Like many people around the world, I’ve spent the last few weeks glued to the news in an effort to stay updated on the latest coronavirus stats and shelter-in-place guidelines. And I don’t know about you, but it has taken a toll on me mentally.
My emotions have been swinging back and forth between fear, anxiety, worry, and distress. It feels almost as if there is a flesh-eating disease knocking at my door and, though I won’t let it in willingly, I can’t help but wonder if it will find a way.
And what happens if it does?
Because of this, I’ve been letting my workouts slide, I’ve been eating too much (especially of not-so-healthy foods), and I’d pretty given up almost every positive habit I’ve worked hard to create over the last year.
Then, a couple days ago, I was scrolling through Facebook. My local town decided to sponsor a virtual marathon in which you have to run or walk 26.2 miles by the end of April. It’s hard to explain, but I instantly felt some of my motivation return.
This is just what I needed, I thought to myself. Something to look forward to. Something to work on accomplishing even though the rest of the world seems at a standstill.
It worked too. I’m proud to say that I’ve walked on the treadmill for the last few days and am well on my way to completing the race! I just needed a goal to get my ass going again.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that now is the absolute PERFECT time to set new goals. Why?
#1: You’ve finally got the time
When you’re busy trying to juggle work and home and kids, it’s easy to let goal-setting slide. But now that many of us are being forced to shelter in place (though I’ve been doing this willingly in the hopes of not getting sick), we have a ton of free time. Let’s put it to use and get working on those goals!
# 2: It helps pass the time
You can only watch so much TV and read so many books before you’re about ready to go out and face the virus because you really don’t care any more. You can’t stand the idea of spending another day at home. Setting your goals and coming up with a workable plan is a great way to pass this time faster. It’s easy to sit with your goals and, before you know it, a lot of time has passed.
#3: It feels good to dream
Watch the news or scroll through social media and everything (and everyone) is a bit doom and gloom. Conversely, if you set aside some time to come up with what it is you want out of life, you start to feel alive again. You switch from just trying to survive the coronavirus to actually having a dream.
#4: You can start working your plan
Once you’ve set your goals and created a plan of how you will achieve them, you also have time to begin working that plan. Maybe you can’t do everything you need to do to get where you want want to be, but you definitely have time to work on any personal development you need to do or to finish online research about how to better reach your goals. Aim to get everything in place so that when this passes — which it will — you’re ready to go.
#5: It makes you feel accomplished
As a freelance writer, I’m fortunate enough to have my work continue normally, at least up until now. But if that changes, which it may as more companies close their doors and, thus, aren’t needing my services, I know how rotten I’ll feel sitting around, twiddling my thumbs all day. I’ve been there before in slow times and it can really drag you down. By simply writing out my goals and creating a plan, I feel accomplished. This keeps me from looking at this time as if it’s totally lost.
#6: It boosts your mood
Working on the virtual marathon has created a noticeable shift in my mood. I feel less filled with dread and more filled with hope. I also have more patience with family and friends, which is critical in a time when so many of us are struggling mentally.
#7: Because you’ll leave this pandemic stronger than when you entered it
Building Your Grit is all about taking the hard times and using them to make you stronger. Better. More resilient. Well, my friends, this is definitely one of those times. So, if you use it to your advantage and make the most of it, you’ll walk out of the coronavirus pandemic much stronger than when you entered it. Imagine how great that will feel!
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Thanks for reading and stay happy and healthy during this crazy time!