Have you felt really down over the last 15 months of this pandemic? I know I have. Now that things are starting to open up I am sure a lot of us are feeling better. BUT a lot of people aren’t! This is for the people who need it. I am writing this for those who are battling the pandemic blues.
I am feeling WAY BETTER, and it happened in an instant on Friday morning last week. I woke up and stretched, heard my dogs and my husband downstairs, and actually wanted to get out of bed to go join them. “Hmm” I thought, “That feels different,” as I bounded down the stairs to go cuddle them and say good morning to them.
It was, in fact, different since for most of the pandemic, I had been laying in my blackout dark bedroom as long as humanly possible before getting up to go somewhere I had promised to be (let’s be serious, I could only be going to work). On weekends I stayed in there until noon or later, thinking “What’s the point of getting up?” I realize now as I write this I may have been more down than I originally thought…
On days I had to be at work I would make myself happy. Yup. I have learned so many tactics and tools and strategies that I can literally MAKE myself happy at almost any moment. And this is 100% necessary for my role as a leader and as a coach. So I did it. And no, it wasn’t fake; it was manufactured, but it was still real. I can make myself happy by connecting to a higher power, by meditating, by writing about what I’m grateful for, excited about, or my intentions, and a few other exercises. It WAS joy, it WAS excitement, it WAS happiness, but it was also a huge effort.
Ok on to the less depressing part: THE WAKING UP FRIDAY! Getting back to real, true, easy, not-manufactured HAPPINESS! Oh and EXCITEMENT! And JOYYYYYYYY!
So back to this magical Friday morning… The sun was shining, my husband and I had a few days off together, and we decided to go hiking later that day. My dogs were rolling lazily around on the deck, in the bright sunshine that had finally come after days of rain and clouds. I kissed my husband with so much gratitude for who he is, and who I get to be married to and live this life with. We started to get ready for hiking and BAM it hit me “Oh my gosh I feel like a cloud has been removed from me! I’m excited! I jumped out of bed this morning! I am really LOOKING FORWARD TO TODAY! And I’m looking forward to every day after this one that I get to live and love!” YES! FINALLY! I was back!
So let’s get tactical: Why was I feeling so down? Poor choices.
1. Focusing on the pandemic and what I couldn’t do.
2. Using wine as a coping mechanism more often than I want to admit.
3. Listening to people who were complaining, upset, and doom and gloomy a lot of the time.
4. Not reaching out to my mentors or counsellor more often.
5. Watching Netflix instead of doing something that would feed my mind.
6. I didn’t exercise because of my back injury, which was a huge mistake because my identity — although very much tied to being an entrepreneur and coach — has also always been tied to being a professional athlete. But now I was just a lazy person with no muscle (segue to the next point nicely…)
7. I was speaking negatively about myself!
8. Pain. Back pain is real and it will get you down if you don’t do something about it!
So here’s how I went about battling the pandemic blues, and you can too:
1. Focus on the GOOD.
I wish I could put this in font size 1 million! This cannot be emphasized enough! The more you look for good, the more good you find, and the better you feel! WHAT YOU THINK CREATES HOW YOU FEEL. This is how I was able to control my feelings during the pandemic when I needed to be happy and motivated. If you ONLY do one of these things DO THIS ONE! IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU’RE CONSISTENT WITH IT!
2. Take care of your body!
Whatever level of exercise you’re at, you can EAT better, get good fats and lots of protein. And GET OUTSIDE! Even for a ten-minute walk if that’s where you’re at. EXERCISE. EAT WELL.
3. Take care of your mind!
Instead of bingeing on Netflix, read books that improve your life and business, watch the training you’ve purchased (from me, or other awesome teachers) and keep feeding your mind! We need to keep learning and growing, and we need to protect ourselves from negative, critical people. Those kinds of people will convince you NOT to be hopeful! Find a better circle!
4. Stop isolating yourself.
Even if you’re physically isolated, get on FaceTime or Zoom or something and TALK TO PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU! I literally feel LOVE hit me as soon as I get into work or get on the phone with my teams. They are AMAZING. Surround yourself with amazing and loving people.
5. Find alternative healing methods.
If you’re injured, instead of accepting some grim diagnosis like disc replacement surgery (which I was about to do), go see an incredibly talented physiotherapist or someone who can help you get back to being more active with less pain. My physiotherapist is totally changing my life!
6. SEE THE HOPE! SEE EVERYTHING OPENING UP! START TO DREAM AGAIN! REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU CAN BE, DO AND HAVE ANYTHING YOU WANT!
I KNOW I AM, and I CAN. Keep battling the pandemic blues; don’t let them win! We’re almost there!
With so much love, hope, and joy,