There will be times in your life when everything gets on top of you and you experience stress in a way that feels like you’ve hit a brick wall – the Covid-19 pandemic is showing us that life doesn’t always go to plan.

You may be having good days and not so good days. It’s to be expected that you’re disappointed that your skating plans are on ice (excuse the pun).  Today, I want to remind you that it’s okay not to be okay and in the current circumstances, we do need to remember to take a break and take time for ourselves.

As skaters, you are highly committed, driven to perfection, and incredibly passionate about what you do. You will have hit the wall with your training more than a few times! So it comes as no surprise that these commendable traits may now be the cause of your frustration.  I can see a lot of you putting pressure on yourself to keep up with training and do your best to juggle everything and cope with it all.

hanging skates

Coping strategies

But how well are you really coping and what can you do to help make things better for yourself? According to sociologist Leonard Perlin, three of the main coping strategies are:

  1. When you try to change what is happening – for example, people not observing lockdown guidance
  2. When you ‘reframe’ what is occurring – seeing the situation is a new (and more positive) way. This could be seeing this time as an opportunity to rest, or spend more quality time with your immediate family
  3. When you surrender and relax – establishing structured and regular time to process what is happening, such as meditation and breathing exercises. This can help soothe feelings of overwhelm and strengthen your mind

Reframing and relaxing are excellent coping strategies – IF you can recognise when you’re feeling stressed.

However, sometimes it creeps up on you, so it may also be helpful to know the signs to look out for. Some of the more common signs are headaches, jaw ache, disturbed sleep, acne (the stress hormone cortisol can cause breakouts at any age), having a sweet tooth or a craving for junk food.

When you can learn recognise the signs, you can do something about it! Go for a walk, read, do some deep breathing. There are some great videos on YouTube where they can do guided meditation and body scans. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling can also be a massive relief.

We won’t always be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we cope or respond to our circumstances.  So at this time, ask yourself, “can I change it?” “can I change how I look at it?” and “can I relax?”

Remember it’s important to take a break and stop. We are all looking forward to skating again but for now just carry on doing the best that you can with the physical and emotional strength you have on any given day. You need to look after yourself.

Shirley x

P.S. I’d love to hear your tips on how you’ve been relaxing!