging with the outside world, friends and normal life.
There is nothing wrong during this time to pop a TV show on for your kids or better still let them join in with you and do some exercise. There is nothing wrong asking your partner to do bed duties a few times a week or nanny duties while you catch a class. You are not superwoman, please don't put that pressure on yourself.
Another thing I have found has massively helped me on those bad days is to look inwards. After all we cant go out .. so there's no better time than to look inwards. This doesn't mean all become Yogis. Right now the hustle, bustle, noise and pressure from the outside world has been turned off..... What an opportunity to sit and figure out who you really are , and what you really want. To reflect on things and to really grow spiritually. For me spending time out stilling my mind with meditation and yoga helps to calm me , ground me and lift me. It relaxes me and kind of resets me.
For you it may be to write a journal, or to sit in the garden. Maybe its to write down all the things your grateful for and pop them into a jar to look at when your feeling lower. Maybe its to make a picture book of all the things your now doing together.
We have this amazing chance to be still and look into ourselves, our feelings, thoughts, and dreams. An opportunity find ourselves again. I've never been more at peace than I am right now.
We are all stuck in this situation, with no definite answer to when we are coming out and returning to normality. We have absolutely no control over the situation, but we do have total control over how we react . Total ability to make it into a positive situation, total control over how we chose progress through it. Total control to make good things come from a not so good time. Total control over how we choose to get through this.
Set yourself that one small daily goal, exercise often, acknowledge your feelings, get to know yourself, hug yourself. The WORLD is at rest .. ALLOW yourself to rest from it.
We can open our eyes to the positives or we can focus on all the negatives.
The choice is your's as always ... The question is which will you choose.
PS... I just wanted to share a poem i read at the end of my relaxation classes.. one for you parents, drowning yourself trying to be school and everything in one.... Don't be so hard on yourself.. Don't try to replicate their normal life .. they too are dealing with a bag of crazy emotions.... make it a positive time for them too