It’s nuts out there. Use these grounding methods to avoid becoming a little nutty yourself.
With so much uncertainty happening all around us, we are all responsible for our own sanity. All of our schedules are being impacted as closures increase, and your daily life might look very different than normal right now. This could all be over in a week, or these shenanigans can continue for months, there’s just no telling. And since all of our schedules have been completely changed, with most of us spending more time at home, we have a unique opportunity to concert our focus on the things that we know will make us feel great, in control, and healthy. It is crucial that we feel in charge of ourselves, our emotions, and our habits, especially at a time like this. By controlling our headspace, we’re able to control our reactions to the changes happening all around us.
First, it’s important to point out that many of us have had to face some new, disappointing realities. With work closures and event cancellations occurring, we’ve had to make peace with the uncertainty of our future plans. I’ve had to check myself when my mind wanders down that path; many of us are “planners.” We like to know what’s happening when, with as many details as possible. Right now, that’s just not an option, and it’s forced me to take note of my focus throughout the day. It becomes difficult to have perspective when we learn new information hour-by-hour, and it’s quickly become clear that the only thing we truly have control over is ourselves.
INTENTIONALLY CHOOSE HOW YOU WILL START YOUR DAY
Since some of us are home-bound, we have a unique ability to create our own daily schedule. If your current schedule allows it, I highly recommend getting some type of exercise in the morning: go for a jog, jump on a trampoline, have a dance party in your kitchen, it really doesn’t matter. Just move your body! Consciously and deliberately deciding that we will put ourselves in the best headspace possible to tackle the day provides a massive feeling of control. Not to mention, it will help us to feel clear-minded and healthy, even if we can’t be in the gym. In fact, creating or continuing a morning routine will be very helpful to center ourselves first thing in the morning. But please hear this: scrolling your phone for news updates or watching 2 hours of news broadcasting first thing in the morning are not items that should be in your morning routine. The whole purpose is to intentionally choose to keep our minds clear and set ourselves up for a calm and focused day. This will not happen if you wake up and immediately consume media. YOU decide how you start your day, and the way you start your day impacts the rest of it. Choose to start with the things you know will bring you joy.
GYM OR NO GYM, WE ALL NEED TO CONTINUE TO EXERCISE
I understand that your normal workout routine has probably been disrupted. Please remember that you only need your body to exercise. The machines and barbells and kettlebells are awesome tools to work with during training, but they are not necessary. You can get a bomb workout by completing only bodyweight movements, so please do not scrap your entire workout plan because your gym is closed. At Dew It Fitness, we have begun an online challenge to help our community continue to move their bodies while we are shut down. If you normally attend a gym that has closed, please feel free to jump on board for at-home workouts, mobility & stretches, and other nutrition/wellness related mini-challenges! Share this link with your friends and family who cannot attend their gym; just because gyms are closed doesn’t mean that we should scrap our fitness habits. Especially now, moving our bodies is extremely important; the physiological response we get from the release of endorphins aligns with our current goal to stay grounded in the behaviors we take to feel good, clear-minded, and in control.
CONTINUE OR REDIRECT YOUR EFFORTS TO FORM HEALTHY HABITS
If you are currently working on building a healthy habit, continue your efforts in the same way as you normally would. If you’re trying to increase your water intake, keep going! Giving your mind something very specific to focus on is an effective grounding technique that gives us back some of the control that we may feel we’ve lost recently. Now is not the time to put a pause on the habits you’re forming. The whole point of building habits is to create an automatic healthy behavior. Healthy behaviors will make you feel good and strong – in a time like this, this is something we should all reach for.
WITHOUT FOCUS, YOU’LL FORM UNINTENTIONAL HABITS. STAY AWARE.
In the case that you are no longer working, choose how you’ll spend your day with intention. It can be easy to treat this time like a vacation, eating anything we want and doing a little week-day drinking since we don’t have to be at the office early the next morning. I won’t often tell you to skip the tequila, but in this situation, keeping the structure of your week will help to keep you feeling grounded. In the same way that our focus can help us to create healthy behaviors, choosing not to focus on those can unintentionally lead us to creating unhealthy behaviors. Let’s say you’ll be home for 2 weeks: that’s more than enough time to unravel current healthy habits or even worse, to replace those healthy habits with some not-so-healthy behaviors. Life will resume at some point and we’ll continue living our normal day-to-day lives; when we reach that point, we don’t want to have to start over, trying to rid ourselves of the poor decisions we’re in the habit of making.
CONTROL YOUR HEADSPACE BY DELIBERATELY CHOOSING HOW TO START & END YOUR DAY
I’m a firm believer of sandwiching my day. Meaning, deliberately choosing the mood I want to start my day with, and the mood I want to end my day with. The only way I know how to manufacture my mood is to intentionally choose what I focus on when I first wake up, and to intentionally choose what to focus on before I go to sleep. I will continue to do these things Monday through Friday, just like normal. Even though life seems strange right now, I do not want to leave my mood and my emotions up to the media. I don’t want to relinquish my emotional power by reading article upon article of the state of the world when I first wake up, or right before I go to sleep. I function best with structure. If I were to choose to completely disrupt that structure since my schedule has changed, I would make it about 2-3 days before turning into a very scary version of myself. A version void of control, of emotional intention, and of accomplishment. Those are the three things I know I need to function best. Choosing not to keep up with those habits that allow me to feel that way would be my choosing to have a week that spirals downward. I get to decide if that happens. And so do you.
Take a few minutes today to think of the things you need in your day to feel normal. To feel good, to feel in control, and to feel healthy. There is too much out there that will cause fear and panic and nervousness and although we can’t – and shouldn’t – shield ourselves from that completely, we should be choosing when and how much to consume with intention. With honesty about how reading those articles or watching those news segments makes us feel. You are in control of you.
EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR OWN VERSION OF SHAKING IT OFF
And lastly: Do you have a system in place for blowing off steam when you need to? A lot of you are stuck at home with small humans that may disrupt your patience. If you don’t already have a tactic to shake it off with some T-Sway bumping in the living room, I encourage you to experiment to find a technique that works for you. Put on a little DMX and jam out until you feel lighter and more in control. Blast some Kendrick or Eminem and put in work on that punching bag collecting dust in your basement. When your patience is wearing thin or your anxiety is starting to increase, moving your body will help to change your mood. This is just a smart idea for all of us. Having a technique to shake it off instead of killing our boyfriends, husbands, children or dogs is simply smart. And something you’ll definitely use again.
Over here at Dew It Fitness, we’re doing all we can to put out content that is helpful to you, especially during these strange times. Even if you are not part of our DIF fitfam, you are part of our community, please feel free to reach out if there is specific health & wellness information that would be helpful to you right now (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re all in this together!