Lockdown Motivation: An Opportunity to Grow

Always one to err on the side of “glass half full,” I am aiming to seek lockdown motivation during this time.

Yes, despite the very real struggle and necessary sacrifices and adjustments I am taking on in my life right now, I am one of those “lockdown motivation people”.
I am working hard every day, lord knows with God’s grace, to become a better version of myself and a better Mom. I am not trying to learn a new language, force my kids to learn how to read, write a cook book, or train for a marathon on my treadmill (this was a thought I had initially though, I won’t lie!). But, in a nutshell, I am taking one day at a time trying to do my best in each moment, and to do even better the next time.
And this includes seeking lockdown motivation. Why? James Clavell summed it up best:
“To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself, it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort” James Clavell
An acquaintance recently sent me a WhatsApp message of a link to an article titled “Can all the lockdown motivators get lost.” No message or other words of her own were included. Just a link to an article shaming people who share motivational content on social media during the lockdown. Ill set aside the inclination to believe this was a personal dig, considering I share mostly motivational content on social media and on my Podcast. But I would like to investigate a bit this idea that “lockdown motivators” need to get lost.

We are all Suffering Right Now

Think about this for a minute – every single person in the world right now has had their reality shook. Many have lost their jobs, are separated from their families, are struggling to get the medication they need, etc. Our lives have all changed into a version of reality we never could have prepared for or even expected. Maybe we could have expected this if the Netflix series “Pandemic” had been released BEFORE the outbreak of Covid-19, but alas, it was not. And yes, our suffering will look different. But the fact remains, everyone’s life has changed.

So, we are freaking out, ok?! Ever heard of fight or flight response? In a moment of panic people will either freeze, run away for dear life or fight back. This article breaks it down well.

“The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety.” We are all “coping” right now. And, just like how our suffering looks different, so will how we cope.

We all Cope Differently

During a crisis, whether personally or in a community, people respond differently. Fight or flight, you will have people thinking and responding differently.

The case of this global pandemic is no different. You have people who seek lockdown motivation and you have people who seek the conflict. You will have the complainers, the doers, the helpers, and so on. I explained more about this here.

Happiness is a CHOICE

Let’s go back to that quote I listed above:

“If you leave your mind to itself, it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness……”

What we know is this: your life has changed, you have more responsibility, the future is unknown, and this feels scary. But, darling, you have a CHOICE here.

I know this because I feel the same way right now. Every day I wake up and I see ahead of me the same steps we walked yesterday. I see the meltdowns my kids will have; I see the piles of laundry needing to be done. I see my husband working from home scrambling to look after his staff and company in a new industry in a developing country in a recession and now in a lockdown. I know that by 9AM I will already lose my patience because my children will ask the same questions they did yesterday, while they lose interest in the activities, I planned for them. “Why aren’t we at school?” “Where are my friends?” “Why can’t we go on an outing?”. I see myself trying to answer the same questions with more patience and setting up the same activities with less expectation. I see myself trying my best, and still breaking down in tears multiple times a day. I see myself getting back up again over and over and over.

And I CHOOSE to practice lockdown motivation. I choose to recognize my unhelpful emotions and to respond differently. I choose to give myself a time out when I need it. I choose to find the joy and the lessons and the silver lining. I choose to message our pre-school teachers and ask questions, seek guidance, and to thank them for all their support. I choose to be motivated and not to spiral down a path of despair and unhappiness.

I choose to share on social media what made me happy each day, and what I’m grateful for. I choose to be one of those lockdown motivators.

What are you going to choose? Will it be lockdown motivation? Will it be suffering in silence? Will it be criticism, conflict and media obsession? Will it be the unhappy thoughts that lead you down a tunnel of negativity? Whatever you choose, I hope you allow others the space to navigate their suffering however they choose also, even if they are “lockdown motivators”. You can always choose to mute or unfollow them but please don’t hurt people for trying to be positive and brave as a method of coping with this change.