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  • How to Become Robust and Resilient

    In these challenging times, and those directly in front of us, it is important to focus on what you can control. You want your health, finances, and well-being (mental health, family support system, etc.) to be robust – strong, tough. At the same time, even people and things that are robust face difficult situations. Pushed, bent and stretched beyond what you thought you could endure. The feeling that you are barely holding on by the tips of your fingers. But…you are holding on.

    Resilience describes the ability to withstand and recover from difficult situations. All of us need that ability more than ever.

    Below are three steps you can take now to become robust and resilient.

    1. Eat nutritious foods. For people that are stress-eaters, this is a serious challenge. Most of us are spending a good deal of time at home, which means we control access. Stock your shelves, fridge, and freezer with nutrient-dense foods. This includes healthy fats, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, fruits, and whole grains. These are wide-sweeping categories meant as examples.

    What isn’t nutritious? Highly refined, packaged foods that include a lot of sugar and no vitamins and minerals. If you don’t have immediate access to these foods, you won’t be eating them.

     

    1. Reduce stress. There are many ways to reduce stress. A few ideas:
      1. Step away from constantly viewing social media.
      2. If you are tight on finances, stop spending for unnecessary items. I know you might want to support that local shop that provides cute gifts, but that should not be a high priority for you if your finances are precariously teetering toward disaster.
      3. Do low-stress exercise. For some that might mean cleaning the house, the yard or the garage. For others, it is a walk. Still others with endurance sport history might find a long bike ride or run to be stress-reducing. (I will post another blog about my thoughts specifically for endurance sport.)
      4. Stay in touch with your support systems. Friends and family can help us through the tough times. Use your phone, email and video chats to remind people that you care.

     

    1. Begin designing a path forward. While in the middle of an incredibly difficult situation, it can seem impossible to look ahead. If you are frozen in place and intending to “go back to normal” in a month, you will not be resilient. There will be a new normal, at least for some period of time. The sooner you accept this and decide to take control of the items you can, the greater your chances are that you can be resilient. Now is the time to get your priorities straight and be prepared to make lemonade from lemons or omelets from broken eggs.

     

    Though the details look different for each of us, we can work on being robust and resilient together.

    Next post, what should my endurance exercise look like? Should I be “training” for that postponed race? How much intensity or duration is too much for my immune system? Do I put myself at more risk of getting COVID by “training?”

     

     Base fitness and other training plans can be found at this link

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