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Craig McInerney Apr 29, 2020 12:00:00 PM 13 min read

Walking on Sunshine - Tips for dealing with our new normal

To go from pillow to productivity is a sticky gear to change. Here is a simple tip to help you feel better. Right here, Right Now.

A Friendly Reality Check

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Losing control is an unwanted consequence of where we all find ourselves right now. Not being able to control what we do, when we do it and who we do it with are all huge shocks to the system. This new way of life is temporal but necessary. For most of us in the immediate, it can be just about getting through all of this. In these instances “doing your best” is always good enough no matter what situation you find yourself in. Remember this….no matter what you see, read or hear on various media platforms. You are good enough right now.


A Pinch of Salt - Self-COmpassion

There is unintentional pressure on people to conform to ultra-productivity, accelerating personal professional development and putting on the Chelsea flower show in your back garden. Expectations are often unfairly high while dealing with incredibly challenging situations and a stifling environment.


These are tough times for everyone regardless of the projections they omit. Comparing yourself to others through social media is probably not the right route for most of us right now. You are getting an insight into the best 5 seconds of someone's day. This multiplied across your entire social network can feel like everyone beyond your walls is flying it. They are not!

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Take it all with a pinch of salt. Be compassionate with yourself. The following tips may be great for you right now but they don’t need to be done right now. There is no pressure with the following: it is only friendly information to help you feel better.


Is there an area of your life right now where you can do better than just survive, is there an area where you can thrive?

It’s not being selfish to think like this. Chances are if you have taken time out of your day to read this you are interested in practical tips where you can get the most out of your current situation.

So, how can we make the most out of right here, right now?

This might sound tough but looking after yourself first will always enable you to do a better job of looking after those around you and those you want to be around again soon.

Are there windows of opportunity in this new reality to look after yourself better than you have before?

The great news is there are quite a few areas you can control! That will have a demonstrable positive effect on you. They will make you feel better, they can be fun and their benefits can be continued when normal society kicks back into gear. The following tip will only require you to commit to it for 90 seconds. You can decide whether to continue after 90 seconds or go back to whatever you were doing.


In the absence of routine, there is often an onus on self-discipline to enact one. This can be daunting planning out the entire day, allocating your time and committing to self-starting. To go from pillow to productivity is a sticky gear to change.

We often have a normal morning routine. That goes like this. The alarm goes off>get up>brush your teeth>breakfast>commute to work> get to work>get set up at desk/office >start the day with that first email etc.

A lot of us are all missing that bridge from home to work “ the commute”.

This bridge helps us go from sleepy to wake. From passive to active. A simple and highly effective start to the day is to go for a walk first thing in the morning to replicate your normal commute but hopefully in a much less stressful fashion than the usual rush-hour grind.


Tip for Right Here, Right Now: A Morning Walk


  • Set your alarm clock for tomorrow morning
  • Have your clothes and shoes ready next to your bed
  • When the alarm goes off, get dressed and get up and go out.
  • Start walking for 90 seconds and then make a call if you want to continue.
  • If you are still walking after 90 seconds: Walk for as long or as little as you like and have a think about what's the first thing you are going to do when you go home and anything else you would like/need to do that day.
  • Try it again the next day if it made you feel better.

  • Dublin Streets

Other than feeling better here are some other benefits of talking that morning walk:

Reset your circadian rhythm: Your circadian rhythm is your sleep/wake cycle or your body clock. Exposure to light through vitamin D exposure (sunlight) sends strong signals to your brain that says it’s time to start. A great way to get you out of a funk in the morning.


Improve Blood Flow: Poor circulation inhibits the distribution of all the oxygen-rich nutrients that get transported to your brain, muscles, organs etc. Your general health is impaired with poor circulation. A simple low-intensity activity such as walking boosts circulation and counteracts all the negative side effects of poor circulation.


Boost Immune System: People have a heightened sense of the importance of our immune system more than ever before. Walking is proven to boost your immune system.


Uncluttered mind: Clears your head to think of how best to organise your day. What you are going to do today? What needs to be done first? In a relaxing space gives yourself some alone time to order and structure a steady start.


Fat Loss through N.E.A.T: It is not the most important thing but gaining residual body fat is a big concern for a lot of people right now. They feel less active because they generally are less active. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. Increasing your N.E.A.T through walking is a simple way to boost your daily energy expenditure.


Super Start: Establishing a daily morning ritual that has a positive knock-on effect on the rest of the day and your body is worth its weight in gold. That first step sets the intent for the day and puts you on the best foot forward from the get-go.

Try the tip above. Let us know how it works for you? We will be giving you more tips over the coming weeks based on best practice and our personal experience dealing with members and clients at FFS.

Find Out More

If you want more information about how FFS Online Gym provides you with the best structured, accountable and innovative training available just contact craig@ffs.ie.


Have you checked out the FFS Gyms, Online Gym yet? 

Our range of online services are designed to give you the FFS experience from the comfort and safety of your own home. The program creates accountability by working with our team but also the flexibility that this uncertain time requires.

Now more than ever we need some sense of normality. For so many people the gym provides routine and we have created a program that allows routine with structured classes at consistent times but also flexibility as the current COVID-19 situation evolves. 



Craig McInerney

Craig is Director of FFS Gym at the Ivy Exchange. Our brand new gym located opposite the Rotunda Hospital, just off Parnell Street. He is an S&C Coach, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and program director of our Suspension & Body-weight Program across all 3 FFS Gyms. If you would like to know more about training at #ffsnorth contact him at craig@ffs.ie. Email Craig at craig@ffs.ie Find Craig on Instagram at @craig_ffs