During the Pandemic all our lives have changed enormously. We have had to adapt to work from home and homeschooling as well. We have had to learn to interact in a completely different way and not know when this is going to stop. But for many of us the worst part has been not being able to play some hockey, do some sports, and be outside. Today, I’m writing to all of you hockey players and hockey families to give you some tips on well being during these crazy times, find also some exercises to include in your home routines at the end of the post for some inspiration.
First of all, you need to understand that it is normal to feel many different emotions in these very anormal times, especially for those that used to be so active that are never home, probably feeling a bit crazy already, it takes a lot of effort from you to adapt to this new way of leaving.
Some of the things you might feel on these days are frustration, anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, emptiness, extreme boredom, feeling lost, lack of motivation, sadness, insomnio or even others. As I said, these are expected sensations for a very anormal time, is your body speaking to you to tell you there is something you need to change to be able to adapt. What you need to workout is what specifically is telling you, if you need to change your night meals or if you are sad for all the things you lost and won’t be able to do because of the pandemic. The plan of action would be Identify what’s going on in you, accept what you are feeling and then try to change what is not helping you to feel well. And I’ll encourage the “try” part, it takes energy to change your routine, and that’s what the pandemic has made us do without a choice, now some patience is needed and to focus on your achievements of the things you want to achieve on this days, don’t focus on the things you haven’t been able to do, that will only get you with some negative thoughts.
Maybe the first days were easier, but after a while things can get a bit repetitive and you might start feeling a bit different. In harder moments just remember a few OK’s on this days:
It is OK to feel sad, trapped, frustrated, uncertain, insecure, unsafe, uncomfortable.
It is OK to sometimes feel with no motivation
It is OK to some days be lazy
It is OK not to feel yourself sometimes
It is OK to feel lost, because of the uncertainty of what is coming next
After being able to accept this in our lives, the next thing to do is to try to get ourselves feeling better, trying to change some things so you can encourage yourself to feel less frustrated, sad, and whatever you are feeling that makes you feel unwell, in the end, to be able to adapt. Something that is very recommended is to get yourself in a routine as much as you can, in a normal setting you had a routine, but now you need to do some adaptation changes, and what may be making you feel bad is maybe insisting on trying to achieve the same as you were doing in normal times. Some tips for the creation of a routine are,
First recognise the things that you already have as a habit, and try to engage those habits with new things that you want to incorporate to it. For example “after breakfast I’ll start doing some meditation every day”.
Write down which would be your long and short term plans and objectives during quarantine, make them realistic to your context, if you struggle defining it, ask a friend to look into it and see together if you would be able to make it happen during this time.
After deciding which are your objectives, try to divide your days in sections and define certain things to do in each section, try to define a to do list before starting the week, and for everyday, that will help you achieve the things you want to achieve.
Routines are not achieved just of a sudden, try to be positive and celebrate your achievements, instead of thinking of the things you didn’t manage to achieve from your new routine plans.
Remember to include moments to rest in your routine plan.
In terms of sports, if you are struggling to get yourself into doing some exercise now that you are at home and nobody is leading your training, try to add it to your routine plan connected to something that you never miss to do, also plan your exercise in advance, it will help you a lot as you will not be thinking of “what do I do this time” you will just start doing it, as you used to do when you went to your hockey training sessions or to a class.
Here I leave a couple of exercises that you might like to try at home.
1. Set a diamond of 1m sides with 4 cones or shoes, you should stand in the middle and get around 1m distance from each.
Stand on the middle and then:
a) Go sideways and then backwards. As you get on with it try to improve your speed.
b) Go sideways and then to the front. Try speeding up, and lifting the ball.
c) Go one side normal speed and then accelerate to the other. You can try different movements, let your creativity work. Tip: Really try focusing on your footwork, shoulders and body movement to work also on your “disguise” ability.
2. Get a chair, hockey stick and ball (or anything you want to use) How creative can you get with it?
a) Try doing some dribblings and self passes around the chair without touching it.
b) Control the ball in the air and then go up and down the chair without letting the ball fall. Can you try dominating and with the ball dead on the stick?
c) Control the ball and sit on the chair and then stand up. Try it also with one foot.
d) Imagine the chair is your rival, practice your eliminating skills as you approach the chair and turn as fast as you can. Think also of your body use.
e) Do you want to get your wrists stronger? What about trying a plank with the chair while doing some dribbling and dominating one handed!?
I challenge you to try it!