In her latest Fast10 article Jenny Nesbitt asks “Do you look at the world with a glass half empty or a glass half full view?”
There is something about this analogy that has always struck me. How we view the exact same thing can spin a completely different view.
The glass has the exact same amount of liquid in it, but you can either be a pessimist or an optimist. After all, a glass half full of gin is never a bad thing, is it? [My memory is hazy, but I think it can have negative effects – editor]
This analogy can extend into nearly every area of life, whatever roll of the dice you are given. A bad race isn’t a disaster, its an opportunity to learn. An injury isn’t the end of everything, its a chance to get stronger. Bad weather doesn’t mean you can’t run or race hard, instead you get to see how tough you really are.
You get the idea, how you view a situation can make or break how you react to it.
How full is your glass right now?
Right now, we are in the middle of a health pandemic. Not ideal, granted. I haven’t seen my family for months, nor my friends or anyone else for that matter. I haven’t smelt that track smell, haven’t worn spikes, and I’m almost certain my race kit is collecting dust.
I have missed going out for brunch and until recently spending all my money on coffee. Seems like a pretty bleak outlook, right? As I should imagine it does for the majority of people reading this right now. But that is the glass half empty view.
I’m still healthy and I’m building fitness. I speak to my friends and family more now (even if it is virtually) than I ever have done before. I haven’t had that track smell, but I’ve discovered trails I never knew existed. Yes, I haven’t worn spikes, but if I’m honest I hate wearing them anyways.
Ready when I need to be
My race kit might be collecting dust, but it will always be there for when I need it (and nothing is actually preventing me from wearing it on a run, if I really want to). Not spending my weekends post run in cafes has been pretty tough, not gonna lie… but I have banged together a few stacks of pancakes and covered them in maple syrup, so its not all that bad. And that takeaway coffee has never been as well appreciated as it is now.
Same situation, different ways of looking at it. And I’m not saying it is as simple as that. I’ve had plenty a wobble over the past 10 weeks. It seems mighty unfair that we are all going through this, and that so many people are suffering. It is almost impossible to remember what ‘normal’ is anymore.
But I think your mindset can count for so much, and during World Mental Health month, there is no better time to highlight the importance of self care.
Mentally strong athletes
As athletes, we are generally ‘seen’ as mentally strong, tough. You’ve got to be if you can put yourself in a world of pain, correct? Surely we are all able to adapt to a world pandemic then.
Granted, I do feel some of the skills I have gained being an athlete have helped me to view this whole ordeal with a glass half full view, but it does not mean we are immune to struggle too. And that is ok. It would almost be inhumane if you didn’t go through a few glass half empty days.
From my own personal experience, self care is one of the most important things you can invest your time into. It is amazing what a little time to yourself can do to your perspective.
Right now I think it is even more important than ever to be kind to yourself. Whatever that might look like. It does not have to be flamboyant, and usually it is the simple, home comforts that make you feel the best. A bubble bath, journaling, cooking your favourite meal, a walk in the sun or just sitting with a good book.
It ain’t easy right now, but do something that makes you feel good each day and that glass might just get a little fuller.