Yikes. I’m writing this on Friday with no confidence that it will be the least bit relevant by Sunday when you read it. Unprecedented times for sure!
Consider this… Every single person on this planet is experiencing this storm. While the particulars may be unique from person to person, no one has escaped the talons of Covid19. None of us did anything to deserve this, and yet, from east to west, north to south everyone has been impacted in some way. If the blood pressure of our world could be taken right now, it would be dangerously high — on the brink of a heart attack high.
We share a common denominator… STRESS. There is the stress of uncertainty, stress about health, stress about finances and stress about our day to day behaviors. And… stress takes a toll. If you’d like to read more on the subject—- I wrote about it long before our current pandemic.
Today’s Community Check In
With today’s CHECK IN I’d like to appeal to this online community to lift each other up. How are you coping? I am NO stress expert. But these ideas have helped me to better cope.
1. Start your day with the Lord.
And… that favorite excuse of I’m too busy… I’m not buying it. John Eldredge recommends a one minute pause, when our lives are consumed with busy-ness. I think it’s useful exercise when our lives are consumed with stress too. There is even a free app for your phone called PAUSE. Over soft music phases that bring peace are spoken…. it takes one calming minute.
“Jesus, I give everyone and everything to you Lord. I give myself to you Jesus. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that brings comfort and peace. I trust you Sovereign God. I give everyone and everything to you Lord.“
This one minute of an intentional pause is a perfect reset.
2. Get dressed.
AS IF you have someplace to go, get dressed. This is advice is from my dear sweet mama who is quarantined, living with Parkinsons, in assisted living. As a kid growing up on those rare occasions when I didn’t feel well, she would advise, “get dressed you’ll feel better.” Mama is always right.
3. Step outside.
Breathe deeply. I understand even the canals in Venice are running clear due to decreased human impact. Notice things. Notice things you have no control over — the brightness of the sky, the wind, the quantity of buds on the tree, the fact that the sky is not falling. Using all of your senses, notice that God is in control.
If you’re able to get outdoors, that is a bonus. I’ve enjoyed walks, my bike and yard work. If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you’re stuck indoors… get some exercise anyway. There are many FREE resources available. Endorphins and blood flow help to combat stress.
5. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake.
If you’re like me, too much time at home tempts me to drink more coffee than usual. Caffeine spikes your adrenals which exasperates stress. Sugar causes your insulin to spike then crash adding to that sluggish yucky feeling.
6. Bless someone else.
Text and email are great tools. But in our busyness we have gotten away from a good old fashion phone call. Take time to visit over the phone. Especially if it’s someone alone or older or overwhelmed with kids underfoot. I’m an extrovert and love to talk. And I’ve discovered there are others out there like me. I’m willing to bet this isolation is even a lot for the introverts among us. A simple phone conversation, to pray, commiserate, strategize, and encourage, blesses both parties. What other creative way can you bless someone else?
Laughter is good medicine. Find something in your day that you can laugh about. Some hilarious memes are floating around social media. And in my view, we could all benefit by looking at the light side of this crisis. Here are a few of my favorites…
Even though I love to cook, it can be challenging with limited pantry items. Have you seen the cooking show Chopped? (Confession, I have a recurring dream that I’m a contestant on Chopped. And yes, of course, I win.) But in these times I can play a real at home version. I even allow cheating… I go to google… “recipes using frozen asparagus, mushrooms, quinoa and parmesan”. Shazam… delicious. Include family bored family members who usually don’t venture into the kitchen unless they are eating.
8. Tackle an overdue project.
I deposited all of the change that has accumulated from Doug’s pants pockets. 86$ to the good. And because productivity makes me happy, I painted our fireplace hearth, to loud music of course.
9. Pray throughout the day.
Prayer can be habit forming. What a great time to establish the habit. Here are some specific, beyond my own close family and friends, that I have been focused. Pray for our leadership local, state, national and beyond. (Imagine their stress?) and for the Lord’s wisdom to influence their decisions. Pray for our health care workers for added stamina and protection. If you’re still able to work, thank the Lord, you are in the minority.
It seems as if God has sent us all to our rooms for a time out to think about things. Pray that the Lord uses this grand pause powerfully in the lives of those who don’t know Him or are distant from Him.
10. TURN OFF THE NEWS.
Last but definitely not least… turn off the news. Seriously. Even if you’re alone, when you open your computer or turn on the TV you will know in just ten minutes all you need to know.
What has helped you to cope? This online prayer community is more important than ever.
GodsGotThis, Debbie Hucke
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