Aug 18, 2021, 15:05 PM
Nicai de Guzman
The pandemic hit mental, social, and emotional health hard. It disrupted routine, took jobs, robbed people of their health, stole lives, curtailed freedom. If any one of those things happened, it would have been fine, but they happened simultaneously. Moreover, you had to deal with this chaos alone. You despaired in isolation; a despondency that worsened with news and social media.
But the world is slowly opening up again. While it’s not the same as the olden days, people are trying to pick up where they left off. The break is over. The mourning period is over. It’s time to draw back your curtains, let the sunshine in, and see some people.
Why did we lose motivation?
The pandemic caused a two-fold effect. On the one hand, some people immediately fell into a stupor at the sudden lifestyle change.
Then there is the other side: the chirpy ones who decided to use the time at home to bake bread, learn a hobby, buy home gym equipment. According to a study commissioned by Talk Talk, three out of five in 1,250 UK workers found their productivity increased while working from home. That said, they also realised that they’ve been putting in more work hours at home compared to being in the office. This energy could only go so far. The optimists under this category didn’t expect the pandemic to wear on. It was a test of endurance and eventually lost steam.
Are you wasting your time by being demotivated?
Here’s the tricky thing. No one can tell you when you should be ready to get moving. There is no magic formula or prescribed period for you to be okay with what happened or continues to happen in the world. This is something that you can decide for yourself.
But when you’re ready to psych yourself up, read our reasons why you should start finding motivation again.
Consider this a second chance in life. You’re still here and that counts for something.
This is the new normal so you’re going to have to live with it. This new life is as good as it’s going to get.
Don’t live in the past! Learn from the past, honour and don't forget it, but push forward! If anything, the world has learned not to take things, like eating in a restaurant, visiting your parents, or working in an office, for granted.
If not now, when? As we said, this is the new world. You can’t wait around for March 2020 to come back.
You are wasting valuable resources such as time to get back on your feet!
According to this 2017 study, wellness is a holistic integration of numerous things. It is an evolving process: “It is a lifestyle, a personalized approach to living life in a way that allows you to become the best kind of person that your potential, circumstances, and fate will allow. The past is history; the present and future lie in the choices you make today. Don’t worry about getting it perfect; just get it going, and become the best kind of person you can be.”
Our tip? Give yourself a deadline to grieve the old normal and then pick up where you left off—live again. Scratch that. Live well again.
How can we get our motivation back?
Time management coach, author, and Real Life E CEO Elizabeth Grace Saunders wrote something for Harvard Business Review that everyone who’s demotivated should read:
“You can succumb to the pressure and give up, or you can rally and fight for your career, your life, and your mental health. If you choose the first option, you guarantee failure. The second option, though, will give you the opportunity to innovate, to succeed, and to grow stronger through what you overcome.”
Her advice is to use this challenge to become a more resilient person who aims to find motivation each day.
“Instead of being crushed by the weight of it all, approach life with a sense of hope and tenacity that motivates you to not only get through — but also thrive,” she wrote.
Baby steps are necessary when it comes to discovering your way back to motivation. We’ve laid out the path for you to follow.
Taking care of the mind
At this point, we know that health comes in numerous dimensions. The five dimensions of health, according to Roger Williams University, are physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. While people tend to emphasise the physical aspect, all of these affect each other. After all, if you’re feeling low, picking yourself up and putting yourself on a treadmill can be difficult. It takes tremendous emotional and psychological effort to push through and push yourself.
That said, it is a well-known fact that exercise trains the mind. Exercise kicks up endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin—hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for your mood. And when you feel happy, you feel less stressed, and you feel more motivated. Exercise also promotes better sleep, and you know that having improved sleep makes everything, well, better.
Reminding ourselves of our goals
One way to pick yourself up and stay motivated is to come up with a plan. It helps you take charge, guides you, It also makes you accountable. For example, if you’ve decided to rouse yourself from bed (after so long!), you can create a daily schedule—the baby steps that we’ve been talking about.
