2020 Halloween is more important than ever before

 2020 Halloween Is More Important Than Ever Before


Why 2020 Halloween Is More Important Than Ever Before


I wasn’t always a massive Halloween honk. I still don’t have a yard full of gravesites or skeletons. 

And I was certainly never a hater. I recall my wife and I once checking out a church (sans kids) and one of the fellow members shared that Halloween was an evil Holiday. Um, bye!

It’s only been the last few years that I’ve converted to the importance of Halloween as arguably the best holiday! 

Stay with me… 

  • 4th of July is all about freedom, cookouts, and partying. 
  • Thanksgiving is about family. 
  • Valentines Day is for couples. 
  • Memorial Day and Labor Day are significant for the calendar and welcoming of seasons. 
  • Christmas is well, Christmas. 
  • And I don’t need to share with you the importance of Arbor Day! 

Our 2020 Halloween is more important than ever before because it’s the only holiday that celebrates community! 

When we can see past the costume, we will witness the magic that Halloween is way more important than just candy. 

Halloween is not about your country, state, or even town. October 31st is about your little carved out pumpkin of a community! 

Don’t we all remember “that” house that gave out full-sized snickers or cans of soda? No one outside of your own community is privy to that secret. 

When do we ever walk up to your neighbors house and say hello? And expect a gift. 

It’s a day of welcoming your entire community to come up to your front door and give them something for just being part of it. It’s an evening of walking with neighbors, sharing with neighbors, and seeing those who we might not have otherwise. 

Shouting “Trick or Treat” is really just a way of saying “I love you!”

This is NOT the year for a virtual trick or treating, whatever that means. Virtual means isolation. This blog and mission is all about Mental Toughness, and confidence happens within us when we are connected to others. 

Yes, a safe 2020 Halloween is more important than ever before. And of course, wear a mask (pun), hand out sanitizer (instead of toothbrushes if you’re “that” house), keep the candy in a dish outside if you wish.

But, tis’ the season to make sure you celebrate it with your community. Besides, If “we are all in this together” then let’s show solidarity with our kids at least for one special evening. This isn’t a mission statement or proclamation, it’s a request for all to connect. 

Now, the CDC and other health agencies have recommending canceling Halloween. They’d rather not have this debate because it’s a real example of the How The Grinch Stole Christmas!  

Lastly, if more proof is needed that 2020 Halloween is more important than ever before, then for the first time since 1965, network television canceled airing The Great PumpkinSeriously, 2020 is the year that they cancel it? Errrrr, you can now buy it on Apple +. 


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

 

create momentum


re-create momentum


How to Re-Create Momentum After The Pandemic Paralyzed Us


The stay-at-home order and pandemic resulted in temporary paralysis. It still continues. 

Life already has a lot of stops & starts. The pandemic merely added another heavy layer. 

Personally, I find myself stopping mid-stride into a building only to turn around and go grab my mask. I have questioned whether I can even go into buildings or out to eat. Then I question why “that” guy isn’t wearing one. 

I start over-thinking mid-conversation if I’m too close to this person. I’ve mini-freaked out on a car ride because I forgot my mask. (thankfully, I had a back-up). 

We went out to eat at a restaurant and were told that my wife and I can’t dance. It felt like Footloose. The place was state-ordered closed a week later.  

My kids didn’t start school, then started virtually, then 1/2 time, followed by who knows?  

People have experienced much more strain and trauma and heartache than just turning around to get a mask.  I get it, I’m not ignorant to the suffering. So, what happens when everything stops, suffering continues, and we’ve loosened into a “new normal” where we can’t be normal?

The toughest part about stopping is re-starting. So, here is what we need to do. 


How we can re-create momentum is an important tool if we want to be mentally tough and succeed

Momentum, even in sports, is a rare-bird. 

It’s almost always a feeling rather than a real construct and a psychological trick that we play on ourselves. It’s also the most-tired and over-used cliche’ that sport reporters use- “Oh, this team has momentum.” I never understood how a team can have positive mo’ from one season into another. Here’s how to-do it! 


1- Face The Fear and Do It Anyways-

There is more apprehension now regarding most anything where other people involved.

