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  • Writer's pictureNikki Vivek

Controlling What We Can When Things Feel Out of Control

My name is Nikki Vivek and I am a second-year student at The George Washington University studying nutrition science. I’m one of the thousands of undergraduate students who were sent home because of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m privileged enough to go home to my family in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. I don’t need to worry about whether we’ll have food on the table tomorrow. My parents still have their jobs, so we still have health insurance.

If you’re in a situation like mine, I think it’s important to remember that your feelings are valid. The pandemic impacts all of us in different ways.

Personally, I was disheartened after gyms began to close. Fitness studios were some of the first businesses to close their doors, doing so before I could wrap my head around the situation. For the past several months, I had a great schedule with lifting and yoga. I was finally seeing my body composition change and the weights go up. Now, my progress has been halted indefinitely. Even more so, my mental wellbeing is closely connected to my physical wellbeing. I find that moving my body puts me in a better mood. Home is also the place where my eating disorder developed and was diagnosed. Although I’ve made miles of progress in recovery since high school, it is difficult readjusting to living with less autonomy over my food choices, sometimes accompanied by “jokes” that don’t sit well.

If you’re a student who has been sent back home to live with your family: I get it. Change is hard.

The situation is ideal for no one. I read a quote recently that said “Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on hard days you know better ones are coming.”

These are the hard days. This too shall pass, but in the meantime, let’s focus on controlling what we can when things feel out of control.

I've been trying to find peace while challenging my body in different ways. For me, that looks like longer yoga practices with more stretching. Meditation has also helped me manage anxiety and stress. I’m recognizing the power of movement and reevaluating my relationship with exercise.

I can’t wait to share my experiences with you- the Sweat and Social Distance community. This situation is difficult for all of us, but I believe that we will get through it together!

Let’s stay socially distant but virtually close,


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