02 Jun Movement Matters: Control What You Can and Leave the Rest!
May was Mental Health Awareness month, and never in my memory have so many of us struggled with isolation, anxiety, and depression brought on by the shared (at a safe distance!) experience of Covid-19. Not only have friends and loved ones been ill or succumbed to the disease, but the sheer burden of non-stop information, whatever your source, has had the unintended effect of piquing a wide array of emotions, whether they be fear, anger, confusion, or a mix of the three.
I am fortunate to have a career that guarantees frequent human contact and deep conversations. Over the past two months we have all struggled with fodder for spirited banter because, well, there’s not much else going on, and for the most part folks prefer not to dwell on the elephant in the room. Within these recent conversations I have heard people struggling with emotions, straining under obligations to parent and teach and work from home, and generally be so consumed by our new reality that any future planning and dreaming, the stuff that great conversations are made of, has literally ground to a halt.
Kids are home that should be in school or working, spouses are sharing wifi for the first time, graduations and celebrations are muted, and we are all leery to be near our elderly parents and friends. How, given the circumstances, can we regain some control over our lives and our mental health? Here are some considerations. Instead of mourning the loss of an old routine, establish a new one and embrace it.
- Can’t cook with friends? Zoom in some close friends for a shared cooking experience.
- Working from home? Rise early, shower, dress, get in your car and drive to the local coffee shop for your favorite morning beverage, and return home ready to work.
- Missing your exercise class? Find one of thousands online and have a shared experience in your living room or basement.
- Immerse yourself in something that you have always wanted to do. Online guitar lessons, woodworking, Bonsai plants, reading the classics, painting scenes from your dream vacation. At this point if you haven’t seen something on Netflix it’s probably not worth watching.
- Get outside and get your hands dirty in the garden, plant a vegetable garden, deep clean your garage, sweat with a friend on the rail-trail, ride your bike, or stroll through a community park or local nursery.
- If you are comfortable with safely being with the people, head out to a favorite restaurant or drinking establishment for a change of scenery and some much-needed socialization.
- Have long, deep, personal conversations with old friends and family, talking about anything but pandemics and politics.
The worst of this, for many of us, has been the dramatic alteration in routine and the isolation from virtually anyone we know in person. We rely on this sense of normal to maintain sound mental health. Re-establishing a routine, while different, can create new and exciting things to look forward to and embrace moving forward. The worst thing that we can do is remain isolated and simply bemoan our current condition.
We are at the ready with stellar conversation and great physical therapy techniques to move you in whatever direction your new routine should dictate. With three convenient locations and a whole herd of caring, knowledgeable and professional physical therapists, we want to help you not only embrace the physical challenges of our near future, but also engage you in conversations about anything else that might be on your mind. Give us a call and give it a shot!