My routine before this pandemic was quite hectic, even though it was a fast paced one I enjoyed the adrenaline it gave me. By 6:40am my daughter would leave for school and soon after I would leave the house and head to the gym. This was a Monday to Friday ritual with no fail, 9am I started work and from then on it was non-stop juggling work, cooking, cleaning and driving my kids from one lesson to another.
This all suddenly stopped!!! Working from home with kids slouched on the sofa was not the kind of scene I wanted to see day in day out, I tried giving them chores and help around the house however the phone was more important. It was a constant worry knowing they had no school, no lessons, no activities, no social life.
My mornings didn’t start anymore with that adrenaline which I was used to, a good sweat before I started the day, this caused me a lot of anxiety, I wasn’t sleeping well, I started feeling a butterfly sensation in my chest more often than not. I turned to emotional eating which made me gain some weight and that put extra stress on me, my active life was paused for a moment and this made me lose all my motivation.
In the beginning I tried some online workouts which I found on YouTube, however it was not the same thing, though I said to myself that for now I needed to adapt to this kind of training. Luckily, I got myself into many WhatsApp chats with different groups, entertaining each other with sharing recipes, playing bingo through Zoom and basically sharing our thoughts and emotions, we really all supported one another. Scrabble online was another thing I got myself into, it kills an hour of my day and makes me forget any worries. During all this time though I was still feeling unmotivated and wasn’t feeling my usual self, something was missing. I was not being woken up by my usual alarm, was sleeping till 8:30am even 9am, starting my day much later than the norm, and to top it all up I was allowing myself to eat whatever it was that I wanted.
One day I finally woke up and said that’s it, I need to get back on my feet, no more over-eating and my exercise had to get back on track, I needed to get out of the rut I was in. That time was up, I decided I was going to put my alarm on one day for 6:30am and force myself to go for a run, that day arrived, I was up at 6:30am went out for a run in the fresh air, came home and realized how good I felt, that good feeling I used to have was back.
That same day my eating changed, I was back on healthy eating and keeping away from all that unhealthy food. I realised i needed to get out of bed early in the morning and give my body that rush of endorphins which it was used to. I managed to persuade my sister to meet me every morning, which is not her thing but she made the effort, and every day we would walk/jog for one solid hour. Currently she had to have a small eye intervention, which meant she couldn’t join me any longer but that didn’t stop me at all, coincidentally I got an email from my gym that online Zoom classes were starting, and even though they were online I pushed myself to try, I can say that I really enjoyed it and made me feel good.
I made sure during this time that all my family members and friends that I never had time to talk to would receive a phone call from me to catch up for the time lost. I am helping any friends who are struggling at the moment with feeling of unmotivation, I arrange a time for us to meet and go for a long walk, of course keeping our distance, but the fact that they have someone to meet gives them the initiative to get up and move. I see how much they appreciate my determination to help them get some fresh air, and this gives me a sense of gratification.
To anybody out there struggling with the dark place they are in - the only person to help you snap out of it is yourself. Even though you don’t feel the urge to do so, it's up to you to make the effort, get your earphones, listen to your favourite music, look around you and appreciate nature and breathe the fresh air.
Make that extra effort to do the things which give you joy, even just a phone call to a friend. These little efforts will make a difference.
I wish you a happy day.