Thanksgiving 2020 is going to be - or probably should being if you are safe - difficult for a lot of people.
Consider yourself lucky if you're tough because you can't see your family. This means that they are still there, and maybe you are saving their lives and the lives of those you have never met.
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones this year, whether for convictions or for other causes. Welcome to the club, that sucks, and you joined in a particularly bad year. The good news (in my limited three years of experience) is that the first year is the crappiest, so I hope you never mourn a loved one again on vacation during a pandemic! (* see bereavement resources below)
I am not spending the holidays with my family for the first time in 37 years on this planet. I managed to get home in September when things weren't so bad, and thought it wouldn't be good on Thanksgiving, so I had time to adjust to Thanksgiving. Plus, I can spend Thanksgiving with my little capsule - my dear friend / upstairs neighbor and her husband - which makes things a little easier.
But Christmas. Christmas. If you've read my blog, you know how big of a deal Christmas has been for me, how important it has been to my mom. I played through my head with a million scenarios of how I could have made it work. I would have quarantined my cousin's house, as I did in September, have been tested, etc ... but in the end, it was not worth the risk for me. At the start of the pandemic my mental health was in dire straits and I had a bit of a seizure, and I was really scared to be alone for the holidays. But as Kate (friend / neighbor) put it, "There wouldn't be enough therapy in the world for you if something happened to your dad." A wise woman, she is.
But that said, the holidays are bad enough without my mom. There is a raging pandemic and I cannot see my family. I'm incredibly stressed out about school right now.
So here's what I'm doing to take care of my mental health during this time:
- Do my best to be nice to myself. I've heard so many friends say, "Ugh, I don't know why I'm so tired / don't have any motivation / energy right now." I always answer "I don't know, is there a global pandemic / civil unrest, racism /[insert their own issue] etc. In progress ?? And yet, I have the same thought and I keep fighting not to deal with it. I try to catch up when I have these thoughts, and - this one is such a cliché - talk to myself like I would talk to these friends.
- Better done than perfect. Based on the above, some days I'm super depressed, some days I'm incredibly anxious (lolol that's not pandemic / vacation specific !!)… but I have to do shit. Rather than trying to do whatever I do best, sometimes just doing it is an accomplishment.
- Don't put pressure on me to ~ make this a normal vacation ~. For a normal vacation I would get a big tree, completely decorate my apartment, and try to force it. This year I have a baby tree from Lowe's for delivery.
- Acknowledging all that I feel is valid. I was telling my therapist recently that I was feeling bitter and envious about something, and she reminded me that these are valid emotions. They feel like emotions so dirty that we're not supposed to admit, but they're super valid. (All feelings are !!) I've seen decorations before… and they make me angry. And it's okay.
- Reach out to my friends / family when I'm really struggling. We're all going through our own shit right now more than ever, which sometimes makes it difficult to communicate, but most people want to be there for their people. I try to remember to ask them if they have the capacity to listen at that time.
- Don't over-commit: one of my tendencies is to over-commit to numb, but these feelings always find another way out! Literally sitting with feelings can be terrifying, but I'm working on it.
- Speaking of literally sitting down with feelings: meditation! I'm on a 28 day streak Insight Timer until there. I resist it so much sometimes, and for a while, but it gives me a few minutes of calm in my day.
- Move every day. Sometimes it will be a tough race or Platoon ride, sometimes it's a long walk, sometimes it's a short walk around the block. (I wrote "just" a long walk, but deleted it because a walk is still a lot of exercise - something I tried to internalize!)
You will go through this. We're going to get through this. When I was in treatment I asked 'what does' get through 'mean?'
“Sometimes that just means moving to the next minute / hour / day,” the therapist said. One day at a time, and it won't always be so difficult. I love you, whoever you are, reading this.
What are you doing to face the holiday season this year?
If you’ve never run before or you’ve had a long break from running, it can feel intimidating to get out there and hit the pavement. But if you get familiar with some basic information about course and follow a beginner’s schedule, you’ll be well on your way to starting a new running habit.
At your visit, share your running plan and goals with your doctor and have him/her assess your plan and any potential health issues. If you have had any previous injuries or issues, make sure your doctor is aware of them, and ask if he or she has any suggestions on how to prevent a recurrence.
Visit a specialty running store to get spécialiste advice on buying the right running shoes. An professionnel at the store will look at your feet, watch you run, and make recommendations based on your foot type and running style. If you already have running shoes that you like, but you’ve had them for a while, you may still need to get new ones. Running in worn-out course shoes can also lead to injury. You should replace them every 300 to 400 miles.
Beyond running shoes, you don’t need much more than some comfortable exercise clothes to get started. If you’re course outdoors, make sure you follow some basic tips for how to dress for hot weather running and cold weather course, so you stay safe and comfortable.
As your résistance improves and you start running longer, you may want to invest in some technical fabric running clothes and other basic course gear, such as a running belt, good running socks, and a course hat. Some runners also like to have a course watch to track their times and mètres.
Before you get started with running, get familiar with how to do the run/walk method. Most beginner runners start out using a run/walk technique because they don’t have the résistance or sport to run for extended periods of time. The run/walk method involves course for a bermuda secteur and then taking a walk break. As you continue with a run/walk program, the goal is to extend the amount of time you’re running and reduce your walking time. Of course, some runners find walk breaks to be so beneficial that they continue taking them even as their endurance and sport improves.
Before you start any running workout, though, you need to make sure you warm up properly. A good warm-up signals to your body that it will have to start sérieux soon. By slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart when you start your run. Start your runs with a brisk walk, followed by very easy jogging for a few minutes. You can also do some warm-up exercises. Always end your workout with a slow five-minute jog or walk to cool down. The cool-down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to fall gradually.
Use your breathing as your guide when course. You should be able to carry on a conversation while running, and your breathing shouldn’t be heavy. Don’t worry about your pace per mile—if you can pass the ' talk test ' and speak in complete sentences without gasping for air, then you’re moving at the right speed.
Make sure you’re breathing in through your nose and mouth, and breathing out through your mouth. Proper breathing and taking deep belly breaths will help you avoid annoying side stitches, or cramps in the abdomen area.
Drink water at the end of your workouts to rehydrate. If it’s hot and humid, you should also drink some water ( about four to six ounces ) halfway through your workouts.
Post-run is a great time to stretch and work on improving your flexibility because your zones musculaires will be warmed up. It’s also a relaxing way to end a workout. Try some of these stretches that target particular areas that frequently get tight during and after running.