10 Ways to Occupy Yourself and Stay Sharp While Out of the Pool

Occupy Yourself - waiting

10 Ways to Occupy Yourself and Stay Sharp While Out of the Pool

If you’re unable to get to the pool for the time being, largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, here are 10 tips to help you stay sharp, active and ready for game day in the future.

1. Stay hydrated! In addition to being the best beverage to quench your thirst, studies have shown that drinking the right amount of water throughout your day will improve your mood, improve your memory, and clear up your skin.

2. Maximize your space! You can use this time to reimagine your living space and surrounding environment to gain clarity and feel inspired. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed once the clutter is gone. You might even find something you didn’t know you’d been searching for!

3. Gain some cooking chops! Most competitive swimmers have jam-packed, rigorous training schedules which can be exhausting. Take advantage of this period of social distancing to whip up some recipes you’ve wished you had the time for but felt like your schedule didn’t allow. Prep time for that Greek spanakotiropita dish you’ve always wanted to try is two whole hours? Great! Put on your favorite tunes, roll up your sleeves and your family will be sure to thank you afterwards!

4. Flex your “green thumb”! The benefits of getting your hands in some dirt go far and wide. The activity of gardening can improve your mood by calming your senses. You’ll also be quickly rewarded with the actual “fruits of your labor.” Try planting an herb garden to save money and have the freshest ingredients added to your dishes.

5. Reach out to your circle, big and small. Now is a very important time to check-in with your teammates, friends you’ve made throughout the years or talk with family members that live near and far. During normal training periods – between school, swimming, a social life, and all of the other things that fill our schedules – we don’t often have the opportunities to have a relaxed conversation with the folks we’ve known throughout our lives. Thanks to apps like Facetime, Skype, Zoom and many others, it’s never been easier to get in touch with the people you care about.

6. Surf the web for cool documentaries related to swimming. You’ll be surprised at the diversity of subjects around the sport that are available. Whether it’s how to recover physically and emotionally from an injury, feeling immense pressure from competing or rediscovering a joy for the sport, there’s something for everyone.

Here are a few of the titles which you’ll hopefully find inspiring:
1. The Other Shore (2013)
2. The Weight of Gold (2020)
3. Swim Team (2016)
4. Kim Swims (2017)
5. Touch the Wall (2014)

7. A new physical activity! Take advantage of this opportunity to try something you have always wanted to try but felt like you never had the time to do, whether it’s yoga, dance, running or strength training, you’ll discover that you can still hone your physique in many ways which can improve your performance in the pool!

8. Making a recycled craft is a great way to beautify your space while doing something positive for the planet. Plus, recycled crafts won’t cost a lot of money to make and they can make great ecological conversation pieces. You could try making a bottle cap mural, a bowl made from newspapers or a bird feeder from a soda bottle.

9. Become a digital volunteer! Organizations including the American Red Cross, The United Nations, SafePlace International and Project Gutenberg are all accepting applications for volunteering in their social media, transcribing and communication efforts to positively impact the global community.

10. Small acts of kindness in your neighborhood create ripples! During these uncertain times, people have been showing how they look after their neighbors in many ways from helping bring folks their groceries, raking the leaves or offering to shovel snow to even creating a community mini-library!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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