The current situation is certainly very weird and is having a huge impact on all of our lives. I keep thinking that I am just going to wake up and it's all just been a big horrid dream. Unfortunately I don't think that will be the case...
I am now having to work from home from my kitchen table (which Ellie is certainly pleased about at least) and have had events cancelled left right and centre, which when you are an athlete who has already put in so much time and effort into training (and trying my hardest to get back from my elbow fracture) does feel as though your sense of purpose has gone with your end goal being taken away.
But in the grand scheme of things I am probably one of the lucky ones, with many people I know in really difficult situations right now. So, it is more important than ever to focus on the good things that still stand, be kind, stay safe and help each other. We can get through this together.
I had this lovely email from Team Zoot this week that I think is so true and so had to share with you all:
"As we navigate these uncertain times, we want to remind our triathlon community about who we are as a tribe and why we do this. Remember, it is not about the race, it is about the journey. The triathletes, we don't need race results to validate our lifestyle or give us purpose. The journey is the purpose. We love to race because we love to train. Together, we can continue to build this community and support each other as a group of enthusiastic athletes who love to swim, bike and run. This may mean you spend more time on your trainer and less time on group rides. Or, more time on solo runs and fewer runs with your training groups. Whatever you choose, we hope that you are able to find ways to continue to take care of your mental and physical health. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Our next races may be canceled or postponed, but we won't let that slow us down. Stay safe as we navigate these times and keep training "⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
One final thing to remember is your mental and physical health. As the pandemic continues to grip the world, we may all have to succumb to working from home or a period of self isolation. During this time it may feel lonely at times, so here are a few top tips that may help you and some of which I found particularly useful when I was stuck at home for 6 weeks when I broke my elbow:
1. Plan your days
Your normal routine might be disrupted and that can be stressful. Take the time to write down how you want to spend your day and stick to it as best you can. Having a clear sense of purpose for the day really helps.
2. Create a morning routine
Your normal morning routine will most likely be very different, so try and set yourself up a new one that will help you get your day off to the best of starts. It could be as simple as a cup of tea, or a quick dog walk (mine was catching up on last nights Love Island whilst having my breakfast lol.. don't judge). Whatever it is, it will ensure you aren't tempted to work from bed!
3. Schedule breaks
Give yourself adequate time during the day to walk away from the computer screen, or to get some fresh air (if it is safe to do so) - even if it is just opening up a window. If you used to go for a lunchtime walk or run - continue to do it if you can.
4. Stay connected
Human contact and connection is really important. Keeping in touch with friends, family and colleagues via technology such as WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype etc can really help - seeing someones face really can make a difference and make you feel less lonely. You could also encourage your teams at work to set up additional 30 minute meetings via WebEx or Skype for you to check in on each other.
5. Keep yourself entertained
Be productive. Are there any activities that you have been putting off or just haven't had time to do? Well now is your chance! Can you finish that DIY project, read a book, spring clean the house, learn a new language or sign up for that online personal development course you found ages ago? These tasks can make you feel productive and give you a sense of accomplishment.
6. Stay calm
There are loads of great free apps you can use to guide you through breathing techniques and meditation that can help ease your anxiety and clear your mind of any anxious thoughts. Headspace is used by a few people I know who love it.
7. Keep exercising
Exercise releases those important endorphins which boost our mood. If you can't leave your house and don't have access to equipment such as turbo trainers, treadmills and weights then you can still get some exercise in. There are many great workout videos on YouTube which don't need any equipment to do, or apps such as Sweat give you routines to follow too.
More guidance can be found online - Mind.org have loads of extra information that you might find useful.
The important thing is that it may feel overwhelming and out of your hands right now, but whatever the scenario is for you right now, remember that you are always in control of your response even if at first it feels like you're not. We are all in this together.
Coping calendar from Action for Happiness below