Flying for instance, I’ve seen people post pictures of themselves on a plane like they are summiting Mount Everest or plunging into the depths of an Arctic Ocean. 

Sure, there is fear around activities that used to be normal, but is that fear keeping you from pursuing your life?

The fear around many activities that were mundane is both real and imagined. It’s both!  As you’ve followed along with me for some time, you know that fear doesn’t always tell the whole truth. There is a host of lies within that fear. 

If you want to re-create momentum, then it begins with identifying the big fears, then, blowing past them. 


2- Create The Habit-

The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest.

Whatever routine that you’ve created was probably rocked to its core. We need to start over, fresh, a new beginning and orchestrate a bullet-proof morning routine.

It must be a battle that you win every morning.

That’s how it becomes a habit. Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Frankly, nobody knows because everyone is different and has different “why’s.”

What I can assure you is that the habits you create will result in massive momentum. Some of us are trying to remove something, while many are trying to build something. Know what it is exactly that you want and create a small daily morning routine that will create the habit. 


3- Eat The Frog-

In order to build mental toughness, we have to put ourselves in situations that stress us. Doing the things that you don’t want to do.

Hence, the incorrect way to create a morning habit and routine is to do something easy.

It’s wrong, because all you are doing is exhausting mental energy and delaying the inevitable; which is “that tough stuff is still waiting for you.” 

The right way to get after it is to EAT THE FROG! Do the toughest thing 1st thing in the morning. That’s how you re-create momentum.

Ask yourself, what is it that is important to me, that I DO NOT want to do. Then, Start With That.


4- Check That Success Sauce-

Momentum simply means having good outcomes. It results in us getting on a roll. Hence, we need to have successes. 

Confidence flows downhill

Confidence is contagious

Doing the tough stuff early in the day, even if we weren’t perfect, means that we have already secured a win!

We build off of wins and thus need to recognize and appreciate the good things, the successes, no matter how small they are. That’s why make your bed became a best selling book. 

Success is the mental toughness sauce that is needed to fulfill the mission.


5- Just Keep Moving- 

Life shows us that if we just keep moving then a miracle happens. The miracle is our second wind!

We ALL get a second wind IF we don’t quit. By continuing to show up, stand up, be counted, and keep pushing, you’re giving yourself the best opportunity!

Life is more about opportunities than comfort.

Seek opportunities to push yourself and struggle and comfort will follow.

If you do what is hard, life gets easier. If you do what is easy, life gets harder. 

When we welcome the challenge we will adopt a perspective and gratitude. Comfort can’t be sought before struggle. Re-create momentum by birthing opportunities and never giving up. 


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

be the hinge for others

be the hinge for others

How to Be The Hinge For Others


In 2009, photographer, Jitu Kalita was exploring a barren river island in India named Majuli Island.

What amazed Jitu was that after miles of desolate space, he came across something strange; a massive dense forest. He met a man during his exploration, Jadav Payeng, who single-handedly planted and cultivated the forest, which was now larger than the size of Central Park.

As a kid, Payeng found hundreds of dead, curled up snakes that had been washed away by flood rains and massive erosion with no shade to protect them. From this hinge moment, the then 16-year-old boy simply began planting seeds on this island.

Jadav Payeng began planting trees in 1979 on the island that housed approximately 150,000 people.

Jadav, over the course of 40 years, tirelessly created a vast forest that spans over 1300 acres. Today, the island houses over one hundred elephants, a hundred deer, five Royal Bengal tigers, wild boars, several species of birds, including vultures and pelicans, many one-horned rhinoceroses, and of course snakes.

Jadav Payeng became known as the “Forest Man of India” for his continued effort. 

Jadav’s work and passion for his daily routine transformed his entire environment. Remember, If you want to change the way you feel, change your environment.


Most of us will not follow in his footsteps, but we can still plant trees!

Every transaction we have with someone else has the potential to be transformational. We don’t know which acts or gestures will be the hinge for others, so every person and transaction is the most important.

We may not develop a transformational encounter with someone at the cash register, but of course, isn’t it nice when we enter a store and they know our coffee order or remember our name. In those cases, our transactions became transformational and relational. We become connected. 


On the simplest level, we each have the potential in our lives to positively impact everyone we encounter by planting trees that we will never see. 

One of the ways I do this is during my long training runs. I simply wave and acknowledge others. 

These people in my wake, in the early morning hours are putting forth their best effort, running, getting after it, and my way to be the hinge for others is to wave and/or say ‘hello.” The wave or hello may not seem important, but it makes a connection.

It’s simple, not hard, and I’ll never know the impact! But, I believe in my core, that we all need an acknowledgement and to feel worthy and recognizable.

This simple act of the wave establishes the possibility that the beneficiary will extend it further to someone else.

While it is impossible to know the impact simple, generous acts; the effect is invaluable. However, if we hold back and do not extend to connect with those around us, then there can’t be any positive impact. The Hinge can’t connect that way. 


“We do not know the impact of our actions, but if we take no action, there will be no results.”- Gandhi 


After the pandemic struck however, I noticed more and more people who would also wave back. I think it is a key to keeping our sanity during these times.

We actually want to plant trees that we will see and enjoy ourselves. However, planting trees that we will never see, means doing actions because it is the right thing to do, not because of the reaction or non-reaction we get from someone else. If we wave, acknowledge, support, and are generous to enough people, then we eventually will receive the reciprocation.

The theme about being the hinge for others is that we give away the mindset that we possess ourselves. If we want more confidence, or focus, or patience, or kindness, then only by helping others with that specific skill will we actually improve upon it. That’s why no one gets there alone. 

How will you be the hinge for others? 


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

10 ways to instantly improve your mental game of golf


10 ways to instantly improve your mental game of golf 


Don’t stress about the mental piece any longer.

This ebook has 10 tips that can be instantly applied to your preparation. we’ve been fortunate enough to have coached with 3 different PGA Tour champions and throughout my many years, I’ve come up with 10 common mistakes that most players make, AND how to correct them.

We have tons of resources to help you. 

Golf is without a doubt the most difficult sport there is. It will expose the demons inside, and while this ebook will not take care of those, it will provide a path to instantly improve your mental game of golf.  

Here’s a few other bonus resources to check out. 

    1. Why the psychological game of golf is not successful. 

    2. What Skill is Needed to Play at the NEXT LEVEL. 

    3. Three Toughness Drills for Golfers. 

    4. 1-1 #MentalToughness Training Camp for Golfers. 


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

Personally, I dislike hacks!

I think of a bad golfer when I hear the word, HACK.  I don’t want to be a hack or peddle hacks around. I also dislike the term because a hack seems like an easy way out, a cop out, rather than a campaign to get better.

And getting better is a campaign!


But, hacks do make life easier, if we implement them. So, yes, this infographic is a hack, because it’s the simplest thing to alter the way we feel. 

When we feel a certain way and want to stop it, then we need to change our environment. We can act our way into right thinking easier than thinking our way into right acting. 


Want to change the way you feel, CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

The reason why you should never have exercise equipment in your bedroom, is because that’s not what the bedroom is for. It’ll sit there, reminding you, causing stress about why you don’t use it. 

​​When it comes to changing how we feel about work or our team, the environment matters! 
As Lou Holtz stated​​, “create an environment where you are missed if you’re absent.” 

However, during a pandemic, changing our situation often became a difficult thing to do. We were stuck. So, when thinking of changing how we feel about ourselves, it isn’t always about getting away or sitting on a beach (although, that’s great).


Tweaking our environment can mean altering anything for the betterour office, our routines, sprucing up the yard, connecting with others, or even driving new routes home.

Changing your environment will help your focus, grant you perspective and rejuvenate how we feel about ourselves. 


want to change the way you feel, Change your environment

Remember, you’re an athlete, our offices are just different.

You are responsible for the culture and training that you set. 


Want To Change The Way You Feel, Change Your Environment.


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

best mental toughness podcast

best mental toughness podcast


Why “15 Minutes” of Mental Toughness Podcast?


Here’s a quick test:

Look at any random non-fiction book on your self that you’ve previously read. Without looking through it again, tell yourself everything that you remember from that book, the characters, the message or theme, stories, etc. Try and think of everything you remember. 

