I’m finally figuring out that we are in a Quarantine-athon.
This whole time is reminding me of when I trained for a marathon when I was 18. It was something I never thought I could do at the outset, and making it happen created a transformation in me I’ll never forget.
So much of what I learned then to run 26 miles is helping me get through these endless weeks, so I wanted to share some of that knowledge with you.
People have been training for marathons for a really long time, we’re talking since Greece in 490 B.C. There’s a lot of knowledge. Those tips can actually apply to right now, in your home, trying to do everything you have to do for who knows how long.
Let’s use these 10 marathon training tips to survive and thrive during this quarantine-athon:
- Dress for the weather. If you’re stuck in your house and it’s a crappy day, respond to that crappy day with extra positivity. You’ve gotta make sure that you’ve got somebody funny to talk to, a funny show to watch, and something to lift you up and make you feel good. There is no such thing as bad weather in marathons. You’ve got to make your own.
- Stick to the plan. Do. Not. Stray. From. The. Plan. You make the plan in a state of calm. If, in a moment of panic, you say, “Oh well, whatever, screw it,” you are only giving in to the chaos. You might have to pause and re-plan, which is different than just throwing up your hands in defeat.
- Find a buddy. You need someone mentally strong to be your buddy and lift you up. And you know what you’re going to do for buddy when buddy’s having a bad day? You’re going to lift them up, make them feel better. You’re going to tell them to take a shower and go for a walk. You’re going to ?keep ?them ?strong.
- Pace yourself. Don’t jump out of the gate buying things for a thousand different projects, trying to read the entire Pulitzer Prize list, and lose 30 pounds. Don’t buy the entire grocery store. Look for chewable chunks, then if you finish those things, you can move on to the next thing. You’re never going to be able to keep up if you try to quarantine binge. You gotta pace yourself.
- Don’t give up. If you have a bad training day, you don’t get upset. You start again tomorrow. Just because you have a bad start doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the race. This is called “All or nothing thinking,” and it’s not good for you. Change your story from, “Well, I’ll never…” to a grey area like, “I had a rough morning, but I’m going to walk around the block to reset and start again.”
- Beat your personal best. This is your personal best, not a best you saw on Instagram. It means being a better you today than you were yesterday. No one’s keeping score of you except you. Quarantine is your personal challenge. Only you know what you’re going through and what you need to thrive. You can use others to motivate you, but your performance is the only one that matters because that’s the only one you can control.
- Get your groove. There’s good miles and there’s bad miles. In the end, it all comes out in the wash, and as long as you finish the race, and you do the best you can, it’s all going to blend together and average out. When you’re up and productive, acknowledge that and keep going. When you’re starting to lose focus, accept that, do your best, and know you’ll be up again soon.
- Celebrate your victories. When good stuff happens, you gotta celebrate. It cements your progress in your mind and keeps you motivated. Keep little trophies around your workspace, even if they’re just a post-it note you wrote to yourself, to remind yourself of what you’ve done.
- Stay grounded. It’s all in your head. It’s all about your mental state. If you can keep yourself in a good mental state most of the time, you’re going to have a great race. This might mean adding a few calming rituals to your day. Just two minutes of meditation can make a difference. If you can find more time, a bath, a good book or journaling can also calm you down.
- Live in the moment. Though no one would have chosen for this to happen, chances are there will be somethings about it that you miss. You’re still living out days of your life. They still matter. Make the best of the quarantine gifts you’re being given.
I finished that marathon and you will finish this quarantine!
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