Looking Up in Lockdown

By Dr. Nikita Fensham, MBChB (UCT) PGDip (IOPN)

I wrote this piece wearing my "athlete" hat rather than my "doctor" hat. I wanted to write something  short and sweet to help keep people going, especially in Australia.

While many countries have managed accelerated vaccine programs and are fast forgetting about their days in lockdown, others like us are still having to check websites for how far they can travel from home and how many of their mates they can meet for a run.

For those people, seeing their international triathlete friends riding in pelotons and putting on swimsuits brings about feelings of nostalgia and envy (even for those of us who hate swimming). So in the interests of instilling a bit of positivity in the locked down, here are a few tips on how to keep your chin up.

(As always, please be mindful of the health guidelines in your locality. Some regions will have stricter movement restrictions than others.)

Get outside. Most of us are still allowed to go outside for exercise, albeit in a restricted radius from home. Starting the day with a walk outside reminds you that there is so much for which we can be grateful, and exposes you to a good dose of sunshine and fresh air.

Grab a coffee. While you’re outside for a walk, stop by your local café for your caffeine (or decaf?) hit. Besides the benefits of coffee, you will also be supporting local businesses that are doing it tough at the moment.

Be productive. Set one goal to achieve for the day. Working from home can be distracting and many people have home-schooling duties to add to their list as well. There’s no need to be overly ambitious now – be kind to yourself and aim for one target (any more is a bonus).

Get your training in. With so many races being cancelled, it is easy to get despondent and throw in the towel on your training. Remind yourself why you started this sport and shift your training to what you enjoy. It’s a good time to keep ticking over and clock up those “base” miles. If you’re allowed to, meet up with your one buddy for training to keep each other motivated.

Check up on a mate. We are all in the same storm; just with different boats. So check in with a family member or friend each day. This period is taking its psychological toll on everyone, albeit to different degrees. So remember to throw a lifeline out – you’ll be surprised how much it helps you too.

Medical disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your own doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.

(Header photo by Andrew Coop on Unsplash.)

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