Author’s note: We understand that the corona virus is a significant and serious threat to the health of millions of people around the world. Not for one minute do we think that this is a good or positive thing. However, like all situations, there is always the potential for good, and there are always positives — if you look hard enough.
It’s very easy to think that life happens to us, especially in the worst situations, and especially when we feel that we can’t control a lot.
During this time of tremendous uncertainty, it’s understandable for people to be fearful and to act out of fear instead of love.
But when you realise that life is actually happening FOR us — no matter what the situation — fear will loosen its grip on you. You’ll find you’ll be making decisions based in love, not fear, and you’ll be able to see that there is still good to be found in all situations.
Why are we afraid?
We get it! Life is confusing right now. There’s a lot of uncertainty. We all want to know what’s happening and what we should be doing. How should we be protecting ourselves more? What will happen if we go into lockdown? Will there be a lockdown? What about closing schools? What will happen to loved ones who have compromised immune systems? When will all this be over?
The coronavirus pandemic is something the world has never seen before. It’s very early days. No one has all the answers. And as soon as we discover something new, recommendations change again. Every day the situation changes and we feel as if we have more questions than answers. Because we don’t know everything, we feel out of control. And for many of us, feeling out of control is scary.
The impact of fear
You don’t have to look too far around you to see how fear has changed our community. Panic buying at the supermarket, fighting over toilet paper, hoarding groceries and medications, pulling kids from school, sharing news stories depicting the ‘horror’ of what’s happening overseas, circulating incorrect information about the virus in social feeds, and then attacking other people online who might disagree with your point of view.
This is what happens when you live in fear. You react emotionally to the situation and do silly things that make the situation worse, not better.
While life is certainly challenging right now, life is still happening FOR us, and there are a lot of positives that we can benefit from.
Focus on what you can control
Many people who are trying to lose weight are panicking now. Social distancing and isolation mean that it’s not possible to exercise like they used to. Attending gym classes is more difficult for those who are not self-isolating, given the new rules on social distancing. Those who are self-isolating are now stressed because they can’t go to the gym and work out.
Dieters are also stressed, because finding the food they want in the supermarkets is more difficult. It’s becoming harder and harder to find the foods they ‘need’ to eat to remain compliant on their diet. And if they struggle with emotional eating, the rising anxiety will be triggering them to go down that path.
In short, people are focusing on what they can’t do, can’t have and can’t control, which is only increasing their fear and panic.
Instead, focus on what you CAN control, because you can control more than you know.
Right now, the reality is that our social life has been reduced. While this may be frustrating, disappointing or difficult to accept, you can still control what you do during this time. For example, you can use this time to:
- Get more done — Many people complain that they don’t have time for everything they want to do
- Sleep more — When you live a busy life, sleep is one of the first things to suffer, but poor sleep also leads to weight gain. Use this time to improve your sleep habits and sleep more.
- Reduce stress — Isolating yourself means that you’re not as busy as usual, which will lead to less stress. Stress is a key factor in weight gain, and difficulty losing weight.
- Boost your immunity — Stress lowers your immunity, so reducing it will improve it. So will sleeping more, and eating more nutritious food.
- Be more creative — Being forced to spend more time at home will mean you have to be more creative about entertaining the kids, having fun together as a family, and coming up with new recipes based on the food you have in the house, or doing things to stay active that don’t involve going to the gym.
- Focus on what matters — It’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life, and take things for granted. But being forced to slow down, by the threat of a serious virus means you’ll soon gain clarity around what is really important in life. Use this time to develop your WHY.
- Reset your goals — Gaining further clarity around what you really want in life will help you set goals that are more meaningful to you.
Work on your habits
Remember, it’s our habits that determine how successful we are in our weight loss journey., because they make up 97% of the weight loss equation. Being forced to self-isolate is an enormous opportunity to work on our habits.
Social distancing and isolation is the perfect time to get over your habit of comparing yourself with other people because you won’t be around so many people! It will also be easier to work on your habit of people-pleasing because the only ones you’ll be associating with are your family. With less interaction, you’ll have less distraction which provides you with a great opportunity to work on the habits that have been holding you back from losing weight.
Other habits that you can work on during this time include:
- Planning out your family-friendly meals
- Your shop and chop
- Meal prepping
- Bedtime routines
- Learning to cope with fear.
What we can learn from coronavirus
While it’s an extremely confronting and very scary time we live in, the coronavirus pandemic provides us with multiple opportunities to learn.
What you can learn in your transformation
Coronavirus is an opportunity to learn to let go of control. The reality is that none of us has control over how the virus is behaving and what government interventions are required to slow the spread of the virus. But even without the virus, you’re never going to be able to control everything anyway, so now is a perfect opportunity to learn to let go of the need to control everything, and the perfectionist behaviours that stem from that, and focus on the things you can do something about.
