COVID-19 Support: How to structure your pandemic day to decrease stress and stay on track

COVID-19 Support: How to structure your pandemic day to decrease stress and stay on track

If you're anything like our clients, this quarantine is probably making you a little stir crazy. One of the things we've done is getting creative on our off time to keep ourselves engaged. A great way to do this is through board games! And one thing we've noticed as that quite a few games have checkpoints, certain things you need to accomplish in order to move forward in the game.

Checkpoints make a seemingly insurmountable situation a little less terrifying.

If you focus on reaching the next checkpoint (rather than beating the whole game or level) the situation is more manageable. In life, it works the same way: accumulate checkpoints and you'll achieve great things.

Right n ow, many of us simply need to achieve getting through each day--days over which we have little control.

Most of us had checkpoints built into our day before we were quarantined into our homes. We didn't really have "choices." We had to get out of bed to make it to the gym before work. We had work itself. We had commutes home, and pre-set meals (because we were so busy). Our bedtime was mandated by that early wake-up call.

Now that we have some more free time we stay up late watching Netflix. We wake up at 8:55 am to hop on a zoom meeting for work.

Our training consists of thinking about how we should workout, looking at 800 Facebook profiles and "free workouts" for inspiration--and settling for ice cream and binge-watching the next big show.

We've lost all our order. We exist in a sea of chaos. Until we can restore a bit of control to our lives, we will continue to be a couch vegetable.

The key to restoring this order is restoring those checkpoints in our day.

While so much is out of our control, if we can find checkpoints over which we do have control, it will ease the pain of this troubling time.

Here are five recommended checkpoints:

1. Get to bed at the same time each evening.

Your morning starts the night before. When do you want to wake up int he morning? 6:00 AM? That means "lights out" at 10:00 PM. That means electronics must be turned off bu 9:00 PM. Set an alarm. Read a book. Do some light stretching. Talk with someone. Spend some time with your partner! Establish consistency.

2. Get out of bed early and at the same time each morning.

It can be tempting to wake up 5 minutes before you hat to electronically "clock in". Do you want your first waking moment to be filled with the dread of working?

Get up, move around, ease into your day. Find something fun or fulfilling to do int he morning before you settle in for a day of computer work.

Have a good personal development book your into? Read it. Have that favorite podcast that you love? Listen to it. Want to connect more with your spirituality? Meditate or pray.

Think about how lucky you are to be alive. Find a way to get some satisfaction for getting up early. It'll be tough at first, but the rewards outweigh the discomfort.

3. Eat the same meals at the same time.

Let's use Navy Seals as a great example of the power of this one.

During Basic Underwater Demolition Training--the notoriously difficult program designed to weed out the feeble minded- Navy Seals are instructed to take the grueling initiation one meal at a time.

If that's good enough for a special forces operative, it's good enough for a Marketing Manager in a climate-controlled home in Delaware.

Having repetitive mealtimes and meal contents will bring control and familiarity to your day. Create some automation, and have less to stress out about.

For most folks, it will suffice to focus on cementing points one through three above. That's it. Do these three things and you'll feel less anxiety, stress, and panic.

When you've nailed those points above, tackle points four and five.

4. Set a training schedule.

You need to exercise, not only for your physical health but for your mental health as well! Sort out which days you will "train," which days you'll do active recovery (like walking or yoga) and which days you will rest.

Train at the same time each day. The easiest way was to do this is with four days of training, two days of active recovery, and one full rest day per week. However, if you're new to exercise and haven't exercised in a long while, start small. Maybe just start with walking and then slowly add some training days in.

If you feel like you need more support, look for a coach.

5. Accept your circumstances.

The pace of life is slow right now. That's okay.

Get up and walk to a mirror, look at yourself in it, and say "It's okay for me to relax."

Extend some grace to yourself. It's easy to feel like you're not good enough when you're not being "productive" 24/7, or if you're just plain stressed.

 

We know this time is challenging, which is why support and accountability is imperative for keeping you on track not only with your health but with your pathway to overall success. To help guide you in your journey, we're inviting you to experience 3 free remote coaching sessions. The difference maker of COVID-19 is having a coach to guide you through it. Click here to sign up for your 3 for Free.



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