These next few weeks and months are going to be hard—like, really hard. But in a lot of ways, the situation we find ourselves in right now isn’t much different than the circumstances we encounter during a tough race. Here’s some racing advice you can apply to the rest of your life (or vice versa):
1. Accept the situation. This is the hand we’ve been dealt and we have to play it. Crappy as it may be, folding is not an option.
2. Be aware of your surroundings. Take stock of what’s happening around you. Try and understand what’s going on. Don’t react yet, just be aware for now.
3. Don’t freak out. We have a tendency to make rash decisions when things are moving fast around us and it feels like everything is falling apart. Keep calm in the face of chaos, take a deep breath, think things through, and make reasoned decisions.
4. Control what you can control. Back to the first point: You can’t change the hand you’ve been dealt but you can decide how to play it. Control what you can control: your actions, your effort, and your attitude.
5. Respect the people around you. Remember: This is about “we,” not “me.” Everyone is struggling in their own way—and to varying degrees—but we’re all in this together at the end of the day. Respect one another as we find our respective ways through this ordeal and help each other out whenever possible.
6. Be adaptable. As the saying goes, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” If things aren’t going to plan, roll with the punches. Make alternative plans. Adjust goals. Find new sources of motivation and inspiration.
7. Tell yourself that you’ll get through it. Here’s one fact of life: Everything eventually comes to an end. It’s stressful when you don’t know when that finish line is going to come but you have to tell yourself that at some point you’ll cross it. Keep going.