Hi guys! My name is Jessie. You may or may not have met me in the Canoe Centre shop, running around Ireland or various parts of the world chasing the rain.
It’s very clear that because of recent events, our lives have now been changed. Many of us including myself are now out of work and left sitting in our houses without much to be doing. This may bring with it a mixed bag of emotions leaving us feeling somewhat unmotivated and potentially a little bit down. We all know that exercise is hugely important for your mental health as well as your physical health but for this blog I thought we might focus on just the mental side of things. I just thought I would share my two cents on keeping a positive mental attitude. First and foremost I would like to point out that I am in no way qualified in this stuff, I’m just letting you know how I have been dealing with things..
Routine: Accountability, alarms, plans, connection
Opposite action is possibly worth looking up for this one if this is something you find interesting. I have used it for various reasons throughout my life, it is basically when you do the opposite of whatever an overwhelming emotion is compelling you to do. For example, I feel sadness because I have lost my job and now I am staying at home to prevent the spread of covid 19 but because I have no routine and nothing that I ‘’have’’ to do. I feel compelled to stay in bed and sit around watching netflix all day in my pyjamas avoiding human contact. BUT I will use opposite action and wake up at 8am to go running at 8:30am with my friend who has also woken up at 8am to run together even though you’re both in different counties, this way you’ve completed a 5K run before breakfast, completed an activity with your friend but at a safe distance and you get to spend the rest of the day feeling great. Or an impromptu ladies night via FaceTime with your best friends to check in with each other and have a glass of water together. I think accountability is important here. Just because you’re in your own house and restricted to 2kms from your house as far as non essential movement goes does not mean that you can’t keep yourself busy and make a new normal routine for yourself. Make the plan with your friend to wake up at 8am and agree to call each other to make sure the other one is awake. Set a time to sit down and FaceTime with your friends. This way you know this is happening at this time and you have agreed to do it so now you ‘’have’’ to do it. I’m one of those people who get very bored easily so I have been trying to keep myself super busy. Here is an example of my quarantine day,
- Wake up and call my friend to see if they’re also awake.
- 5K run, I’ve been trying to knock time off my run time from the day before which motivates me to keep going.
- Shower and a big breakfast
- Painting or drawing, I have found that having a project to work on has been super helpful for me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be art related. This can be anything.
- One chore a day, so for example yesterday I deep cleaned the kitchen.
- Cook a really yummy dinner for the family
- Check in with friends and family via Whatsapp, Zoom, FaceTime etc
- Watch a movie on Netflix before bed.
Obviously these change from day to day because I get bored of doing the same thing everyday, so this is a general example of what I’ve been doing. But this has definitely been helping me to keep some sort of normality in my life as well as keeping my general mood up.
I also think it's important not to get too sucked into social media and the news. A break from social media is always really great for your head space.
Sit with your feelings, name them and let them speak.
A very wise lady once told me that emotions are like a wave. It comes into the bay with a lot of power but as it starts to hit the beach it begins to trip and pile up onto itself until eventually it ‘’breaks’’. It then hits the sand making that beautiful whitewater and subsides back into the sea. Emotions are very much the same but unfortunately we tend to try to hold back the wave which is near impossible. Instead it is important to acknowledge the emotion coming into the bay, name it and sit with it for as long as you need and try to understand where that emotion is coming from. Fully feel that emotion and let the emotion ‘’break’’, by this I mean crying, laughing or just being silent for a little while. Whatever it is that you need to do and then (this is the really important bit) let it subside. By this I mean let the emotion go and allow yourself to move forward from there.