In late December of 2019, I invested in working with a virtual personal training coach who is based in the UK. Since then we’ve been talking about my health and life history, periods of stress (like the fact that my oldest daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was 10 years old!) the food I eat and my blood sugar levels. In the last month or so we’ve begun working out together a few times a week virtually via Zoom.
Being stuck inside for all these weeks has forced me to get creative around self-care and getting my body moving.
The strength-training / muscle toning workouts started off slow and easy and I felt strong and energized—even excited to be learning some new moves I could do at home.
But eventually, the intensity increased, as has the difficulty, and it has become harder to maintain the strong, energized stance I began with.
After the last few workouts, my chest has felt tight and strained. There have even been moments when I’ve wondered…..am I sick? After a year of minimal exercise, my muscles are retaliating. They are saying, “please stop!” LOL
I’ve been thinking about how—at least in this case—exercise and getting in shape is mirroring my life.
It’s been about a month since the Coronavirus upended our lives and has forced us to live and work in completely new ways.
At first, there was a burst of adrenaline—the fear, the uncertainty and the massive change in structure pushed us into another gear. At least that’s how it felt for me.
I rode that wave of adrenaline for a while (about three weeks) and let it drive me as I juggled increased work demands, virtual home-schooling my children, cooking multiple meals a day, and running a household with my husband when the four of us are home ALL THE TIME.
As a moderate introvert (I’m just slightly over the midline of the Myers Briggs) the “new-ness” of this new norm has worn off, the adrenaline has evened out, and it hit me–I need some me time. Just like my muscles need to recover in between workouts, so do my levels of energy.
One of our brandiD copywriters reached out to a client of ours, a leadership and development expert named David Bishop, to see what he’s noticing about human performance and leadership during this unique time. David is the former President of both Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment and now runs his own business helping leaders and companies all over the world.
“The leaders I’m working with don’t realize how much the “new normal” is affecting them. At first, the work from home model feels comfortable—no commute and a reduction in non-essential meetings. Then before they know it, the trauma of the situation creeps in. They are ON all the time. They’re there for their team members, their spouse or partner, their kids. Symptoms of mild burnout arise.
I counsel these leaders to remember the “put your oxygen mask on first” rule. If you take the time for renewal—whatever brings you joy or energy—you are better prepared to take each situation as it unfolds. You’re more effective in every aspect of life. That could be a walk or run by yourself, meditation or some leisure reading. Self-care is essential during these times.”Remember the “put your oxygen mask on first” rule. If you take the time for renewal—whatever brings you joy or energy—you are better prepared to take each situation as it unfolds. Find out more: Click To Tweet
David’s response hit the nail on the head for me, and reinforced just how important self-care is to maintain a healthy mindset. I realized that just like wearing a face mask is the best thing we can do to keep safe physically, taking care of ourselves is the best thing we can do to maintain a healthy mindset and protect ourselves emotionally.
For me, that means getting in some exercise, amping up my meditation and prayer life, spending time outside, waking up early before anyone else, and digging into a great book.
Your forms of self-care might look completely different, and that’s okay. The important thing is that you make time to do whatever it is that lifts your spirits and boosts your energy. When you do, you’ll be strengthening your mindset and doing everything you can to make it through these unusual times as positively as you can.
You know, that workout I did the other day was tough, but I also made it through to the end. I know that with lots of self-care, a healthy mindset, and a huge dose of perseverance, we’ll make it through this time—and come out stronger than we were before.
To learn more about our client, David Bishop, and to see the website we created for him, check out www.thedavidbishopgroup.com.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for people, the web, and creating strong personal brands. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York city, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website. Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients. Find out more!