Running on empty | Coronavirus: sprint vs marathon

I am trying to adapt to our new circumstances just like most of us. I didn’t realize how much energy it took and how I may need to adjust my process until recently. So I have this questions for you:

  • How are your energy levels?
  • Are you running on empty?
  • What are going to do about it?

These last weeks most of us had to change our daily routine: working from home, kids staying at home (well… the whole family staying at home), adapting to live through a pandemic, limiting our going out only for essential reasons, learning to manage a normal anxious respond to this health crisis and being bombarded with negative and panic inducing news coverage. I am sure each of us can find plenty of more aspects in which our lives have changed, but I feel I need to stop this list now, as I am a helpless optimist and if I continue to enumerate more aspects I may start to see how the glass is half empty.

In the first weeks our mind and bodies usually prepare this huge adaptive response to all the changes around us. Similar to the preparation of running a sprint, we go all in. But for me these pandemic period resembles more and more with a marathon, and not a quick sprint. That being said we really need to look out for our energy reserves. As in the sprint we give everything we have for the moment, as we are certain it will soon end and our enormous effort will no longer be needed. But when running a marathon we cannont use the same approach as for the sprint. I mean… we can try. But we will soon reach exhaustion.

Leaving the running metaphor aside, I started thinking more and more about our vital personal energy. I have 6 weeks of staying at home with my family. In the beginning I have dedicated all my effort to maintaining my anxiety response in check and create a calm and balanced environment at home for my family. As time passed I started realizing that I also need to fill my own personal energy reservoir in order to be able to function close to normal.

Our energy is a finite resource. We divide it and put it to work all the roles that we accomplish in the same time: we work from home, we manage the house and all its chores, the grocery shopping, the cooking, taking care of your spouse, of the kids, checking in on our parents, our extended family and try to remain connected with our friends. All that requires plenty of energy at any given time, even so more nowadays during the Corona health crisis.

But have you spared any of your energy for yourself? For your basic wellbeing needs?

It is not a luxury these days. It is a necessity and we need to start looking at it like one!

What happens to a fire once you stop putting in fire woods? What happens to your car once it runs out of fuel? I hate it when it happens to us – when we stop fueling ourselves with the things that fuel our energy and our wellbeing.

I invite you to make room in your quarantine and isolation routines for some quality personal time. It doesn’t have to be something big, just enough to keep you hydrated and fueled up through this marathon we are running.