Getting Through Hard Times

I don’t know anyone who isn’t struggling at the moment through this crazy global crisis. The only people that seem to be doing well are the supermarkets, but even then they are extremely stressed and overworked trying to restock shelves quickly and being subjected to daily abuse from disgusting people who think that they are the only ones that are having a hard time. This is a WORLDWIDE crisis! We are all doing it tough!

I feel like my husband and myself have it bad as we both work with people, touching them all day, how can I social distance in a massage?!! So do I stop working (as some massage therapists have) to minimise the risk? Or do I continue, with a much reduced diary, and try to do my best to protect my patients and myself, knowing that I cannot guarantee that there is no risk? It’s a tough call, I like everyone have big bills to pay and not much put away for a “rainy day”. But then I watch the news and see how the whole world is impacted and think, maybe we will be ok. Some people are losing their jobs completely, like airport workers and airline staff. We both have options to go online, I have other skills to utilise from previous careers in art and graphic design, and although things will be tough for probably the rest of the year, I know this will not last forever and we will get through it. And maybe it will help people to be a bit more compassionate, forgiving, generous and loving, and appreciate what we have and what we are able to do in life. We are all guilty of taking things for granted.

I am not the best person for finding positives in life and often think negatively of what might happen. Luckily for me, my husband is the complete opposite and anyone that knows him, knows he is insanely happy and positive all the time! Sometimes this drives me mad, but at the moment he is keeping me from going insane and over-thinking every possible worst case scenario!! But, I am trying to look on this as a learning experience and to slow down and look after my mental health. From a health professionals point of view, now is a better time than ever to look after yourself, so here are some of my tips!

• Try to stick to your normal routines, even if you have been forced to work from home. Get up at the same time you normally would, shower, get dressed, eat a good breakfast and start your “work” day. 

• Get out for a lunch-time walk and some fresh air. Vitamin D and exercise are good for your mental and physical health, and getting out of the house will stop you from feeling like you are in prison!

• If your gym has shut (or if it hasn’t, it probably will any day), do home workouts. You really don’t need any equipment to do your cardio or strength work! Exercise builds immunity and releases happy hormones!

• Reduce screen time. I am guilty of checking updates constantly but it’s depressing, and I can’t change what is happening and is going to happen. It’s good to keep informed but not every second of the day!

• Eat good nutritious food and try to cook your own. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard. When you are at home, it’s tempting to eat rubbish because everything is available to you, but you’ll feel better if you eat something you know is good for you!

• Do something you enjoy every day. As you probably have more time, try something you have always wanted to or put more time into your hobbies. Being creative is very therapeutic and might take your mind off all the bad news!

• If you have a pet, enjoy the extra time together! Most animals love company and will be so happy you are home! Animals are used in therapy for a reason, they make everyone feel better and life a bit more manageable, and they know when you are sad and need a pick me up!

We all have to adapt at the moment and do the best with what we have. Try to find the positives, like that extra time you have every day when you would have been travelling to or from work! Stay healthy and safe and if you need any help from an exercise point of view, please reach out. I will most likely be commencing video sessions and classes if it comes to the point that we are not allowed to leave the house, so there is no getting away from your PT! 🙂

My New York Marathon Tips

I’m starting to see a lot of people for massage who are running the New York Marathon this year, and as I competed in it last year, I have lots of good info and tips to share to help prepare you for the day!

  • Be prepared for the cold, long wait before you start – I left my apartment at 5.30am to get on the subway, a ferry and a bus to arrive at the starting village at about 7am. I was in wave 1 and started at 9.40am, so it is a very long time to be out in the elements on Staten Island! It was freezing and extremely windy, I had 7 layers of clothes on and a thermal first aid blanket!
  • Take a cushion – Once on Staten Island, there is grass or concrete to sit on for your 3 hour wait. I went to Jack’s discount store the day before and bought a cushion for a few bucks!
  • The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is long – The first bridge across to Manhattan is about 2.5k! It’s not as steep as the Gateway bridge but it’s definitely longer!
  • Try and run down the middle of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge if you are on the lower level – The nice guys on the upper level decide they need a pee in the first kilometre of the race and kindly do it off the side of the bridge! If it is a little windy, as it was last year, you may get a face full!
  • The race is not flat – I thought it would be but there are lots of sneaky inclines in there, even through central park at the end.
  • Don’t go for baggage option – If you check a bag in you won’t get out of the place for about 90 mins after crossing the finish line! I didn’t take a bag and it still took about 40 mins to exit! If you don’t opt for a bag, they give you a plastic bag when you collect your number, to put your bits in that you might want for the wait like water and snacks. If you have a bag they assume you will have a jumper so when you cross the line you will be given a foil blanket. If you have no bag then they also wrap you up in a lovely, warm, stylish (?) poncho!
  • When you cross the finish line, you have another 5k to walk! – You are so happy to cross the line, get your medal, get your photo taken and get your bag of snacks and drinks . . . then they make you walk for miles to exit central park at certain streets according to your name. You can’t stop or sit down or stretch, you just have to “keep going, you’re nearly there”!!! I thought I had finished the race but I was wrong!! In hindsight, moving and not just stopping after a marathon is good for the legs!! 
  • Enjoy the crowds and atmosphere – there really is nothing like it! The whole of the city come out to cheer you on, there is no part when you are out there alone. I usually run with an iPod in races for distraction, but I actually took it out of my ears to take in the experience, it’s pretty amazing! Enjoy!