We are in new, uncharted waters… experts say we will have to practice social distancing for a long time. It could be at least 18 months until we have a vaccine for COVID-19. Gyms are closed. Facilities are closed. Sporting events have been cancelled. And that includes everything from the NBA to my beloved weekly basketball game at the local community center. We are all locked into our homes and if we are truly honest about it, it could be a very long time before things get back to normal.
Of course, this is for the best. They say this will help save hundreds of thousands to millions of deaths. There is no question that we are doing the right thing, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. We are all being forced to give up the things we love and most of us are going to get some very serious cases of cabin fever… So, what can we do about it?
Relax, it’s much worse than you think.
I’m worried about people right now and not just about getting sick. I’m worried we are going to see depression on a massive scale. We may see suicide numbers go up significantly. People are going to be experiencing much more anxiety. So, we can either get crushed by our new reality or we can adapt to it.
One of my favorite all time books is called “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. One of the main points in it is this… when you’re suffering, you have a choice about what you think about that suffering and then what you choose to do about it. So, you can either allow it to destroy you OR you can learn from it and allow it to make you stronger and wiser. This will be a personal choice for every single person, but this is the critical part, it is your choice!
So, we can either choose to let our new reality with Coronavirus destroy us or we can go the other way… We can adapt and choose to find a new way to live. If that’s possible, we can create some new habits. And then our lives will be infinitely more interesting, because we will be opening all kinds of new doors to experiences we would have never known, had this not happened.
Here’s the good news.
Hello!! We are not in jail. We can go outside anytime we want. We can go on walks, runs, hikes, bike rides, etc. We can be outside and reconnect with the natural world. Considering we spend 95% of our lives inside, this may be the best opportunity of our lifetime to get back in touch with a more natural way of living. Yes, we have to give up some of our old habits, which include the gym and some sports, but what an extraordinary opportunity to try new things.
Here’s the point… Try some new things. Get outside more. Go for walks. Go for hikes. Go for bike rides. Go for a run. Get out into nature. Try doing yoga at home. Start foam rolling and stretching. Take long baths. Meditate. The government has waived fees for our parks. Take care of your body in a way you may have been avoiding for years.
In addition, there are a ton of ways you can workout at home too. There are some obvious exercises like push ups and lunges, squats, pull ups, etc… But, you can also work your core. Strengthen your lower back with planks, superman poses, etc. Try jumping rope. Try shadow boxing. Play handball on your garage door. Have a dance party, by yourself! Here’s the point… try something new. And try to get outside more… But, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you have fun doing it.
My guess is that within a few weeks, it will be your new thing. You’ll find it relieving your stress and opening your eyes to new experiences.
Look, this can be a curse or a golden opportunity. Spend more time with your close friends, family and kids. Hit the reset button. Get back to basics. We’re in this for the long haul. Let’s make the most of it. Do not let it destroy you!!
And then, when things return to “normal”, whenever that is, you will be a much stronger and wiser person. In the meantime, stay safe!!