3 Thoughts to Keep in Mind During Tough Times Like These

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

These past two months have been difficult, to say the least. The world has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost around the world. Meanwhile, financial strains have hit families and the normalcy of life has been disturbed, including at-home schooling becoming the new form of learning.

Everyone goes through a tough patch every now and then. A key to emerging successfully from these moments is mental toughness, and possessing the ability to respond to adversity. Having a good mental state during a difficult period is what will make you succeed and allow you to get the most out of yourself. Here are a few things that are important to keep in mind when you are going through a tough time in order to keep up a good mental attitude.

Initially, this piece was written to address difficult weeks in training. However, the themes also apply to life and how to pick up oneself in the way they encounter daily trials.


Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

You Will Be Stronger

When you are beat down and are feeling crummy, it seems like the end of the world. Sometimes you feel like you cannot keep going any longer. But at the end of the day, what you are doing is what will make you swim faster at the end of the season. Keep forging ahead and remind yourself that you are being tested and will rise to the challenges that are presented.

The key is to remember that when you feel bad in the ‘here and now,’ it is going to help you in the long run. Sometimes that idea is not the most comforting when you are hurting and frustrated, but at the end of the day, there is a positive feeling when you say, “I’m going to find a way over this hurdle.”


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You can always find something to work on

Everyone has days where things do not go their way, but that does not mean the day has gone to waste. Even when you are struggling or bored, there is always something that you could be working on. You can visualize races and strengthen yourself mentally. You can review video of past races. You can do dryland exercises and make sure your body is in the best shape possible when the time comes for normalcy to return.

If you are able to pick something to work on, such as visualization or lifting, the shift in focus can help take your mind off your frustration and turn you away from dwelling on the negative thoughts that run through the mind. At least you know you are getting something out of the day rather than wasting time.



Photo Courtesy: Caitlin Daday

Everyone is in the same boat

One of the best things about being part of a team is that everyone goes through everything together. That means that when you are hurting, they are hurting, too. And not only are they also hurting, but your coach realizes that as well. You are not alone. Feeling sorry for yourself will only make you worse, but realizing that the rest of your teammates are having equally difficult moments presents a comfort zone.

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