In this episode of Run Lift Mom podcast, we speak with a Sports Psychologist about her recent health diagnosis and how we can control the chaos with mindset strategies for COVID-19 with Dr. Kate Colvin
3:00 Kate’s career background 5:00 sport psychology side showing as a CrossFit coach 7:00 diagnosis with COVID-19 after connecting about previous episode contribution
10:00 “the hardest part of COVID-19 was knowing I could have hurt others. I’ve spent my entire career focused on help, not harm” 11:00 introverted extrovert
12:00 importance of a daily routine, concept of anchoring 15:00 connection between exercise and social withdrawal 16:00 avoid cognitive overload 18:00 the importance of physical activity and cognitive function after exercise 20:00 how to avoid decision anxiety 21:00 Proactive versus reactive thoughts
Christine Tager, The Direct Life on the new normal
Morning mindset journaling
26:45 Suzy’s example of what morning mindset notes may look like
Evening intention journaling
29:00 Be purposeful about connection 30:00 Better Health as a resource 31:00 importance of sleep hygiene during times of stress for both physical and cognitive health 37:00 rapid fire
Angi Bradley, ZYIA Active on the new normal
Control the Chaos by Dr Kate Colvin
The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) may be stressful for many people, as we have seen and maybe even experienced first-hand. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotional distress in individuals, especially with the uncertainty and unpredictability that still exists regarding the virus. We are a community that LOVES control and at this moment, many of us may feel that we don’t have the sense of control that we would desire in a situation such as this. Coping with this newly presented stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Below are five suggested ways to minimize your stress and encourage a sense of control.
1) Develop a daily routine and follow it: We are creatures of habit and our brains respond very well to specific, attentional targets. Perhaps the greatest sense of control that we can cultivate for ourselves is in a daily routine; it serves as an anchor for us. Despite what is going on in the world around us, we can find comfort in knowing what time we will eat, workout, sleep, etc. Coping with times on unpredictability may feel more doable when we have structure (i.e. control) in place. Don’t forget to add a little fun into your day!
2) Move daily. Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood as well as improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Research also shows that exercise may alleviate symptoms such as social withdrawal. A study at New Mexico Highland University found that the force from our footsteps alone can increase the supply of blood to the brain; researchers at Stanford found that individuals test better on measures of creative thinking both during and after a walk; and Duke University identifies that walking could be an effective treatment for some patients with depression. We may not have access to a gym at this time, but we do have access to our feet. Take a walk! In addition, there are many online resources available at this time that you can leverage to ensure that you get your well-being on.
3) Be proactive rather than reactive with your thoughts: If we don’t control the stimuli in our environment, it will inevitably control us. With the abundant amount of news, information, and resources being posted not just daily, but seemingly by the minute, it is easy for one to “lose themselves” in the chaos, in the unknown. Gain control by limiting your inputs. Perhaps turn off unnecessary news notification, unfollow people or accounts on social media that are increasing your stress and/or anxiety, and only equip yourself with information from trusted sources. You get to choose where your attention dwells, choose wisely.
4) Stay connected: During times of stress, we thrive more effectively in company and with support. Try to stay in touch with friends and family as much as possible. We are lucky enough to have access to technology that will enable us to do just that! If you don’t have friends or family to connect with, there are many resources to leverage via a helpline or online support, such as Better Help.
5) Get your Zzz’s: Many of us may now have greater control over our schedules during this time, which means… you no longer have an excuse not to get the proper amount of sleep that you need. Sleep is not just restorative physically, but also mentally and emotionally. This is perhaps our greatest tool for controlling our stress and/or anxiety. Just as you will create and follow a daily routine – create and follow a sleep routine! Going to bed and waking up at the same time daily is incredibly valuable for our mental health. Remember that the recommendation for the average adult is 7-9 hours of sleep/night.
Want to contribute to next week’s COVID-19 related episode?
You can click this link and press the message button to record your own gratitude statement. I’ll include it in a future episode!
Featured in this episode:
Kate Colvin, PhD, Sports Psychologist recommends talking to your kids about what’s happening with COVID-19. Here’s a BINGO game you can use to open up the conversation and have fun during social distancing: