We are living in challenging times. COVID-19 has us living a new “normal”, at least for the next 21 days and beyond. At times like these that we begin to see the best and the worst in people and sometimes ourselves. On one extreme we see people hoarding items such as loo roll and pasta, while others are actively finding ways to care for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours. It is important for all of us to approach this challenge in healthy ways, seeking to exhibit behaviours that encourage us to invest in people and our own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Below are a few tips:
Engage rather than isolate…
I often tell our players that isolation can often lead to all kinds of negative behaviours. It can spiral a person into unhealthy places. So, what are to do when we have been told to isolate? How can we actively engage in times of mandated distancing?
• Talk with the people who live with you. This may seem obvious, but this unique situation does give us more time to get to know people on a deeper level.
• Use technology to speak with people online. Check in with friends and family.
• Keep you mind active through reading and online classes. There are so many free offerings right now online that professionals have made available.
• Serve others whenever possible…housemates, partners, elderly and vulnerable people needing assistance. Get outside of yourself and focus on helping others.
Choose balance amidst extremes…
It is easy to go to extremes and social media can fuel our concerns, fears, hope, speculation and distrust. Choose to live somewhere in the middle.
• Limit your time on social media. Use it to stay connected and informed but be careful not to believe everything you read. When it comes to CV-19 consult reputable sources.
• Focus on things that you have during this unique time, things that you can be thankful for like shelter, food, family, friends, healthcare and clean water. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but a spirit of thankfulness helps us keep a balanced perspective on the situation.
Breathe, reflect and pray…
• Sometimes one of the best things we can do when we are unsure, afraid and anxious is to take a moment to breathe. Stop what you are doing, thinking and dwelling on, change your scenery (maybe go to the back garden or another room), take some deep breaths, and slow down.
• Reflect on things that you have and the things that you can do…things that you can accomplish, ways that you can serve, things that your can learn, ways that you can engage…and do it!
• Pray. For me, my faith is in Jesus. I often pray and read my Bible in order to gain wisdom and perspective. I pray for my family and friends. I pray for those who are hurting and sick amidst this crisis. Prayer is a way that I can take the focus off me and think of others. This is a way that I keep a healthy perspective on life.
How will you be different when the COVID-19 dust has settled? What will you have learned? How will you have grown as a person and in your relationships? Who will you have served? What will you have built? What healthy habits will you have formed? Choose to see this challenge in a healthy perspective so that one day you can reflect on everything that happened and how it shaped you in positive ways.
Matt Davis – “REV”