Ontarians and Western Canadians let out a collective groan last week as stricter lockdown measures were announced. Many felt their options and resolve dwindle.
Overcoming this inertia and finding motivation in times like these is not easy. Here are a few strategies to help you keep your chin up.
As Newton’s First Law of Motion states, an object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by an external force. Or as life coach Tony Robbins puts it: motion creates emotion. Even a small amount of activity affects your mental state and enables you to do more.
This is a concept understood by retired U.S. Navy Seal William H. McRaven, author of the book “Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World.” In a 2014 speech to the University of Texas graduating class he shared the following advice:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”
Of course, making the bed is hard to do when your partner is still sleeping in it. If this is the case, choose another task, that once complete, begets another task to be tackled and sets the stage for a more productive day.
If you find yourself trying to drum up some midday motivation with another pot of coffee, consider swapping that cup of joe with a glass of water. Be mindful about how you’re fueling your body.
"If you find yourself trying to drum up some midday motivation with another pot of coffee, consider swapping that cup of joe with a glass of water. Be mindful about how you’re fueling your body."
Stress levels have increased over the course of the pandemic. Caffeine exacerbates the effects of stress by increasing feelings of anxiety, raising heart rates and negatively affecting sleep. Insufficient water consumption, on the other hand, is linked to an inability to focus, increased fatigue, brain fog and headaches.
Not convinced? Canadian adults drink more coffee than either tap or bottled water, according to the Coffee Association of Canada. Every day, five million cups of Tim Horton’s coffee are served in Canada. If you are drinking water already, make sure it is enough to counteract the sodium-laden junk food that’s mysteriously made its way into your home during the pandemic.
Focus on now
While it’s tempting to want to obsess over what’s to come, keep in mind what Dr. Ashwin Patel told a recent CBRE People First wellness webinar: “We can’t do anything about the past and we can’t do anything about the future. The only thing in life that we have any sort of influence on is the here and the now.”
We may not have any control over how long this lockdown will last, but we can choose how we react to it. Like choosing to grab a glass of water over that bag of chips.