As the pandemic has evolved, so has the connection between my mind and body. At the start of lockdown, I found myself wanting to start a rigid diet for my wedding. That plan was quickly brought to a halt when I walked into the grocery store to find the shelves completely depleted of the foods I needed. Instead, I soon found myself aimlessly eating out of the pantry between virtual patient visits.
I needed to make the most of the things in my control. This meant using food, exercise, and mindfulness as self-care, not as punishment.
As someone who lived a lifestyle of routine and structure, I knew this unpredictable climate was going to be a challenge for me.
At that point, I knew the only way to cope with this new environment was to adapt my own mindset. This was not a time to live by restrictive diet rules or workout plans. I needed to make the most of the things in my control. This meant using food, exercise, and mindfulness as self-care, not as punishment.
As my mindset began to shift, I explored new ways to make the most of my extra time at home. I started teaching virtual workout classes from my living room, trying recipes from a new cookbook, and incorporating walking breaks into my daily routine. This “new normal” gave me the opportunity to teach exercise to friends, family, and strangers all over the country who would not otherwise get to take my classes. Connecting with friends virtually and providing them with the opportunity to exercise even in the confines of their own homes, brought me a sense of fulfillment.
Of course, I am looking forward to the day I get to travel again to see my friends in real life, not behind a screen. We’ll laugh about the hours we spent on Zoom, the banana bread we baked, and the TikTok dances we attempted to recreate. I will take with me the mindset shift of living a life that embraces flexibility instead of being bound by set plans. As my dad has always told me, “the only thing constant about life is change.”