During this time of increasing fear and perhaps incremental isolation, the following are a few suggestions gleaned from others and personally learned over the last few weeks:
- Develop a rhythm to your day. Rest is essential, and consistent sleep patterns can be helpful. Try to retire and arise at consistent times.
- Shower and dress for the day as though it were a normal day. Wear colors if possible.
- Be outside for at least 30 minutes each day. Soak in the beauty of God’s creation as the trees are bursting forth and the azaleas are blooming. Consider the lilies and the birds how the Lord cares for them. (Matt 6:28)
- Exercise is important to feel alive. Walk through your neighborhood or on a path. Work out at home if feasible.
- Discover a particular sacred spot in your home in which to retreat with your Bible.
- Music and God’s Words to our souls brings a new perspective. Read, mark, and inwardly digest a Psalm or a chapter in Isaiah. Contemplate the words of hymns that calm us and realign our perspective.
- Journal through any fears or lack of control you may feel. Worries or concerns that mull over and over in your head are much better processed when expressed.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Studies have shown that what we put into our bodies has a direct impact on our state of mind.
- Be careful to maintain balance in food and drink. Be conscious of the tendency to overindulge.
- Limit social media, news reports, and COVID conversations, especially if children are nearby. Check in to stay informed but keep yourself from overconsumption.
- Find ways to be thankful each day. Seek out God’s blessings in the moments. Be aware of your surroundings. What is God doing? Discover something humorous, joyful, and laugh.
- Work on a project, crochet, read a book, paint a room or canvas, watch a movie series, work a jigsaw puzzle, play board games. Plant a garden. Purge a closet or attic.
Life With Others
- If there is a spouse or roommate in your home, remember we are each processing this season differently based on personality differences, emotional needs, and feelings of loss. Remember this is temporary.
- In homes where there are children, expect frustrations to run high and that there will be disruptions in your day. There will likely be behavioral issues, worries, unexpressed fears, interrupted sleep, and tears. Pray for extra patience and grace. (Mark 10:14-16)
- Provide a calming presence for children. Talk with them in general ways, allowing time for questions and expressions of their thoughts and anxieties.
- Take walks, bike rides, and play “I Spy,” or have a visual scavenger hunt with children.
- Contact a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Check in on them.
- Wave to your neighbors.
- Helping others can be very positive when we feel confined. Offer to pick up/drop off groceries for an elderly friend, grandparent. (Matt 5:16)
- Reach out to someone you know in difficult circumstances: a person who has recently separated or divorced.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt, an extra measure of grace.
- Offer to mow a neighbor’s lawn or donate to a charity.
- Email a missionary/family/kids.
- Send a note to someone through the mail.
- Pray for revival; pray for those who are sick; in treatment; addicted; lonely; displaced; widowed; homeless; recovering; those in authority; medical teams; someone in the military.
- Text an extended family member each day.
- Seek out creative and safe ways to serve others.