Over the past few months, we have all experienced unexpected and uncertain times as the Coronavirus has changed our lives in ways we may never have imagined.  Our jobs, routines, entertainment, favorite places, have all been restricted, temporarily closed, and in some cases may be gone for good.  What once seemed like a dream goal – to be able to work from home and have more “free time” – suddenly doesn’t seem so great as much of this has now been beyond our own personal control. 

So how does one keep focused, continue to work towards goals, and make progress during these uncertain and trying times?  The key, like with all things, comes down to having a healthy mindset.  The circumstances we may find ourselves in may not be of our own choosing but navigating those and responding to those is completely within our control.  Here are 10 ways to help stay positive and find the inner strength to keep moving forward during this lockdown phase and beyond as the world begins to reopen, and most likely be quite a bit different.


The popular motto, “Start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can” applies here. Dwelling in the past, focusing on how this isn’t how it was or is supposed to become a self-defeating mindset. It promotes the notion that you are now stuck and waiting for things to return to how they used to be. This becomes a period of no progress because your mind has you convinced that you cannot do anything until you are back to “regular life”. 



We are all experiencing a wide array of emotions at any given time and sometimes even all at once. There is no right or wrong way to handle the events and uncertainty we now find ourselves in and so know that no matter what you are feeling is perfectly real and allowed. Do not try to evaluate your feelings through strict filters of whether or not they are “normal” or acceptable, or worse, through a lens of what others deem acceptable. Let your thoughts and emotions flow and know that you should feel each of them. Process them and let them pass through you. Reach out and share your thoughts, worries, feelings, the highs, and the lows with other people. You are not alone and now more than ever it is important to know that and realize we are all feeling all sorts of emotions and they are all valued and enough.


When our lives were first thrown into disarray as schools and businesses moved to work from home models, restaurants and other businesses shut down or adopted new models there was great uncertainty thrust upon us. No one knew how long this would last and there were many more questions than answers. Even now as there are the beginnings of re-openings and some return to normalcy, albeit a new normal with guidelines and regulations in place, there is still a lot of unknown, most of which are beyond our control.

One unprecedented outcome of this shutdown is the amount of time we now have in our day-to-day lives without the constant on the go from activities, appointments, and other obligations. Use this time and make the most of it each day. Create goals in any area of life in whatever interest you may have. Some days the goals may be as basic as going for a 20-minute walk and doing the dishes or laundry. Another day the goals may be larger and even more ambitious. Either way, make them achievable with a little work and hold yourself accountable for seeing them through. Also, set some longer-term goals from a week to a month to 6 months and beyond. Give yourself a focus to work towards. This is within your control and puts the power and responsibility back in your favor.



As many people are now working from home and having most other activities and events canceled, daily routines can easily be completely upended. While there are many changes happening, it is important to create a new routine in the new environment. Some key points in scheduling a routine to consider:

  • Having a set morning routine, getting up at the same time, preparing for the day, setting tasks and goals to complete.
  • Have a set “working time” each day if possible. Be able to schedule mini-breaks during that time as well as there may be family needs and issues to attend to with children being home from school and using remote learning or others that need to be taken care of during this time.
  • ​Build-in self-care whether that means having a fitness routine, meditation, a walk, whatever is necessary to take care of one’s own mental and emotional well-being.

This goes along with setting goals and keeping a schedule. One of the most efficient strategies in accomplishing this is planning your day the night before. Whether you use a physical or virtual planner, lay out the items you need to do, want to do, and build in some time for yourself and self-care and also downtime too. Before this shutdown, our days were filled with work hours, family obligations, errands, appointments, etc. That schedule was your normal. In this time, create your new schedule and plan each day. While your planner/calendar may be filled differently, there is still a sense of normal routine, accomplishment, and again control over yourself and your immediate surroundings.