I looked over and picked The Power of Broke by Daymond John

Now, here’s the test- How many factoids, nuggets, or impactful stories could you really come up with?

Mine? I only recall two things from my choice: 1) that desperation was a needed requirement for success and 2) that Daymond John spray-painted his ads for Fubu on the pull-down garage doors in NYC. 

I know there was tons more from the book, but that’s about all I can recall. And it was a good book! 

Maybe you’re better than me. But I think, we can only remember the big stuff from almost every book that we read, one or two things, and we forget the rest. 

That’s the “why” behind the 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness Podcast. 

I started the show knowing that within our 45-1 hour interviews, you would get 15 minutes worth of content that could totally transform you and your outlook on mental toughness, the hinge, and mental health and wellness

In life, we have to be able to take what we need! 

But, it’s not about extracting the nectar and burning the tree, it’s merely about consuming what we learn and passing your newfound knowledge and experience onto others. I think we are at our best when we are helping others. 

If you like our mental toughness podcast, please subscribe and leave a review here, they really help!

 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

 

mental health need for us

mental health need for us


The Ever-Present Mental Health Need For Us & Our Kids


Amid the pandemic, other health concerns have obviously taken precedence.

However, the mental health and mental wellness issues over the previous several months have also risen dramatically. It may get increasingly worse the more we experience cancelations, withdraws, and isolation.

Early results of research of 2300 school-aged children showed after just 33 days of stay-at home orders, 22.6% of children reported depressive symptoms and 18.9% were experiencing anxiety. 1

Results from recent research from the University of Wisconsin and Dr. McGuine showed similar trends. During school related closures, anxiety rates of adolescents increased to around 65%, meaning approximately 66,000 adolescents kids were at risk for mental health related issues. In addition, physical activity rates during COVID-19 closures resulted in a 50% decrease.2

The mental health need for us and our children is real


Why do these numbers occur?

Extreme social distancing measures result in social isolation.

Isolation is the worst type of punishment. Isolation breeds anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.

The most dangerous type of incarceration for prisoners is solitary confinement. Isolation puts prisoners at risk for serious mental illness, and severe emotional, cognitive, and social consequences. Numerous studies into the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners have shown serious detriments after just 10 days. 3

The results from solitary confinement caused people to become more self-centered, irritable, and defensive.


Harry Harlow was an American psychologist whose laboratory bred and reared Rhesus monkeys. In one of his controversial studies, he looked at the effects of separation on baby monkeys and their mothers.

The three groups of baby monkeys consisted of complete separation from their mothers and they were placed in total social isolation for various periods of time: 3 months, 6 months, and a year.

The results were disturbing.

The monkeys’ so-called “basic needs” of food and shelter were met, but the isolation from their mother and others caused extreme maladjustment.

It showed that even at 3 months of isolation, the baby monkeys suffered psychological damage. They had bizarre behavior and struggled at any interaction with other monkeys. The psychological effects of those at 3 months however could be reversed, given time. 4

However, it was the effects on the monkeys who were isolated for one year without a mother that appeared to be irreversible. When they were re-introduced to other monkeys, they barely moved and did not explore or play. Some monkeys who had been isolated for over a year even refused to eat.

The caregiving of a mother produced a safe and secure bond, which then reflected the baby monkey’s view of the outside world. A secure relationship with their mother early on meant the outside world was also the same.

His research showed that the bond and connection with others was as important as food to the overall development. Could these results translate into the mental health need for us? 


Does this translate to our lives and our children’s lives?

Separation from others puts the brain on high alert and causes people to distort their own minds and their view of others. There is a reason why we were separated, because there was a real threat. The brain continues to operate in this manner however. Think about how alert we are throughout every day life trying to make sure we are not close to anyone, nor are they close to us.

The mental fallout from the pandemic and quarantine lies in the effects on our own mind and how we look at the world.

As a result, instead of viewing people as social connections to be made, our isolated brain instead now views most people and situations as threats.

We are social creatures. We seek companionship, tribes, and a collective sharing of experiences. A sense of collective community is the number one cause for mental wellness amongst school-aged children.