Set your alarm clock at a reasonable and productive hour. Do a stretch, take a shower and brush your teeth, cook breakfast, eat breakfast, exercise for 30 minutes, clean the house—you get our point. The pandemic is mysterious and uncertain. Having concrete goals helps you take control of your life, even if you’re starting in small ways.
Remember that a goal is easy to make, but following through is difficult. Make measurable steps or a schedule. Set something concrete. Don’t just say you want to lose weight and be healthy. Ask yourself how you plan to do that? Set an exercise checklist: by this month you should be able to do this, by this month you should be able to do this.
You can even take the guesswork out of the equation and join a fitness platform like BodySlims that will do all the accounting for you!
Find something to look forward to
You can be enthusiastic over the goals that you’ve set for yourself above, but remember to have fun. Allow yourself to be excited again. You can finally see your friends. You can travel again! Make plans that are just purely for enjoyment.
Organise a pandemic-approved BBQ party reunion. Are you learning to cook? Show off your nutritious recipes to your mom. Motivation doesn’t have to be a grand thing. They can be a series of small pleasures that help you get through the day, the week, the month, the year. Without realising it, you’re at the light at the end of the tunnel.
Surrounding yourself with good influences
Social health is important in finding inspiration. You need good people around you who will push you and encourage you when you can’t do it yourself. You wouldn’t want to be on a journey towards health and be surrounded by people who are constantly eating junk food and telling you that a power walk is a waste of time. You need motivators—and it doesn’t even have to be from your friends.
One of the things we lost in the pandemic was the community gym culture. The gym was a great place to meet friends and bond with like-minded people. You spot each other, you push each other’s physical goals. Unfortunately, we don’t have this anymore, but numerous fitness communities have moved online. BodySlims, for example, has an incredibly engaged and uplifting community!
Find a mentor or guide
Concerning finding a community to help you, you need to assign someone to be your wellness compass. Now and then, you’re going to feel lost and discouraged (we’re only human) and you need someone to steer you back on the right path. Your list of things to do could help, of course, you can refer to it when you’re not sure what to do.
BodySlims’ 10-week fitness programme covers all of this and more. It has a patented curriculum that doesn’t just shove you into doing 1,000 jumping jacks and crunches. We understand that the mind is just as important to fitness as your ability to do push-ups. Our step-by-step guide will lead you to where you want to go.
Need the motivation to restart your fitness journey?
The 2021 study “A Mental Health Paradox: Mental Health Was Both a Motivator And Barrier to Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic” cited that the pandemic has made people motivated to be physically active for their mental health, but they’re blocked by anxiety or depression to make the first move.
“Our results point to the need for additional psychological support to help people maintain their physical activity levels during stressful times to minimise the psychological burden of the pandemic and prevent the development of a mental health crisis.”
This is what we at BodySlims are here for. We’re going to break that barrier together, so you can finally move towards your goals. Our programme motivates you daily with talks from our founder Gerard Moran as well as mantras that will keep you inspired. If you want to share your progress or if you’re looking for empathy, just log in to our online community and we’ll cheer you on.
Don’t waste anymore time!
Check out some of our success stories:
In six months, Derek Balfe has walked over 700 kilometeres. He never expected to find joy in walking daily, but he picked up a new, exciting activity as well as a newfound appreciation for health.
Anne Owens is a BodySlims loyalist! She’s already on her fourth programme, committing herself to this journey all the way. Our program helps her find motivation that you need for that extended commitment.
Addriana Doyle had lifelong issues with her weight, but she found a programme that sustainable physically and mentally. “I had a little personal victory when I reminded myself that I am now nearly 6.5 stone lighter than I have ever been in my life and went and bought myself shorts and a T shirt in a size 10! It may not seem much to some but in my head it’s a massive personal victory that I thought I'd share.” There are no small steps, no small victories. Every time you choose to show up is a win.
Ready to feel motivated? Sign up now for our next programme intake!