Traveling to a great vacation spot may not be in the plans, or even feasible or practical right now, but a day trip to a nearby park or scenic area might be. Do not discount the many benefits of just getting out of your house and town and taking in some new scenery and the time to relax and enjoy nature, a few close people (even at a distance), and just a little time away from social media and constant news reports and reminders of the state of our world.


With gyms and fitness centers closed continuing one’s former training program may be difficult. It is easy to buy into the excuse that you will just wait until they open again to get back to your training or take on a cardio-only approach. That will work for some, but for many of us, training is an important facet of our lives and so much more than simply lifting weights. It provides an outlet for so many things as well as keeping us healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Find ways to build in a fitness routine that is both challenging and keeping you working towards your goals. There are many online workouts being offered that one could take advantage of at the moment. No equipment – look around and get creative. As a natural pro bodybuilder, taking time off was not in this author’s plan. However, with zero weightlifting equipment at home, it was time to get creative. The solution has been a mix use of logs (found down the road), weighted backpacks with sand, bricks, tools, and rocks, wheelbarrows, and even cars to create some of the most challenging and demanding workouts to keep training throughout this shutdown.

For many, exercise is vital. Carve out a time and schedule to execute workouts or even build in new types of exercises or modes of fitness. It is something within one’s control and the benefits will go far beyond the actual time it takes to complete a fitness workout.


Most of us have now heard of virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Meet, etc. Many may already be using this as a way to stay in touch with family and friends. When in-person gatherings are not possible, definitely take advantage of engaging with friends and loved ones, who may be anywhere in the world, and connecting virtually. There are online games and escape rooms for groups of people to register and play together. While this may not be the same as meeting up to solve one of these rooms or games, it is still a needed outlet for comradery and social interaction. We are human and need and crave contact with others. When conditions allow, plan to meet up with a few friends or family members in ways that everyone is both comfortable with and within the guidelines that we now find ourselves in as we venture out of our houses once again. There are great power and comfort in connecting with others and sharing stories, emotions, and life that may have nothing to do with Covid-19.


Build time for fun into your days and weeks. Even with many places closed, creating simple and fun experiences are not out of the question. Drive-ins are opening in many places. Ice cream shops are open for takeout. Parks and hiking trails are accessible again. Game and movie nights or have the family make their own ice cream sundaes are a few examples that don’t require much money or planning and can create some relaxed and enjoyable moments.

Even if working from home, try to schedule breaks throughout the day for fun and carefree moments either alone or with others. This goes a long way to impact our mental well-being in a positive light.


Now it could be a great time to take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, or do something you have been telling yourself you will do “when you have more time”. Read that book you have been wanting to read and keep putting off. Start planning a new business. Take up a new discipline. Learn new recipes to make sticking to your nutrition goals easier. Try whatever new thing you can and be willing to fail miserably at it in the beginning. Take up gardening, clean out your closets, garage, basement, etc. Do something new and different and watch how it adds a spark to your days and weeks.

This list could go on and on.  The bottom line is to know that you are not stuck and you are not alone. The more you can invest in yourself, control what is within your control, make a little progress most days (some days you will not and that is ok!), and give yourself permission and the freedom to just be, the better you and all of us will be as we approach and deal with whatever may come our way.

If you wish to continue this discussion or just connect with me, feel free to contact me at:


Or if you are looking to start fresh and carve your own path, pick up a copy of my book Everyday Warrior on Amazon.

Frank Gigante

I have been an athlete since I was three years old. I was a competitive soccer player most of my life. I went to college at Georgia State University and majored in journalism with concentration in public relations and a minor in Spanish. After college, I wanted a physical and mental transformation and I decided I wanted to compete in my first bikini competition. I won my first show and won my SNBF pro card and competed in two natural pro shows with Coach K, coach for Team Pheno. I did not compete in 2020 and started focusing more on my modeling career.



Atlanta, GA.

Occupation details:
Trademark Paralegal.

Relationship status:

Fitness Goals:
My current fitness goals are to develop a stronger upper body, a wider back, shoulders, and a stronger core.