However, oddly enough, isolation becomes like junk food.

Isolation becomes what our mind starts to crave, even though it’s the worst possible solution for us. We know junk food tastes good, but it leaves us feeling lousy.

The reason why we seek isolation is because our mind has one simple job and it is excellent at it. Our brain’s job is to keep us safe. It does not want us to experience stress or risk. The easiest way to stay safe is to stay home and don’t do anything. 

Isolation does keep us physically safe, but at the same time our coping skills atrophy and we remain on “high-alert.” Isolation is not the mental health need for us.

Social isolation hinders our natural emotional and mental development. Due to our isolation, a negative cycle continues, our mood can worsen and we feel even more fearful and isolated.


What is the remedy?

The technology of today allows us to connect and saves us all up to a point. But, we’ve created or become I-pad zombies and it also doesn’t allow for real connection of shared experiences to take place.

Social interaction at school or athletics among children in grades K-12 is imperative for the development of language, communication, social, emotional, and interpersonal skills.5

The school environment provides opportunities for kids to develop friendships and relationships, handle conflicts, communicate effectively, and behave in groups.

Students learn how to manage emotions, gain confidence and develop and engage others’ perspectives and experiences different from their own. Depending upon the age of the children, their peer group is developed and nurtured and it becomes their main source of connectedness and stability.

We are social creatures and we need each other.

Connection is the mental need for us! We need to be proactive about our relationships because relationships get deeper or they often die. The effects of the isolation sometimes can be seen very quickly. However, the longer we are without one another, the more deep-rooted these emotional issues become. These issues have deep hidden costs.

Merely returning to normalcy with measures in place will offset the price that many families will pay if we keep isolating.

The vast safety measures that are in place are stronger at school and practice than at any other time of the day, except of course inside of the home. Additional safety pre-cautions will be commonplace such as, testing prior to school, or awaiting test results before re-entering general population. However, these are not common yet and sadly appear to be a rare exception. Hopefully, it will be soon.


References 

  1. https://time.com/5870478/children-mental-health-coronavirus/
  1. https://www.wpr.org/high-school-athletes-experiencing-increased-anxiety-depression-during-pandemic-study-shows?fbclid=IwAR1zvY8trhRD84uGp_It1dlYzsoQounfvlDlnZAuRau_DYrchAEWzxrDjhk
  1. Metzner, J. L., & Fellner, J. (2010). Solitary confinement and mental illness in U.S. prisons: A challenge for medical ethics. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38(1), 104–108.
  1. Harlow, H. F., Dodsworth, R. O., & Harlow, M. K. (1965). Total social isolation in monkeys. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America54(1), 90–97.
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html

 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

your identity

your identity


How Important Is Your Identity to Performance?


In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and was just one race away from winning the Triple Crown.

Before the Belmont Stakes however, Secretariat had become a national celebrity and was donned on the cover of Times magazine. It was a relief for citizens to follow him because, at the time, news about the Vietnam War and Watergate was bombarding everyone.

On June 9th, 1973, Secretariat went off as the favorite at 1-10 odds, which meant a $2 bet would win only about $0.20. The race in New York State took place in front of a crowd of almost 70,000 people and was watched on television by over 15 million households.

Secretariat did not disappoint and his performance became known as the greatest ever from a racehorse.

He won the race by an astonishing margin of 31 lengths! He also set the record at 2:24 flat for the 1½-mile race, which still stands today. Many who had placed bets on Secretariat simply did not cash them in and instead kept them as souvenirs.

Secretariat only ran a few other races after the Belmont Stakes and won most of them, but his career was cut short and he did not race as a four-year-old.


The last race that Secretariat ran was the Canadian International Stakes in Toronto.

His owner, Penny Chenery, paid homage to her trainer, Lucien Laurin, and jockey, Ron Turcotte, who were both Canadian. Secretariat won the race, and afterwards he was taken to another racetrack and paraded around the track to a crowd of 32,000 cheering fans. 

Secretariat merely ran a tribute lap, but what happened next added to the folklore of Secretariat and the importance of your identity. 

