In just a few short months life has changed dramatically. When our lives are turned upside down our ability to adapt determines our reality and the level of impact we sustain. What we are currently seeing around the world is frightening and confronting. It has an effect on everyone, there is no escaping COVID-19. What we can control is the effect that this crisis will have on us individually, both in the short term in our daily lives but also in the future.
Personally, I have been forced to endure some of the most devastating impacts from this pandemic. I was scheduled to be running the Antarctica Marathon, departing Australia for the trip of a lifetime on the 17th March. Four days before departure things changed dramatically, the event was cancelled, travel bans in Australia and around the globe were escalating and things were about to get a whole lot worse. One week later I was forced to close my fitness business. A business that should be celebrating its 20th anniversary is now in “hibernation”. Fast forward one more week and I am at home in lockdown, with a family member testing posting for COVID-19.
My story is not unique or special, there are far more people suffering devastating impacts from this insidious virus. What’s important now is perspective. The one thing that is keeping me balanced is mindset. Leading up to this crisis I was in turmoil, desperately wanting to go to Antarctica because I had invested so much. Right up until the day the event was cancelled part of me was still going, whilst another part of me knew it would be crazy to leave Australia. Cancellation actually bought relief. At that moment I decided that my lessons from COVID-19 are: stay calm and be patient.
Two small words that can have an almighty impact on behavior. Yes, I have felt angry, frustrated and scared in the past few weeks. But I have not allowed those thoughts and emotions to take control. Our way of life has been severely impacted by this crisis and we all have to manage our way through it.
My message is simple, that we have the power to control our reactions and our reality by focusing on mindset.
It has been interesting to watch the reaction to this crisis. Our reactions and behavior during times of crisis speak volumes about our society. The length of time it takes for us to acknowledge the issue, plan a response, take action and then focus on the outcomes is the responsibility of society and each and every individual. There are those who must focus on what is best for the majority, making the tough decisions to attempt to find the best outcomes. But there are also those who still refuse to see the big picture and continue to focus on how they are personally affected and what they have lost.
Look at the big picture. Take responsibility for your own behavior. Look at ways that you can improve your current situation, even the little things, like focusing on being calm. The COVID-19 pandemic can still be a relatively small piece of time in our lives. Stay calm and be patient. It will pass and we will get our lives back on track, but think about what we will have learned?
The Carousel would like to thank Jane Kilkenny of Fitness Energy for her article.