Training Plan?
I train 5 days a week and I currently do 3 upper body days and two lower-body days and I focus on strength training. I do cardio 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
HIIT is great for burning fat and is also a nice change from fasted cardio on the treadmill or Stairmaster. I enjoy HIIT because it gets my heart rate up and is a change of pace.

If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
If I had 100 tokens, I would apply 80 to health level and 20 to fitness level. Your health comes from what you consume and you must eat healthily and live healthy in order to reach new levels of fitness.

Nutritional & Supplements:
BCAAs, Digestive Enzymes, Multivitamins, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Chickweed, Whey Protein.

Is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue in your opinion and why?
I believe weight loss is more of a health issue because if you eat healthily and don’t put toxins into your body, daily exercise will tone your body and build muscle. Nutrition is key and has a greater impact on your body composition than exercise.

What do your parents mean to you? What did they teach you?
My parents taught me values and morals that have shaped me to become the woman I am today. My mother and I are very close and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status Fitness Magazine highlights women from different backgrounds with experiences that other women can relate to and shows models in a different light rather than just focusing on their beauty. The interview questions reveal the model’s character, their upbringing and how fitness has impacted their life, and how they wish to inspire others. This aspect is important because fitness is a lifestyle and Status Fitness Magazine showcases models that inspire others through fitness.

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I don’t particularly have a preference, if I take supplements with artificial ingredients, I make sure the sugar and carb count are low.

What would it mean to you to become the next Status Fitness Cover model?
I would be so blessed to have the opportunity to grace the cover of Status Fitness Magazine because I would represent black fitness models and be a role model for black women in the modeling industry. It would be powerful and an experience I would never forget.

If you meet Status Editor-In-Chief, Rodney Jang, what question would you ask him?
What was the biggest obstacle in his life he has overcome and how that experience has changed him?

6 things people would not know about you?

  • Skiing is one of my favorite hobbies.
  • I have been an athlete since I was three years old.
  • Soccer is my favorite sport and I was a left-footed player which is rare.
  • I have a minor in Spanish and studied abroad in Spain.
  • I have never lived outside of my hometown.
  • I played the violin for 6 years and piano for three years.

Who inspires you?
My mother inspires me, she is my rock and she is my role model and has taught me to work hard and go after my dreams, and never give up.

Who do you wish to inspire?
I wish to inspire other millennials and younger women, especially women of color.

Transformation story:
After college, I was out of shape and wanted a mental and physical transformation. I didn’t have any muscle at all, and trained for about four months, entered a natural bikini competition, and won the show! I became a better person after this experience, and became closer to God, and learned discipline. There were several times I wanted to quit, but I’m glad I never did. I’ve met amazing people through bodybuilding that are my second family to this day. I have also transformed from my two natural pro bodybuilding shows to where I am currently through my coach Kenea Yancey and my posing coach Sonia Lewis with Team Pheno over the past few years. Both of these IFBB pros have helped me grow as a woman and have taught me so much about myself inside and outside of the gym along my journey. I think it’s very important to have role models that are further along than you that can help guide you with your goals and steer you in the right direction. Both of these ladies have had a huge impact on my life and have helped me become the polished woman I am today.

Life goals:
I want to become a lawyer and work for one of the Major League Soccer teams or National Women’s Soccer League. I want to be a cover model for a fitness and swimwear magazine. I am consistently always working on my body goals!

5 lessons you have learned:

  • Fail to succeed.
  • Someone is always working harder than you with fewer resources.
  • If you don’t speak up, you will never have an answer.
  • If you fail to plan, plan to fail.
  • Don’t wish for the results that you didn’t work for.

Music and artist you listen to while training:
Rap music, Lil Baby, Drake, and Future mainly.

Favorite actors/ movies:
Ellen Pompeo, Angela Bassett, Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?

  • Respect.
  • Honesty.
  • Royalty.
  • Determination.
  • How they treat others.

Favorite Quotes:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” – MLK Jr.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.

Photo By: Cameroon Perry | Tatiana Kazana