Okay, okay, so this pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. If you have been hanging on for the day we return to normal, you are most certainly exhausted. Even if you have been a trooper and are continuing to put your head down and press on, you are tired, if not exhausted. So how do we rebuild our fortitude? I talked about the marathon (reference to previous blog) already. Now it’s time to take your MEDS. You’re at home, or most often at home, so how about a 7-day challenge?

Meditate: How about using a Loving Kindness meditation for 5 minutes a day? Works like this: close your eyes, breath in while saying (to yourself or out loud) May I be well. Breath out, May I be happy. Breath in May I be loved. Breath out May I be at peace. Repeat 3 times.

If you want to up the ante, repeat three more times with “you” instead of “I” and put your attention to a loved one. Then, repeat three times with someone you don’t know well (my postal carrier comes to mind). Then, one more time for someone you are struggling with in this moment (anyone with teenagers?).

Exercise: Move your body. It moves your mind. The mind-body connection is tight. What happens in your body is related to your emotional and mental states. We have challenged our minds to move entire organizations remote – in a span of days or weeks. We have challenged our emotions with uncertainty and fear about what this virus really means to our lives. Have you challenged your body and I don’t mean to add the COVID-19! We know that our mental state is improved with exercise. Exercise which means moving your body a little more or a little differently than you did yesterday. For seven days. What will you do?

Diet: The definition is the usual and customary intake of a species. When you consider what you ate last weekend, was it usual and customary? Have you created a new routine inside the COVID experience that isn’t your usual? How about a week of focused attention on what you ingest, how much of it and, most importantly, how you feel after you eat it. Consider a food diary if you are a journaler. Use an app if you are a digital native. Be curious about your intake, including being willing to try something different.

Sleep: Saving the best for last perhaps! With the heightened anxiety levels we are experiencing, matched with increased depression levels, sleep is a

critical component of resilience, fortitude, and restoration. Our body does so much repair work when we sleep that waking up each day is truly a brand-new day! Our boundaries have blurred when the desk ended up in our home every single day. Create a point of delineation where the office is closed. Use a sheet or towel over your monitor or laptop. Create a clear end time for the day, at least an hour before bed. Flex and stretch to move your body in gentle ways, away from technology for the thirty minutes before you put your head down, and most definitely before you close your eyes.

Seven days. Seven courageous days to explore another way of being. Creating a new world means exploring all facets of yourself – mental, physical, and emotional. You got this.

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