Are You Out of Control (Like Me)?

Are You Out of Control (Like Me)?

YOU ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL

Don’t worry… so am I.

This seems to be a lesson I need to learn because I repeatedly find myself in situations where I’m reminded of this fact: I have very little control over my life.

Events happen in life that we don’t ask for, we don’t initiate, and we don’t want. But, they happen anyway. No one would have imagined or hoped for September 11th, but 9/11 happened anyway. I lived a healthy lifestyle and even though I was relatively young, I got kidney cancer anyway. We wouldn’t wish for this virus to require a standstill to our lives, and worse, threaten and take the lives of so many, but it’s here anyway.

Undeniably, we don’t have control over events that impact our lives.

Fortunately, we do have control in our response.

Do we give all of the power to the situation or do we find whatever amount of power we have available to us and use it?

With this confinement, our options may seem limited, but you may have more power now than you think. Here are a few parts of life we do have control over.

Body

This self-isolation is two-fold: to prevent spreading the virus and to protect yourself from contracting it. But “staying put” doesn’t mean you have to stop your other healthy habits like eating well, drinking lots of water, and exercising. In fact, this could be time you concentrate on those things a little more and prepare your meals with intention.

Your gym is likely (and rightfully) closed. You still have the control over your exercise regime. It’s all about being agile. Check with your gym membership. Many of the national chains conduct live workout sessions with their trainers. If you miss the live session, they often post them later to use at your leisure. Planet Fitness is streaming workout videos daily on their Facebook page. Barry’s Bootcamp goes live on their Instagram profile with their trainers leading exercises twice a day; these videos are then archived. Many local and independent gyms and trainers are doing the same. If you’re in a position to do so, check to see if you can Venmo these entrepreneurial trainers an amount to thank them for providing this service since this is how they earn their living.

I’ve rarely practiced yoga, but I find during this time, I need to keep my body intentionally moving as well as practice mindfulness. A friend suggested Yoga with Adriene I’ve been doing a daily practice through her streaming videos on Amazon Prime. She also has a large selection on her website. As with personal trainers, many local yoga studios stream classes with their teachers on Instagram. Don’t have a local yoga studio? That’s the blessing of the internet. Find one anywhere in the country offering this service. Here’s one in NYC giving the gift of yoga by going live on their Instagram channel.

Mind

A good number of universities are offering online courses for free; many of these can be found on Class Central’s website. Some that regularly charge for official certificates of completion have suspended those charges for a limited time.   Even if not offered for free, you may find a great option available for a small fee. Choose a course that enhances your knowledge for your career or select one that fulfills a personal goal. It can sharpen your mind and add much-needed structure to your day.

I’m not necessarily proud to admit it, but I have 12 books on a shelf that I purchased but still haven’t read. Now, I have the time. Whether a novel, a self-help book, or one focused on professional development, it’s a great time to crack open a book. Reading not your jam? Consider downloading and listening to an audio book. To broaden the experience, create an online book club using a video chatting platform like Zoom. It provides a place for expanded thought and social interaction – two birds, one stone.

Heart

Speaking of stone, none of us are made from it. Tend to your heart and the ones of those you care about. Sometimes the simplest actions provide the greatest forms of self-care.

  • Follow uplifting profiles or those that make you laugh on Instagram.
  • Binge watch a show that speaks to you or just helps you escape.
  • Listen to music that lift your spirits.
  • Dance.
  • Go old school with Legos.
  • Paint.
  • Crochet.
  • Build model planes.
  • Piece together a puzzle.
  • Organize your closet.
  • Listen to a meditation podcast.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Donate to a charity.

Most of all, remember social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing. Text friends. Chat with connections on Facebook. Use Facetime or Zoom to see your friends. Have happy hours. Celebrate birthdays. Some days, it may take more of an effort and concentration, but keep living.

Much like a concept shared in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, the circumstances caused by covid-19 are not our fault, but our reaction to it is our responsibility. Like so many, I didn’t choose to be laid off during this medical crisis that has resulted in a very uncertain economic environment. I am choosing ways I will weather this storm and emerge stronger.

We all have that ability. Just because we are out of control doesn’t mean we are out of options.