Tips for Dealing with COVID

You thought that COVID would be gone and things would be back to normal by now, right? It was supposed to disappear last spring, which then became this summer, but here we are, beginning the fall season, and COVID is still here.

And it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

You feel like it’s “in the way” of your life. It is interfering with your world. School, sports, family, friends and life in general all seem to be on hold. Is it a tough time? Yes, it is.

Here are some tips to help you deal with COVID.

Think Like an Athlete in Competition

As athletes, we are trained to think differently. We work hard to overcome obstacles and challenges every day. This is what we do. This is what is expected of us. Those obstacles usually come in the way of a tough practice, a tough coach, a tough opponent or a challenging new time, measurement or score you have to meet, right?

Think of COVID in the same way. Use it as an opportunity to grow. It is definitely a challenge, no doubt. Allow it to make you better. For example, think about how you would take on an opponent in a game? You would be strategic in coming up with a plan of attack. Use that same strategy to formulate your plan against COVID.

Use it to be creative in how you push and discipline yourself. It WILL help you grow.

“This Too Shall Pass”

Think of it as a temporary, though extraordinary, setback. Yes, this is tough. But believe and trust that it will pass, because it will. Experts around the world are working on a vaccine and helpful treatments. It is something that will bring a lifetime of change. Normalcy, as you knew it before, may never return. So create your new normal. Don’t wait for others to show you the way. Start adjusting now. You can do this.

See what you can create from this. Then put that creation to work. Maybe you redo your study area at home, whether that is fixing up your bedroom or making a homemade desk for the window seat in your living room. Maybe you create a new workout room in the garage or in the basement. Whatever you do, try to make it a new beginning.

Young woman jumping off a rock into a lake in summertime

Take the Lead

You don’t have to be a leader, senior, team captain nor oldest sibling to take the lead on this. Be a role model for your teammates, coaches, friends and family. Be a positive reinforcer. Take the stance to do everything you can to help the situation, whether that be in your family, with your team or with your friends. Sometimes other people just need to see a positive person during tough times. Be that person.

For example, you could invite your team to join a virtual meeting to discuss how you will all stay together and workout during the COVID crisis. You could challenge each other in smaller teams or surprise your coach with videos of the team working out virtually.

Others will stand in the background, or stand still when things get tough. Not you. You find a way to get things done. You find a way to reach your dreams. Take the lead. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

Your strength, which is probably greater than you currently think, can and will carry you through this. Others will witness this and follow your lead.

Control What You Can Control

As athletes, we are trained to take control of the situation, but this situation is out of your control. That may seem frustrating.

What can you control? We can control how we act, how we think, what we say, what we do to take safety precautions, how disciplined we are, how hard we work on school and sports and what attitude we have during this time. These things are ALL in our control.

Is it tough? YES! But that doesn’t have to stop us from dreaming, striving, learning, challenging ourselves and doing our very best each and every day.

Be in control of ONLY what you can control. Leave the other stuff to someone else.

Woman doing power squats at her home gym

One Day at a Time

Focus on one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. You don’t have to conquer the year of COVID. You just need to conquer today. What can you do today to overcome the challenges of today? Tomorrow will bring other challenges, and you’ll get to those later, but what can you do right now today?

What can I do right now to better myself or my situation? I could get a workout in. I could begin to write that paper that is due next week. I could write my emails to coaches. I could read my chapters for school. I could clean my room.

The point is this: take it one day at a time.

Find Things to Be Grateful For

Sometimes, when things get tough, we fall prey to the “I am a victim” syndrome. We think that we have it the worst. We have the toughest situation. We have the most challenging circumstance. Why is this happening to ME?

When you feel this way, bring yourself back to finding things you are absolutely grateful for. These may be your family, parents, grandparents, extended family, teammates, coaches, mentors, favorite teachers, boyfriend or girlfriend, dog, cat, being an athlete, your sport, your skill, your job or countless other things you can be grateful for. Feel how lucky you are.

Keep it all in perspective. You are unique and special. You have gifts and talents that others do not have. Be grateful.

Young woman smiling while leading a group of girls doing community service 

Be of Service

What can you do to help other people? Serving others can help in two ways. First, you are helping someone else, which usually makes the other person feel good. Second, helping others also makes you feel good. There has been a multitude of studies suggesting that volunteering to help other people reduces stress and anxiety in your own life and makes you feel good.

How much good can you spread today? You could help your parents with something that really needs to get done around the house. You could call your grandparents. You could grocery shop for your elderly neighbors and leave the food on the front steps for them so they don’t have to go to the grocery store. You could mow your grandparents' lawn. You could call a teammate who is feeling down and cheer her up. You could send an email to a teacher or coach and thank them for their help during this difficult time. You could organize your team to do some community service project that would help the school or the community.

The opportunities are endless.

Five women taking a jumping photo at a beach at sunset

Continue to Believe in Yourself

Lastly, and most importantly, never give up on your situation, your talents or your goals. Believing in yourself, no matter what comes before you, is a skill you will need the rest of your life. You will be hit with challenges and obstacles in your future that you aren’t prepared for. Believe that you can attack these challenges and overcome them.

One day, you will look back on this time and see how it helped you become the person you’ve become and how it assisted you in achieving where you are in life. You’ll be fine.

Hang tough... because that is what you do.