Now is the perfect time to really learn the power of rest. Rest has such a profound impact on your body transformation but it is one of the most under-estimated factors. Sleeping more, resting more, and reading more will leave you feeling more relaxed, calmer, and will help improve your weight loss results.
Use this time to face reality. Often we keep ourselves busy — either with work or family commitments— to distract us or block out the uncomfortable things in life. But if you’re forced to sit at home, and can’t go to work, or run the kids around, you’ll have no choice but to face your fears, and deal with the things you’ve been avoiding.
Learn to accept help. If you’re in isolation you’ll need to rely on others to help you out, even if it’s just to go to the supermarket. Many people are afraid to ask for help, especially when it comes to weight loss. But if you can develop this skill now, it will serve you well in the future.
Now is the time to start to understand how your actions impact others. Not following the self-isolation guidelines has a tremendous impact on other people. But the truth is everything we do in our daily lives has an impact on other people — we just don’t realise. Use this time to become more aware of how you impact others, both negatively and positively.
This is a perfect time to learn to be grateful and empathetic. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, think about what you do have. A crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic will teach you so much about what’s important to you, what you do have, and how much worse things could be.
What you can learn in business
Currently, it’s impossible to attend face-to-face networking meetings or conferences. For some businesses, this is a nightmare because they rely on this type of activity to grow their businesses. The reason they rely on this is that they never learned to get out of their comfort zone and embrace technology or learn to market on social media. No, you need to learn this skill because as people begin to self-isolate, they will be turning to social media and online shopping like never before.
However, it’s not just enough to write a post on your Facebook or Instagram feed. People want to see YOU. This means you’ll have to get over your habit of hiding and ditch your excuses of not knowing how to use social media, not wanting to be seen, and your fear of being judged.
If you’ve been afraid to be vulnerable and conduct your business using the power of technology, now is your chance to jump in. Because if you don’t, your business may not survive.
What you can learn as a Personal Trainer
Right now, there are thousands of people wondering how they’re going to lose weight amid the coronavirus panic. The diet industry has told them that exercise and diet is the only way they can do it, and the best way to be successful is to sign up for a quick-fix like a 6-week challenge, or signing up to a boot camp.
Personal trainers who have been selling quick-fixes such as diet and exercise plans, or 12-week boot camp challenges to keep their business going are now in trouble, just like their clients. Because they’ve only ever shown clients how to diet and exercise. They have never provided real value, shown them how to work on their habits, and how to get results even if they can’t train.
This is a wake-up call to personal trainers everywhere, that in order to stay relevant and successful, you need to do more than buy into the diet industry, and perpetuate the myth that dieting and exercise lead to long-term weight loss. You need to build a sustainable business that shows your clients how to continue to get results, even when things don’t go to plan. Telling clients that diet and exercise are all it takes, doesn’t help them get results and doesn’t help you build a successful business when you’re not able to train them.
How Imani Tribe is helping
There’s no doubt that these are stressful, uncertain times. But we are helping our clients cope with the uncertainty and stress, by giving them the tools and skills they need to navigate the best and the worst of days.
Those people who are stuck in a diet mindset and focus on doing cardio in order to lose weight, and don’t address their habits are now feeling anxious because they don’t know what to do without training. And their trainers who sold them this diet-culture idea are now unable to provide them with a solution. But our clients have the structure and accountability they need to continue to work on their habits, so they can continue to get results even if they can’t train like they’d want to. Our clients aren’t panicking, because they understand that 97% of their success is based on things other than exercise.
Those people who didn’t face their fear of being seen in their business and didn’t see the need to be on social media, are now being thrown into the deep end and working out how to do most of their work online. Our clients have learned to confront their fear of being seen and are able to embrace new ways of working and using technology to build their business, without the fear of being judged.
Those people who are still trying to control everything are the ones rushing to the supermarket, hoarding groceries, freaking out about school closures and social distancing. Our clients who have learned to let go of control, are focusing on the things they can control and are going about their days calmly, free of anxiety.
The truth is that those who are coping well right now are those people who have confronted their fears and learned to be proactive. Those who have been running away from the things that scare them, are now very afraid and are reacting out of fear.
Confronting fears is hard, but it does get easier and long-term it leads to an easier life. What looks easy now, however, will turn out to be the hardest route, because life will continue to throw things at you to force you to confront the things you’re avoiding.
How can you prepare for the future?
None of us can predict the future and none of us can control it. But we can prepare for it, by developing habits and mindsets that enable us to be resilient, flexible and allow us to problem-solve. If you want to learn to let go of control, build habits that will serve you no matter what is happening in the world, we can help you.