Once the celebratory run was over, Secretariat instinctively walked over to stand in the winner’s circle!!!

Secretariat’s identity was one of a winner.


I’ve learned through the people and executives that I coach, that they join with me because they believe what I believe. That there is significance and success for everyone of us, if we are just able to honestly take a look at ourselves. 

The bridge over that gap is honesty. There is a saying that the truth hurts. It hurts because the truth is that we can always get better. 

You need to be truthful with yourself and believe that your identity is one of a winner, success, and abundance. 

Rigorous honesty is painful. It is difficult to examine our past mistakes and still be able to create a vision for ourselves that knows it is one of a winner.

How can we believe that we are a winner when others have told us that we are not, or our past mistakes or circumstances show us that we are not good enough? Are you someone who can Puke & Rally? Do you honestly believe that it is about the comeback?

Since it is difficult to believe when faced with adversity, we cover it up instead of confide in and tell ourselves lies about our own identity because it protects our mind. We rely on our stuff to tell us who we are, or our accomplishments or our bank account. This is fleeting and does not fill your true identity. 

Our identity must travel beyond our performance. Because even our Hinge moments last only so long. If we are on the performance loop, we’ll either crash, fade, or keep reaching for the next achievement or accolade. Here is also why the process is more important than the product. 

“ The value of your identity is that so often, it comes with purpose.” Richard Grant


 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

breathing tips on how to wear a mask

breathing tips on how to wear a mask


One of The Simplest Breathing Tips On How To Wear A Mask 


Masks are going to be the norm for awhile. 

Hey, if that’s what it takes to save lives, resume sports, school, and business activity, then I’m in. Remember, It is what it is = nothing good has happened. 

However, there can be some breathing issues when wearing a mask. Breathing has now become more important than ever because, we are now made more aware of it.

It can get hot under those masks, glasses fog up, we feel the need to “catch our breath” and we even can start to hyperventilate. 

Since wearing it is so new, here are the most important tips on how to wear a mask. 


  1. Breathe through your nose

Mouth breathing is not natural, yet 25-50% of us do it. Mostly, we mouth breathe while exercising, but for some folks, it is also at night. 

The myth is that the more air we breathe, the more air we get. However, in reality, almost 75% of the oxygen we breathe in, we let out as well. We simply breathe too much.  Mouth breathing makes it harder to offload the oxygen to the muscles and organs it needs. 

Once a mask goes over our mouth and nose, there may be a natural fear response of not getting enough oxygen. Thus, it’s a natural reaction to try and breathe through the mouth to take in more oxygen.  Although, the need to breathe is not dictated by the need for oxygen but actually the need for increased carbon dioxide. CO2 gets a bad rap, like the rat. However…

Carbon dioxide is not just waste or a byproduct– you need a balance of both, carbon dioxide and oxygen. 

The nose is the first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and other junk.

The nose helps slow down our breathing and produces nitric oxide which plays an essential role in filtering and humidifying the air so the oxygen is absorbed better. One also gets almost 25% more oxygen when breathing through the nose compared to the mouth. 

So, why don’t we do it? Because, we’ve simply never been taught. 


        2. Practice breath work 

I started breathing only through my nose on long runs. It is the best ever. It is much more controlled and I can get in the zone and rhythm more easily. 

Now, it is much harder for me to only breath through my nose during intense workout sessions though, which is why it takes practice. It takes more practice to breath effectively while a mask is on as well. 

Here are your practice tips on how to wear a mask by focusing on nasal breathing.

Download our audio breathing script



We utilize rectangle breathing to maximize our patterns and this audio will guide you through it. It is perfect to practice during your transitions in life and/or to make it part of your everyday routine

What we want to do with ease, we must first do with diligence. 

Give your new breathing a few weeks and let us know how your breathing with the mask has improved.  Just these two tips on how to wear a mask by learning how to breathe more effectively and efficiently will result in major improvements. 


 


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physical distancing and mental health

physical distancing and mental health


Worried About Your Teen’s Physical Distancing and Mental Health? Check the L.A.B


Social distancing isn’t cool, we need each other and we need interaction. Physical distancing on the other hand is warranted.

