Crisis blogger Maarten

This is my very last blog for IkPas, the ninth to be exact. In good spirits, on December 29, I started a period of 100 days in which I would not drink. We are now over mid-May and the world looks very different from when I started. Despite the challenges and temptations I've encountered over the past few months, I've managed to give up the booze without too much effort. I notice in myself that the longer the period of non-drinking becomes, the easier and more normal it becomes.

After the children have been home for eight weeks, they started school part-time again last week. Good for the kids and good for me. But I had to get used to it. Getting used to the fact that I would spend some more time without them again, but also getting used to the fact that it is only part-time. This requires the children and me to switch between going to school and doing homework several times a week. The prospect that they can go back to school completely from June 8 makes me very happy on the one hand, but on the other hand I think the relaxation is actually going very quickly and I wonder if it isn't going too fast. Anyway, I'm glad that life for the children and therefore also for me is gradually getting more 'normal' again. For example, our eldest has been going to hip-hop class again since last week, albeit only in dry weather, because the class is given outside. And from next Monday they will both go back to swimming lessons.

And as for myself, tomorrow I'm going to exercise outside again with my wife for the first time in two months. The gyms are in principle closed until September 1, but the health studio that we are a member of is fortunately not part of the regular gyms. So we can do a bodytec session under the guidance of a coach. Bodytec is an EMS training by the way. After two months of little or no strength training, I think we will know that at the end of this week, because muscle pain is inevitable. But I'd be happy to do that. I also greatly admire the flexibility and creativity with which the owner of the health studio and his team of employees have dealt with the corona crisis. In no time at all, they created a completely new (online) concept, so that members could continue to exercise and eat healthy at home under the supervision of a coach. What I personally think is a brilliant move is that the new concept will be put away in the preventive health care industry and no longer falls under the gym industry. I find it incredibly inspiring to see how they are coping with the corona crisis. Hopefully others see that too and will make it.

Little by little we are returning to life before the outbreak of COVID-19. However, would we ever fully return to what life was like before the crisis started? Or would this pandemic leave a definitive mark on how we will live our lives in the future? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if we can never quite go back to how it used to be. If this crisis has taught me one thing, it is that you have the best chance of surviving an infection with the virus unscathed if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. That message really sticks with me. And let's face it, the best chances to stay healthy in general are strongly linked to our lifestyle anyway. I therefore advocate that preventive health care receives much more attention in the coming years and that a more integrated approach is chosen. Because a healthy lifestyle has to do with sufficient exercise, a healthy diet, no or moderate alcohol consumption, sufficient rest and sleep, but also with things like self-development. For many years now, healthcare has been based on a holistic vision, in which people are approached as a whole. Shouldn't preventive health care take that approach much more? If a gym only pays attention to the extent to which someone moves, then a lot of aspects that are just as important for a healthy lifestyle are not taken into account. In fact, we should all have some kind of vitality coach who, together with you, monitors all aspects of a healthy lifestyle and looks at where profit can still be made.

A week ago my sister gave me a present, a 21-day meditation by Deepak Chopra. Personally, I also find meditation very suitable for a healthy lifestyle, so I grabbed this meditation with both hands. I've been working on it for a week now and the fifteen minutes a day where I try to focus my attention completely inwards feels very valuable. I can heartily recommend it to everyone.

In short, I feel good. Is this entirely due to the fact that I don't drink anymore. I do not think so. But I'm sure that not drinking definitely contributes positively to this. But as I said, there are several aspects that are important in achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I think I'm on the right track, but it requires constant attention. And therein lies the devil, because if newly learned (healthy) behavior is normal for us but not yet ingrained, then a relapse to the old behavior is still lurking. Not drinking has become normal for me after more than four and a half months, but I don't think it is an ingrained behavior yet. It takes time. So ask me again at the end of December how things are going?

Stay safe! Stay healthy!


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