02488: Physical Coping Mechanisms

BattleTech Raven

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 124

I do some sort of physical activity every day. Beyond trying to hit 12,000 steps per day and a minimum of 250 steps per hour from 10am to 10pm as tracked by my Fitbit, I've also been investing a lot of effort into workouts. I mostly follow the plan outlined by the Nike Training Club app, which helps me map out routines 5 times a week. And during the 2-3 recovery days that the app leaves me, I still try to at least jog 5km, which typically means 30 minutes of running back and forth within the limited walking space in the Sietch. 

The primary goal is to continue working on my fitness goals and hopefully come out of quarantine at a better level of health compared to when we started. But I have to admit the physical activity, even if it's just running back and forth our condo unit, does me a world of good and helps me get a better start to the day.

More than one friend has mentioned to me that my dedication to this fitness routine has been rather inspiring for them, which is quite the odd bit of flattery I never would have expected to be on the receiving end of. And a number of these are friends who are clearly a lot healthier than I am if you just look at their bodies. And here's chubby old me somehow being the inspiring one. How strange.

But it's not easy. More often than not it's hard to get started in the morning and I can end up wasting time staying in bed a bit longer as I skim social media or play games on my phone. But I keep mentally kicking myself in order to get the ball rolling and get into my workout gear. 

Not gonna lie - routine is one of my key strategies for staving the sadness of being in quarantine for over 4 months at bay. I don't think I'm getting full-on depressed or anything, but I do feel the mental fatigue that builds up the more we stay indoors and read one terrible headline after another. Sometimes it's a struggle to get work done as quickly as I normally would. I still get things done but I know I'm not at peak efficiency. Like sometimes my brain feels foggy. 

As much as the Sietch is teeming with board games to play, most days it's hard to find the motivation to play games for some reason. I think it's because it reminds me too much of how much I miss our friends and our game nights on some level. I still try and the games with Tobie are still fun, even if I rarely win because that's just how it goes when you face Tobie one-on-one in a board game. And it's funny to think that something as fun as playing a board game would feel like something that I don't always want to do but it's definitely something I've run into more and more as this quarantine has gone on for weeks upon weeks upon weeks.

So the one thing I still manage to kick myself into doing is to work out every morning. The physical activity helps clear some of the fog. Jogging while listening to an audiobook helps some of the weirder thoughts in my head drift away as I focus on putting one foot in front of the other until I hit my distance goal. It goes a long way towards keeping me productive, especially during the workweek. But as the day drags on I feel that energy fade and that focus sort of drift away. 

Then it becomes easier to just consume media by watching streaming content, wasting time on social media, or reading a book or comic. Beyond that my brain has a harder time figuring out if there's anything else I actively want to do. So I end up pacing the Sietch more since it helps me hit my step goals and it helps keep the blood pumping and hopefully, it'll also help clear my head again. Eventually, I end up walking up to Tobie and just hugging him and that helps me feel better, too.

We do what we can to get by. This quarantine isn't going to end anytime soon. We'll be reunited with friends eventually, but for now, we just have to do our best to stay strong and see things through to the end. There are better days beyond this.