Examining exactly how physical distancing affects mental health is a tricky endeavor. While the changes brought about by the need for physical distancing are likely to produce a degree of anxiety in almost anyone, the severity will vary.

Another difficulty is the lack of studies available related to intentional, prolonged, physical distancing (err… social distancing). While we have studies about the mental health effects of isolation, the use of long-term physical distancing as a tool to stop the spread of disease has never been studied. 

L.A.B. refers to the three biggest drawbacks to physical distancing: loneliness, anxiety, and boredom.

We’ll go over a number of techniques to help alleviate these feelings while being asked to be physically distant due to illness. 


Loneliness


One of the biggest obstacles during periods of physical distancing is loneliness.

Teens or pre-teens may find this especially hard as they’re often surrounded by their peers at school and during after school activities. This is a good time to work on your relationship as a family – walk together, talk together, and spend valuable time getting to know each other.

There is some evidence that it’s easier to bond with others through audio and video communication, rather than texting. This may mean that your children will feel less lonely if they communicate through Skype/FaceTime or via phone call than if they were to communicate over text exclusively. Your child is feeling lonely? Encourage them to phone their friends.  If they are to bond face to face, encourage it, but mind the physical distancing. 


Anxiety


Children are often in a position where they feel they have little control, from having to do what adults tell them to lacking the tools necessary for projects they’d like to undertake.

With physical distancing, there’s an even greater removal of agency – not only are they not allowed to make rules for themselves, they can’t even do the things that used to be in their power, like seeing their friends and choosing their extracurricular activities.

One of the consequences of becoming sick and being asked to physically distance ourselves  is that our normal routines have been wrested away from us – one of the many things that lie outside of our control. One of the benefits of routine is that it gives us a sense of control, no matter how old we are – by simply following our routine, we are accomplishing something.

We have agency over something. Locus of control, the feeling that you have control over your life, is one of the keys to good mental health.

Children and teens will, inevitably, see substantial changes to their routines as a result of physical distancing. They don’t need to be up on time to catch the bus, or go to school where classes are rigidly structured, they don’t have sports or clubs once school is over. The resulting feeling can be disorienting; routines give us a sense of place in time.

When your child is feeling listless, bored, or acting chaotic, it may be good to encourage them to create a routine. Do so in tandem with your child, helping them choose when to schedule certain activities. Make sure their routine involves mentally, physically, and spiritually stimulating activities.

Work hard to maintain your own routine as well; as we know, children emulate their parents. 

Alleviating anxiety is tricky, especially when everyone seems to be feeling it to some degree. Have honest conversations with your child about their feelings. Put extra effort into ensuring they have some degree of control over their lives.

For example: You may ask for their input on what to make for supper, and help them learn how to cook. You may ask them what chores they want to do, and give them responsibility over those chores. The more that your child feels they have power over their own lives, the less anxiety they might experience. 


Boredom


You may be hard-pressed to find a group of kids who will tell you they love going to school.

Nevertheless, you’re unlikely to find a group of kids who are all perpetually bored at school – they’ll enjoy gym class, or science, or talking with their friends. Throw in after school activities, and children often won’t have the time to be bored; their schedules are just too packed.

That’s all changed.

Boredom isn’t necessarily bad for your mental health; it can stimulate you to find a new hobby or do something creative. Perpetual boredom, on the other hand, can be a problem.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of things you can do while maintaining physical distancing guidelines.

PLAY!

Have a backyard? Set up a couple of impromptu soccer nets and play. A little less space? Look up some YouTube videos of activities you and your kids can do by using body weight. Yoga, tumbling, build a fort, gymnastics, kung fu – the number of tutorials you can find online to relieve boredom is astounding. 

Looking for something more mentally stimulating? Pick up some board games to play with your kids. Encourage them to learn to draw, write poetry, or play an instrument. These activities can serve a dual purpose – alleviating boredom while providing creative and social outlets.


Author Bio: 

Veronica Wallace is a childhood educator and blogging enthusiast. Some of her favourite articles can be found on the Kidthink website. Kidthink specializes in offering clinical treatment of mental illness in children aged twelve and under, along with community outreach and training for this type of treatment.