The home stretch is the hardest part of any journey. When your mind, soul and body is battle-weary, the home stretch can be tough to bear.
In many ways, you could compare the 2021 lockdown to a race.
On Saturday 26 June, Greater Sydney and other parts of the state received stay-at-home orders. At this stage, the ‘race’ was only a two-week one.
We were asked to power through a new yet familiar reality of staying inside.
As the weeks wore on, so did the lockdown. The Delta variant spread like wildfire across NSW.
We’re now three months into the state-mandated lockdown, and we can see the finishing line.
But for many people, fatigue is setting in.
During the home stretch, some athletes who’ve been in front the whole time suddenly lose steam. They drop to the back of the pack. Sound like you?
Other racers suddenly find energy they didn’t think they had. They tap into a hidden reservoir of energy and kick into high gear, dashing from the middle of the pack to cross the finish line ahead of everyone else.
Maybe you can relate.
Still others hold steady, staying true to their pace and finish the race just as they’d planned all along.
We run many races in life.
Who hasn’t bristled at a cold, windy day after a week of fresh Spring weather?
Projects at work can have a similar arc of high-energy beginnings, focused middles and exhausted endings.
Upheavals like new jobs and relocations require us to buckle down and finish things up. And that’s hard when our hearts and minds are headed in new directions.
What kind of ‘athlete’ we are depends on many variables.
Some variables are external, and within our control. Such as what kind of shape we were in when the starting gun sounded.
Some are beyond our control — such as the heat, the humidity, or our health that morning.
The most important variable, however, comes from within us.
It’s our ability to take a deep breath and keep going when we’ve glimpsed the finish line.
It’s a deep-seated belief that quitting is not an option.
The end is in sight, my friend
The last two years have been draining for the whole world.
You’re not alone if you’re feeling lonely, stressed, and anxious.
Hope has come in the form of vaccines. But we’re tired. And there’s still a bit of waiting to do.
As we wait for the vaccines to reach everyone, I’m going to leave you with a big virtual hug — and some practical things you can do for yourself on the home stretch.
Here are a few tips for surviving the final stages before ‘freedom’ comes.
1. Stay Structured.
No matter your current situation, you can create a routine that works for you.
Think about set times to wake up and fall asleep, times to start and stop work.
And don’t forget to work in time for the things that bring you joy. Maybe that looks like family time, healthy cooking, or something creative you like to do.
2. Stay Active.
Movement releases ‘happy hormones’ which improve your mood.
Even five to 10 minutes of exercise or stretching helps, so why not schedule movement a few times a day?
As you move, think about how moving feels in your muscles.
Become more aware of your body and what it needs to feel good.
3. Stay Connected.
Humans are wired to connect with each other.
None of us are islands.
Messages and texts are a wonderful way to keep in touch, but we need to see our tribes and hear their beautiful voices.
Start planning! What are your dreams for when pandemic restrictions are lifted?
A good list or vision board is a great way to keep hope alive.
We’re almost there, my friend.
A couple of lifestyle tweaks can help you make it through the pandemic home stretch.
You’ve got this.
South Eastern Community Connect (SECC)