Fear doesn’t truly get us anywhere. It’s a false feeling that brews inside of us when we don’t have control enough to see what’s going to happen in the future. During this pandemic, many of us [justifiably] have dealt with feelings of fear and concern surrounding all of the unknown. The validity of feelings aside, we can tap into our inner strength to use this time to form resiliency for those around us who are watching how we handle uncertainty.
Trust in the unknown up ahead
I’m a controlling person. Not in the sense that I like to dictate every action of those around me. I grew up facing adversity that created this way about myself that feared the unknown. How did I avoid that all together? Controlling every aspect of my schedule, my weight, my work, my food, my time, and energy spent, you name it; I wanted to control it.
Of course, now, as a mother and wife, I have had to let that part of myself have a little slack. Parents know that once children come, they show you [quickly] who is no longer in charge of each day. Yes, we are the disciplinarians, but we don’t get to control the aspects or parts that make up each day.
Even if you’re not a parent, I’m sure you’ve had to learn that the future is full of UNKNOWNS. The unknown used to scare me, but now it intrigues me. We have to trust in the unknown.
For example, we recently relocated to a new home state of California. Better yet, we moved in the middle of a pandemic from one state to another … with a 3-year-old. If you think that we were out of our dome for even entertaining the thought of this happening during this time, you’re accurate in thinking the same thing that I was at the time. I thought to myself sarcastically, “This is THE (thee, not the) BEST timing EVER, right?”
Take the weight of worry off of your shoulders
How did I even muster up the energy to pack, much less organize a move while we were in social isolation and lockdown? I had NO control over the timing of it all, and our transition was a blessing. I had to remember, “What good does worrying do me right now?” Worry is literally defined as giving way to anxiety and allowing one’s self to feel stress over any situation. I COULD control my emotions, my actions, and how I handled the situation even if not for the situation itself.
In events like the one we’re facing right now, we have to take note of our feelings being acknowledgeable but not ones we have to hold onto tightly. We only have so much mental space and energy for daily life; why not give way to more positive expenditure versus negative expenditure. That switch is many times a personal choice we have to make. We have to remove the weight off of our shoulders on our own accord most times.
Take a deep breath
There’s no better way to handle the stress of the unknown than to take a moment of solace to focus.
What are our true concerns?
What can we control and what can’t we control? THIS is the kicker. What’s out of our control is something we have to LET GO.
What actionable steps can we take to process this situation and move FORWARD?
During our move, it took every ounce of my being to INHALE confidence while EXHALING doubt and concern. There were boxes to pack, movers to schedule, a home to secure, a place to sell, work to be done, homework to be done, kiddo to look after, and the list goes on. Everything would get taken care of in its timing. I was taking 5 minutes a day to perform deep breathing exercises, which created not only space in my lungs but also room in my mind to detox from the negative emotions creeping in.
Making room in the day to calm our nervous system physiologically changes the game for the rest of bodily systems to process a stressor in a much more positive way. Talking a walk, stepping away from the family, singing a favorite song, or even hiding in a closet temporarily are all ways to do this.
Resilience and Adaptability as a Fitness Leader
I discussed this topic with some fellow colleagues of mine in an online webinar that you can view HERE if you’re a fitness trainer or instructor wondering what to do with this time away from the gym or studio to maintain your presence in your community.
In this video, I note that during times of crisis, people look to their leaders to monitor how they handle stressful situations and chaos. People look for inspiration to emulate who they look to for guidance. If a leader is stressed out or driving stressors erratically, the population is bound to do the same. If a leader is calm and collected while going through the motions of a crisis, their following is likely to remain calm as well.
Who looks up to you?
How can you adjust your resilience in crisis in order to set a positive example for those around you?