Wildcats News · 5 Daily Tasks To Stay Mentally Tough During The Coronavirus Crisis – Dr. Rob Bell


5 Daily Tasks To Stay Mentally Tough During The Coronavirus Crisis – Dr. Rob Bell

Admiral James Stockdale was a prisoner for over seven years during the Vietnam War. He endured an immense amount of torture and faced many atrocities as a prisoner of war.
In the Jim Collins book, “Good To Great”, he mentioned how they coped and never lost faith in eventually being released. However, at the same time, he also confronted the stark reality of his dire situation.

It was coined the Stockdale paradox.
He also knew that the optimists were the one’s who would not make it. The optimists would state, “We’ll be home by Christmas.” Then, Christmas would come and go and the optimists would lose faith and hope and succumb to the horrible conditions.
This is an important lesson for us during the Coronavirus crisis, because we don’t know the future of next week or next month. It is important for us to focus on our daily tasks to stay mentally tough.
1. Opportunity vs. Obstacle
The situation does not change, merely how we view it.
We view at our current situation either as an obstacle or an opportunity. If we look at the situation as an obstacle, then we’ll see the threats that face us (economy, quarantine, how long it’ll last, etc). As a result, we’ll automatically adopt a negative mindset and our anxiety and stress levels will increase.
However, if we can focus on the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity, then we’ll see the challenges in front of us. We’ll focus instead on how we can adapt, get better and improve. Our attitude changes as a result.
2. Keep Routine
What causes us all stress, apprehension, and worry is the sudden lack of control in our lives. Our schedules have all completely fallen apart and now we are left to deal, handle, and cope with it.
In order to stay mentally tough and get back some semblance of control, we need to develop a routine.
Write out blocks of time to schedule for different activities, family, and work. It will create a feeling of comfort, because our environment now has created freedom for our mind to focus only on what is in front of us.
There is no perfect routine and it will mess-up and deviate. The key is to get back to our routine and refer to it often.
3. Focus on Others
The way that we get outside of our own head is to focus on others. It’s simple because we cannot help out anyone else in life without also helping out ourselves. It’s the premise and belief that that NO ONE Gets There ALONE.
Buy a neighbor something, leave a positive company review, comment positively on a group page, or text someone and let him or her know that you were thinking of them. There’s tons of opportunities.
Focusing on someone else is how we create meaning in our lives and get outside of our own troubles. And we need to be intentional about this area because it happens by design, not by default.
4. Train
WE perform like we train!

Everything is closed, but it doesn’t mean to give up exercise.  It is actually the perfect opportunity to start training for something that you didn’t have the time to do. Make it part of your routine.
If training is too tough to bear, then make a commitment to exercise everyday. Walk, get outside, ride a bike, but get moving. We were born to move and the benefits are endless! You’ll see that exercise means not needing a gym.
5. Wave to Everybody
And say hello to everybody.

There will be more negativity now in the coming weeks than most any other time in our lives. The negativity will be infectious! Thus, we have to make a commitment to breed positivity and share it with others.

We are all in this together!

And all we have to do is acknowledge the other people to remind ourselves that they are suffering too. Many people are struggling and it’s a small but intentional way to improve the atmosphere. Also, don’t expect anything in reply, but know we are doing it for ourselves as well.

These simple, but not easy 5 simple tasks to stay mentally tough will reap benefits!

{Dr. Rob Bell is a husband and father of two wonderful kids. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and provide sport psychology services to many passionate athletes. He has completed a Full Ironman, a personal best marathon of 3:23, competed in ultra-marathons, and numerous other races, and had a hole-in-one. Participated in Master’s Swimming Events. He golfs, swims, skis, reads, runs, plays ping-pong and chess.Here are some cool (and not so cool) facts about Dr. Bell!

  • Worked with Indy Eleven and the University of Notre Dame.
  • A former CMPC for Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) since 2006-consulting with hundreds of athletes, coaches, and teams. 
  • Have been the mental coach with winners on the PGA Tour,web.com tour, Olympic Medalists, and the USTA National Champion.
  • Caddied over 20+ events on professional golf tours.
  • Author of six books on Mental Toughness.
  • Published over a dozen journal articles on the “yips” in golf and sport psychology.
  • Has been featured on ESPN, The Golf Channel, Runner’s World, NY Times, & Stack Magazine.
  • Graduate of University of Tennessee, Temple University, & Shepherd University.
  • Has had two near death accidents (car accident & falling off a cliff).
  • Married with 2 children.
  • Completed Ironman, Ran ultra-marathons, Tough Mudders, Masters swimmer, and has had a hole-in-one.
  • Was a raft-guide during college in WV.
  • Skied over 100+ days in one season in Crested Butte, CO.
  • Speaks and trains with teams, organizations, and schools on mental toughness.}