January 19, 2022

COVID Surges: Lean into Uncertainty & Build Sticky Habits

It’s a new week and we’re already well into the New Year! This means many of you are trying to build new habits, or reengage in old ones that fell by the wayside during the holidays. Last week, during our weekly community call, we took a deep dive into coping with the uncertainty around covid, as well as building sticky habits in 2022. We firmly believe that self-care, rest and developing a strong toolset for coping with the challenges of these uncertain times come together to form the foundation for everything else. That means without these basic building blocks, it’s hard, if not impossible, to establish new habits, like a strength routine, or meditation practice. Why? Because as habit expert James Clear notes, “We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems.” There is no time like the present to rise up, and no better an opportunity than the one in front of us.

Coping with Uncertainty & The Pandemic

-Normalize. Feeling overwhelmed? That’s normal, especially in unprecedented moments like this.

-Externalize. Don’t internalize strong emotions (lean on therapists, loved ones, coaches and other support networks when needed. Sometimes finding a good listener is all you need!)

-Build awareness around what you feel. Reflect, think deeply, seek to understand root causes of what you feel in order to better respond to those feelings. Coach Zoë relies on this body scan meditation when she feels overwhelmed. Coach TJ likes this meditation to start his days or on stressful ones.

-Acceptance of the role covid is playing in everyday life (we find meditation and affirmations are a great way to build acceptance of any situation, and this one is no different)

-Focus on rest and take mental health days when needed!

-Lean on good sleep and nutrition! Don’t let the backbones of self-care fall to the wayside when things are hard. Lean on them. They are your foundation.

-Develop a mindfulness practice. We like the Walking Up app!

-Plan on racing! At the minimum, executing on a race build, even if that race doesn’t happen, provides big opportunities for growth.

Sticky Habits

-Small steps. Habits and routines are formed through small, daily actions. For example, if you are thinking about starting a meditation routine this year, start by meditating for 1 minute a day before moving on to longer meditations.

-Sequence. All the work you do levels up on the work you’ve done before. You can’t have a rooftop patio with a great view of the mountains before establishing a foundation and all the floors in between. Habits built on houses of cards are the first to go out the window when times get tough.

-Mornings. Mornings are the best time to incorporate new habits. Putting things off for later makes them more susceptible to life’s happenings.

-Habits have to connect to what you value. They should help to facilitate the kind of life you want to live.

-Habits have to connect to who you want to be and what you identify with. Every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you want to be.

-Consistency is more important than intensity. Aim to engage in your new activity frequently, rather than random bouts of greater intensity. For example, we aim to run 5 days a week when training to become better runners, rather than just do a long run once a week.

Own your training. Trust the process.

-TJ & The Microcosm Coaching Team