Intensity is high when it comes to people trying to get other people to do what they think is best. It’s most obvious at the highest levels, with mandates trying to be pushed, but you see it every single day locally as well. There are heated debates within cities, businesses, schools, and even families. No matter what side of any issue you are on, you want everyone else to do what YOU think is best.
While most debates today revolve around masks, social distancing, and of course the vaccines, you will never get everyone to agree. Therefore, there will ALWAYS be people that will wear masks, no matter what… and there will ALWAYS be people who will not wear masks. There will ALWAYS be people who social distance… and there will ALWAYS be people who won’t. And there will ALWAYS be many that will get vaccinated, and get any booster that follows, while there will ALWAYS be many that will not.
So… no matter what side you are on, or how strongly you feel, about any of the big issues that surround us these days, you are unlikely going to change your mind, or change the minds of others. So, what do you do?
When I am asked to speak to a group or organization, one topic that is very popular is stress. The main point I make is that there are two things you can do regarding stress… get rid of the stressor (which is often impossible), or manage the stress better by knowing it is there, but managing your response to the stress. You can’t control the people and circumstances around you, but you CAN control you, and your response, to the stressor.
In regards to making the biggest impact during this pandemic, it will help to shift your energy and focus less on what everyone around you is doing (which you simply cannot control), and put that energy and focus on what YOU are doing.
This might include all of the things that are most talked about by governmental agencies and the media, like wearing masks or getting vaccinated, and could even include more extreme actions, such as wearing rubber gloves, sheltering in place, or even wearing special goggles. But to take your level of protection to its highest level, you need to consider other measures that YOU can control and that have the biggest impact in boosting your level of overall health and protection… your wellness lifestyle choices.
Somehow, in the past year and a half, there has been little-to-no mention, discussion, or encouragement to lose weight, become more fit, improve your nutritional intake, ensure ample vitamin D levels, get outside in the fresh air, better manage your stress, and optimize your social connections (which can be done while honoring social distancing). These action steps boost immune function, improve cardio and vascular performance, lower inflammatory markers, and help the body’s response to viral infection. And these are things you do have control over.
Think about how much more impactful you could be if you focused on these things that are within your control. How much healthier would you be? How much stronger would your body be? How much less risk would you have for complications associated with viral infections?
If you are consumed with worrying about what others are doing, or not doing, is that time well spent? If you are spending a lot of time complaining, reprimanding, or posting about what others are doing, or not doing, is that paying off? I can assure you that whatever impact you believe you are having, it pales in comparison to the impact you would have on protecting yourself if you focus on the things that you can do by taking care of YOU.
I try to never let what others are doing, or not doing, interfere with the things that I can do for myself. And I certainly would not spend more time worrying about, or complaining about, those things others are doing, or not doing, than I would on maximizing my body’s ability to perform, grow, and heal.
One thing that would be very, very wise, is to focus on what YOU are doing. You will never have the control over the behavior of others that you have over yourself. And remember the old saying… when you are pointing your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at YOU!