After more than a year of feeling we mustn’t, shouldn’t, or can’t, we are now easing into mindset of we must, we should—we can.
Most of us have daydreamed about going back to our former lives, but the way back is surprisingly uneasy and fraught.
Is there a disconnect between how you remember your pre-COVID life and how you envision your future?
Probably. Christopher McCarroll, a leading philosopher of memory, observes that our memories have more dimension than our actual experiences. And our visions of the future tend to be “flatter” and more observational, less informed by emotion. (These are complex ideas, and I encourage you to explore them fully in McCarroll’s writings in both professional journals and online.)
The complexity of emotions surrounding our memories and the “flatness” of our vision of the future can contribute to holding us back.
With every new year, the self-help press, anticipating our resolutions, reminds us of the stages of behavior change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action.
Are we able to take even the first step to contemplate and imagine our futures?
In emerging from our COVID cocoons, where are we now?
The barriers to resuming or starting a new social life are similar to regaining motor function after a stroke or another brain injury.
Not only must the brain rewire itself and the body cope with lost fitness, but the individual must also contend with the emotions tied to their injury (perhaps a fear of falling) and the “flatness” of their vision for the future. It takes twice as much metabolic energy for a post-stroke person to walk as a normal person; and what about the amount of emotional energy?
Regaining lost skills is hard but necessary work.
As we imagine vibrant lives post-COVID, we envision a world in which we can move freely. Walking will be fundamental in re-engaging with nature, our friends, our family, ourselves; so fundamental, in fact, that Dr. Jessie VanSwearingen has declared walking “a sixth vital sign.”
The long months of isolation have dulled our fitness.
But movement itself is the gateway to the future.
Foray is here to provide you with the right tools to support you while you begin your life anew.
Together, let’s put in the work.
Let’s get walking again.
In good health,
Dr. Patricia Kavanagh