How to Make it to the End of a Pandemic Marathon
The winter blues are in full swing for many this year and it’s impacting people more than before because of the pandemic. On average during a normal winter, 35% of Canadians are affected by winter blues. This leaves them with a feeling of lethargy, mild level depression and changes in appetite. Now we are adding a marathon of a pandemic with no end in sight.
How does the average Canadian make it through this pandemic marathon during this winter season? Life’s experiences are all about choices and right now we need to choose wisely. We need to choose self-care as a priority like we have never before. We are living in unprecedented times and being challenged like never before. Hence we need to up the ante on our self-care and put ourselves as a priority daily.
Here are some of my top tips to help beat the winter blues and have stamina for this Pandemic marathon we are in:
Conserve your Energy
We have to conserve our energy as it is being challenged in ways like never before. If we do not do this, it is easy to become discouraged, feel defeated and increase anxiety.
Top tips to conserve your energy:
- Take a deep breath when you find yourself in a negative conversation
- Create healthy boundaries and limit the time you spend talking with people who may be in fear.
- Limit the information you are consuming about Covid because it can cause fear.
- Focus on what is in your control. You will drain your energy fast when your thoughts are on what is out of your control. Bring the mind back when this happens and shift the focus always to what you can do.
Replenish your Energy
You can thrive despite what is going on around you, by replenishing your energy. Self-care has always been important but now it is no longer negotiable. We must daily replenish our energy in order to thrive during these times.
Top tips to Replenish your Energy:
- Spend more time in nature. There is a vibrational energy in nature that will ground and replenish your energy.
- Begin your day with a self-care ritual – this allows you to set the tone of your day rather than the day setting the tone for you. Before looking at your phone in the morning, take some time for yourself. Could be journaling, meditating, walking, being present with your morning coffee or tea or all of the above. Then check your phone once you are in a good mental space.
- Eat vibrant foods. Incorporating more citrus foods with Vitamin C and energy rich foods such as salads, avocados, nuts, lean protein.
- Be mindful of your thoughts. Think happy, peaceful loving thoughts. If your mind wanders to negative thinking, then bring it back. You can control this and become more conscious of what you’re thinking as this will have a huge impact on your mental state and energy levels.
- Move your body daily. Everyday. Not a couple times a week but every day. We were meant to move and we need to move especially now to get the feel-good neurochemicals; endorphins moving through our body.
Maintain your Energy
Consistency is key. We need to incorporate these strategies into daily routines to stay healthy and keep our endurance up.
Tips to Maintain your Energy and be Consistent:
- Book yourself ‘self-care’ appointments into your calendar. Block schedule this time and make it a priority like you do with other appointments in your day.
- Have a morning ritual. This will allow for greater consistency as you take care of you first before anything else can get in your way.
- Do a “Mental Rehearsal” – athletes practice this routine all the time. You visualize your routine in your mind first. You see it play out in your mind like a movie. EG: When I wake up I get out of bed, do my mediation right away, then I have a big glass of water, then I do my exercise of choice and then sit and enjoy a coffee before my workday begins. Once I play this movie in my mind, it becomes easy to choose this when I wake up as it feels like it is already done.
- Tap into the feeling you get when you choose you. This will be your biggest motivator because we need more of the “feel good’ right now. So you will choose the feeling you want. It might not be going for a walk that motivates you but the feeling you get when you do will.
Remember you are stronger than you think. Rather than draining the tank, choose to fill it up consistently to not only survive, but thrive!
And the blessings that result from your efforts is that this becomes routine. After winter, after the pandemic, you will likely continue the habit of choosing yourself as a priority; it just feels better to do so!