Mental Health

3 Ways to Stay Sharp While Staying Inside

Feeling cooped up? Take advantage of this pause. If you're struggling to stay sharp — keep these three tips in mind as you navigate your new normal.
Posted on 
April 28, 2020
Minute Read

Feeling cooped up? Take advantage of this pause. If you're struggling to stay sharp — keep these three tips in mind as you navigate your new normal.

During this time of being at home, I want to share three things to keep our skills sharp and our minds right.

We can all agree, that each of us is a little stressed out now! It can be easy to lose perspective when the world is upside down. 

I hope you enjoy these tips and use them to keep your mindset a little lighter during this tough time!

3 tips if you’re stuck inside:

1️. Keep in mind this WILL pass — it’s temporary.

I remember a few years ago when I was battling my elbow injury. I had surgery and was off for about five months. I started to get anxious. I had to find an outlet for the frenetic energy I was feeling. I decided to focus on my mental health while I was healing. Why not stop fighting this break I had to take and start enjoying it instead? 

I used that time to clear my mind and get away by doing things I didn’t have the time to do before, like going on long hikes. 

As I climbed and adventured I found myself experiencing less anxiety and more mental clarity. My mind got as quiet as the mountains I was traversing. 

This made it easier to start thinking about what was next for me after this transition period. I was able to strategize now that I was no longer stressed.

I had a good plan in my head going forward when I was able to get back to golf because I’d given myself space and time to alleviate anxiety.  

If you’re feeling stir crazy and just want to get back to your game use this downtime as a PAUSE. Enjoying some fresh air frankly was its own kind of medicine. 

We’re all so busy and deep in the details most of the time that we can’t see the big picture. 

Sometimes taking a step back is exactly what you need to improve your game and your life. 

2. Keep your skills sharp every day.

For me with golf, there are some simple things we can do indoors that don't need a lot of tools or access. You can still work on your game, as long as you have your clubs, and some space to do some pivot drills. 

Find a simple exercise, routine, or movement you can do every single day to keep your skills sharp. Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving forward. 

A lot of us are experiencing a loss of control and routine so our first inclination is to fill it up with entertainment or news so we feel in control. This just wears us out mentally and puts us in a poor headspace.

This a rare time in your life in which you can be totally selfish, and when I say selfish I mean invest in yourself. Instead of struggling to “fill” your time, change your perspective. 

Focus on what you can control right now — the betterment of yourself and your world. Dedicate this time the empowerment of you. 

Stay sharp daily by challenging yourself to do one thing every day that will get you closer to your goals.

It doesn’t have to be a well-thought-out schedule, it can be as simple as doing one thing your future self will thank you for. Use this as a time for improvement and build some new habits that will help you beyond just the quarantine. 

This will require you to be aware of your time and energy. Put healthy limits on how much you consume digitally. You can monitor your screentime, your news consumption, and even your couch time. 

Action is the best antidote for anxiety or depression.

3. Get your mind right.

One thing I’ve learned through golf is that you can’t get too high or too low. Once the shots over with you move onto the next one and try to put it behind you. 

The same is true with life, you can’t bring one bad moment into the next, and that’s the same for a bad day or week. 

I’ve heard a lot of people say lately that days just seem to blend together and they can’t seem to shake the anxiety that this uncertainty has brought with it.

That’s normal, this is collective anxiety we’re all dealing with. This situation we’re all in is traumatic and has forced us to adapt in a way we never have. There will be psychological hurdles we all need to learn how to navigate with new skills. 

The good news? We live in a day and age that doesn’t stigmatize mental health. You can talk to coworkers, friends, and families about how you’re feeling.

There are free resources to help us cope with stress, anxiety, anger, or sadness. These are for everyone and available 24/7 online. 

You can absolutely change your mood and regulate your emotions it just requires you to be proactive.

Use an app, meditate, breathe, and learn techniques to relax your mind. Process your emotions and level out the super high highs and super lows when you actually take the time to practice emotional self-regulation.

We can manage our moods, they don’t need to run your day or week. Get your mind right by making it a priority.

As the great stoic Epictetus said, “Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” I hope those tips help out wherever you are!

Mike Weir

Mike Weir is a Canadian professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. In just over a decade, Weir has managed to become one of the greatest professional golfers ever to come out of Canada. He became only the second left-handed golfer to win any of the four majors In 2000, he became the first Canadian to play in the President’s Cup, where he led the international team with a 3-2-0 record.