How to avoid becoming a pandemic pancake

By: Miranda Mowrey, Columnist

“I’m not going,” I said, arms crossed and annoyed, as my sister asked for the third time to go on a run together. Don’t get me wrong- it was a beautiful, sunny day, and all I had on my agenda was to organize my sock drawer, but for some reason, my motivation was…dwindling.

My sister ended up winning the stand-off. As we were jogging, she commented on how difficult it was to get me out of my funk. She said that I seemed like a pancake, stubbornly stuck to a hot griddle, and she was the spatula, attempting to pry me off the surface and flip me over. 

Her analogy was nothing less than spot on. I am starting to truly feel like a blob of Aunt Jemimah’s pancake mix, each day requiring more blood, sweat, and tears from whoever is holding the spatula to get me moving.

We are weeks into social isolation, and like me, your motivation is probably slowly draining, making it hard for you to do simple tasks like go for a jog, complete an assignment, or call a friend. And whether you are the spatula or the pancake in this fun little anecdote, we could all use some advice on how to restore our spirit in order to keep chugging along.

William H. McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, makes a great point about the importance of the first task of the day:

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” McRaven said. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed, will have turned into many tasks completed. “

If you haven’t made your bed since elementary school when your mom threatened dessert over it, don’t fret; the first task of the day can be anything. Make a cup of coffee, take your dog outside to go to the bathroom, check in on your parents – seriously, just do something! After the serotonin of completing just one task hits, you will naturally want to chase that feeling, hence, having motivation to do more and more.

Towson University junior Aly Cathcart has mastered her own personal routine for ensuring her drive to be productive lasts all day:

“As soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I change into normal clothes before I even leave my room,” she said. “If I stay in pajamas or sweats all day, I feel a lot lazier. If I put on real clothes, it makes me feel like I’m actually going to class and I am more likely to have a productive day.”

It is perfectly okay to have lazy days, especially during these hard times. However, if your lazy days are starting to take place on any day of the week that ends in y, give the “spatula” in your life a break. Try to complete a simple task first thing in the morning and see where that takes you.

Anyways, I am getting hungry, and pancakes actually sound really good. And maybe you should go make your bed.

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