Holy cow, what a week.
Never in a million years did I think I would be writing to you from the comfort of my living room (as opposed to the office), to share updates on a pandemic outbreak. WHAT?! Life is crazy.
I know this week has been stressful for everyone in different ways. If you're not struggling with anxiety or fear, then you're probably struggling with isolation and loneliness, or maybe it's a little bit of both.
Trust me, I hear you.
SO, to that, I wanted to share a few thoughts and tips on how to turn this rare season into a season full to the brim with hope, spiritual practice, and growth. For it is our call as people of faith to not allow fear and isolation to have the last word.
COVID-19 Survival Guide:
- FaceTime people you haven't talked to in forever. Ask them to give you a tour of their apartment.
- Clean your home. Keeping the energy of your space fresh and energized is vital for your mental health and wellbeing! Enjoy spending time organizing, washing and cleaning up. Turn on some music. Sing along. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment.
- Make a manifesto of every single thing you want to do in this rare and precious life. Search the corners of your heart and mind and get it on paper. It can be beautiful and organized or chicken scratch. It doesn't matter what, just get it on paper.
- Move yo' body! Get outside and go on a walk. Get some vitamin D. Do yoga with Adrianne on youtube (She's the best). OR, download the exercise app Swork It. No matter what you do, movement is great for endorphins, so don't skip this step.
- Marie Kondo your life. Get rid of anything you don't need or want in your home, or as Marie would said- toss whatever doesn't bring you joy.
- Do something creative! Write, draw, cook a new recipe, learn how to knit or cross stitch, play some music- whatever it is, just try something new.
- Invest in yourself. Use the extra down time on your hands to schedule a therapy appointment (need a therapist? Use psychologytoday.com), invest in some new money saving apps (I might recommend Albert!), or invest in something big like your retirement fund!
- Limit the news you get from social media. Check a few trusted resources on the coronavirus and then shut it off. No need to dwell in spaces of fear and anxiety all day long. Even God rested on the seventh day.
- READ. Don't love reading? Try again. Ooooor listen to some book on tapes.
- Reach out to the people you love. Try writing some old school letters or just send a series of text messages. Social distancing is not easy, so don't forget to connect where and how you can.
- Be vulnerable. Don't forget to speak your needs out loud, to reach out to friends and to holler if you need anything! These are challenging times.
- Laugh! Find some stand up comics on youtube or Netflix. Give yourself a good laugh. There's nothing better for the soul in times like these.
- Eat well. Sleep well. Breathe deeply.
- Look for the good in each day- for people showing up for one another, for the spirit at work in the world. It will be there, there is no doubt in that.
- Write. It is proven that writing can help process trauma. Challenge yourself to write for 20 minutes without stopping! It'll be good for your brain.
- Invest in your faith. Read scripture. Listen to a sermon online. Write down a prayer. Listen to the podcast "The Bible for Normal People" or Rob Bell's "The Robcast." Whatever you do, try to give at least some of the time you give to media and the news to your faith. I promise, your days will feel different.
Friends, it is easy for fear to rule the day. However, I believe in the good news of the gospel which says that even on our darkest nights, we are not alone. So may this season be a season of reconnecting to the things that truly matter. May this season be a reminder that we come from dust, and to dust we shall return. So may we all use the days we have wisely.
And don't forget- we are all in this boat together.
We belong to one another.
You are not alone.