Eloise Wellings is an Australian dual Olympian, Commonwealth Games representative, mother of two and co-founder of Love Mercy Foundation.
I’m going to take a punt and guess that unless you've been living in space for the past couple of months, it’s been a challenging time. Now that we’re beginning to hopefully see light at the end of the tunnel and slowly (and safely) but surely come out of this time of isolation one of the themes that I keep coming back to in every area of my life is ADAPTING. One of the key markers of resilience is how a person deals with and adapts to uncertainty and change.
When you think about it, the only way we adapt is through stress, whether that’s physical stress like training or whether its lifestyle stress that we need to adapt to, or even a biological stress that we adapt to have immunity to, all change comes through adapting to stress and so therefore all growth depends on stress. So in times like these where there is a lot of stress and uncertainty in the world, that stress actually does represent a growth opportunity if we can adapt appropriately to it. So what does adapting to the current stress of change look like to you? What are the hidden opportunities for growth?
Adapt our expectations
Things aren't the same as they were and with that expectations need to change around what we can and can’t do right now and what we can achieve. As an athlete, expectations around racing have changed because all races were cancelled so we need to adapt our expectations around training and even how our motivation levels for training might be up and down. This doesn't mean that you can’t set yourself challenging goals, they’ll just look different to what they did before. Sport and athletics aside, I’ve been super inspired by some small business owners who've had to adapt quickly and innovate new ways of doing things in order to keep their business afloat during this time. One local cafe, in particular, relied on customers coming in and sitting down for coffee and milkshakes but because of restrictions they had to completely reinvent the way they do business and started cooking Lebanese food for takeaway and home delivery. Honestly, this was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten and they are overtaken with orders for their lamb kofta, baba ghanoush and pita bread. This is a great example of someone who’s had to accept and adapt to the current situation and they're thriving because they took a risk in doing something different and adapting their expectations.
Adapt our routine
High performers organise their lives around what matters most to them and the way we organise our life is through our routines and how we spend our time, attention and energy. So your routine has needed to adapt during this time because not much looks the same as it did before! Work is no longer the same as it was or there’s additional demands as a parent and so it's about coming up with new ways of doing things in order to keep the main priorities the main focus. For me that looks like using the treadmill for training a little more during this time so that I can be as efficient as possible when it comes to balancing family, homeschooling and working from home. It also means getting up a little earlier and doing my core routine before the family wakes up so that I’m not allowing weaknesses to creep in physically and so that I take my time to do things properly.
This is a time that we’re more conscious of our health and we can make choices that improve our overall health and immune system. I have personally enjoyed taking this time to advance my breath practice to help with my recovery, fitness and overall health. The extra time at home has also been a great opportunity to cook more and ensure that I am getting all the nutrients I need to be healthy and fit (in that order).
Lastly, accepting that some things will be changed for good and won't go back to the way they were before and adapting to those changes will be an important step in reaching our full potential despite the challenges.
Personally, my goal is to be open to all possibilities and opportunities in this time of change and adapt in order to become more resilient, not just as an athlete but as a human as well!
By Eloise Wellings