Coping With Life During A Pandemic
In a time of uncertainty where everyone is panicking and stockpiling enough toilet paper for years to come, many of us triathletes are trying to stay motivated and keep up with our workouts as we watch more of our races that we have been training so hard for getting cancelled every day.
As many can relate, I am three weeks into a life where I work from home, am only allowed to go out to shop for food and supplies, pick up take-out, or do outdoor workouts. As an introvert, working from home is an easy and productive transition, and I do enjoy my time to rest and recharge. But I still need activity, socialization, and mental stimulation to remain calm during this world crisis. I do not have kids, so I know that my life and challenges are very different from many others. But we can all still share in some of the same coping techniques.
Finding a new routine in our new normal
For many of us, our whole routine has been upended. Our regular training groups have been cancelled, gyms are closed, restaurants where we meet our friends are closed, and many other businesses we visit on a a regular basis are not available to us. I am finding myself having to do a lot more cooking and cleaning than I ever prefer to do. Finding a "new normal routine" has been essential to help me stay on track and organized with work, training, and essential rest.
Practicing yoga most every day
Lately, I have found myself waking up with thoughts of horror/dread/panic/uncertainty at what is happening in the world. I have been practicing yoga somewhat regularly for the past 10 years. But I have now made it a daily part of my new normal routine. I roll out my mat first thing in the morning to help get my day started in a more calm and peaceful state of mind. There are many sites that are providing free yoga classes and videos, but my favorite that includes loads of free videos is doyogawithme.com.
Listening to meditations
Another way to help stay calm and mindful is meditation. In the past, I never knew how or where to start with mediation, but I found there are many apps that offer free guided meditations that you can listen to. Sometimes when I wake in the middle of the night and can't calm my busy mind, I use one of the sleep meditations to help me relax and get back to sleep. This is also a good way to take a 5 or 10 minute break in the day to practice mindfulness. My favorite mediation app that also includes a ton of free content with various types of meditation is called Insight Timer.
Socializing on Zoom/Facetime, or similar apps
Whatever platform works best for you, it is great to still be able to connect with friends and family that you can not be with right now. As an introvert, I still need and love to socialize, although usually for smaller time periods and in smaller groups. I have had some much needed time with friends the past few weeks using these apps and each time it has left me feeling uplifted and more joyful. Talking to others who are going through the same challenges can make us feel less isolated.
Training indoors or outdoors
As triathletes, a very important and essential part of our lives is our training and workouts. For me, physical activity has become a normal way of life. It is a way to clear the mind, get the endorphins flowing, and provide an overall feeling of health and well-being. When our routines and schedules are disrupted, and our pools are closed, it is easy to fall out of our fitness routine. I am fortunate to live in a place where the weather allows for outdoor workouts year round and I have been taking advantage of that by continuing my weekend bike rides, but only with small groups of less than five and maintaining a six foot distance. It is also great to use an app and get on the bike trainer indoors. My favorite is the Sufferfest, but I know many love Zwift as well. Of course, running is something most of us can continue to do outside in our neighborhoods, or trails. It is wonderful that I have seen so many more people taking advantage of the time to be out running and biking.
After being in my house at my computer all day working, one of the best ways I have found to unwind from work and make it feel like a transition in my day from work to home, is to go out for a walk. It helps me clear my mind and enjoy nature. I know some people find walking boring and don't have the patience for it, but I have always loved walking and find it a great way to remain active even in times of injury or circumstances that prevent our regular triathlon training. In our current times, walking helps me to stay healthy without putting extra stress on the body or requiring a lot of recovery time.
In this stressful and unprecedented time in our lives, no one knows what is going to happen in the future, but what I have learned is that we have to find ways to make the best of the situation that is given to us. By taking care of our minds and bodies, we can make the best decisions in what is right for us and our families to stay safe, healthy, calm, and mindful.
Written By: Kelli Saul, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Kelli on Instagram @kellisaul
How are you and your family coping with the world pandemic right now? Let us know in the comments below!
This blog was created for informational purposes only. It's content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or online.