How Are You Adjusting?
Your athletic seasons have come to an abrupt end and you are now facing a dramatic change in your everyday life. How are you feeling? Be sure to check in with yourself during this time and evaluate your emotions related to the current World Health Crisis. Many of you may be grieving the loss of your sport and the loss of your athletic identity. It is okay to mourn. Be kind to yourself and show self-compassion.
What’s Your Plan?
As student-athletes your days are micromanaged and you are forced to follow a strict schedule. It is essential that you create a schedule for yourself to give you a sense of control over your days and weeks ahead. As you are adjusting to your new normal, you will also need to adjust your goals. Set simple, controllable, and realistic goals for each day and execute them.
The most important thing you can do right now is take care of yourself. As humans we are wired to prefer predictability - it feels safe. We naturally seek safety, security, and comfortability in order to meet our needs. Don’t repress your feelings, instead validate them and reflect on how your feelings may be impacting your thoughts. Journal these thoughts in order to release energy or emotional stress. Seek support from your teammates, coaches, family, and friends. Lastly, consider speaking with a mental health professional to help you through this transitional time.
Work Through The Discomfort
You have an opportunity to grow during this time of discomfort. Now is the chance to work on your mental game and focus on developing resiliency. First, identify your strengths. As student-athletes you have dealt with adversity before. Resilience is one’s capacity to cope effectively with setbacks, obstacles, and challenges. Life is providing you with a setback at the moment – how will you overcome this setback?
Think Big Picture
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing devasting problems around the world. This is bigger than sports. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your sport, but understand the core values of athletics, such as your ability to form connections, will help you in future endeavors. Life will go on, you can’t control that; however, you can control how you choose to respond in each moment. For now, respond by thinking about the big picture.