We are being bombarded almost to the point of information overload. The Covid-19 health crisis and the fall-out is all consuming. There are daily news conferences from every level of government and hourly updates on infection and death rates. Stories of families devastated by the medical, emotional, and financial ramifications of the virus fill our feeds, our pages, our screens, and almost every news story. As we walk through this new complicated reality, it is vital that we Christians NOT FORGET about the value of self-care. Self-care does not mean we neglect the needs of those around us, or we selfishly adopt a “me first” or “survival of the strongest” mentality. Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being particularly during periods of stress. Recently, Robin Cabral wrote an article with daily practices that can improve the way we care for ourselves and thus enhance the way we are able to care for others. Below are a just a few of her suggestions that I have adapted to reflect not only sound self-care practices, but also sound Biblical hope and truth.
- Moderate your news and your social media consumption. Nonstop browsing can accelerate stress levels. Make sure that before you believe or share information you find on the internet or hear on the newscast, that you first check and be sure that information is coming from recent and verifiable sources like the CDC or the Surgeon General.
- Make time for Spiritual Refection. How is your prayer life, your time of personal study, and your meditation on scripture? Are you spiritually healthy, or perhaps a little malnourished? This could be a great time to start, resume, or deepen your own personal faith journey.
- Be a positive voice. Why focus on the negative or obsess on present set of circumstances? Share positive stories, quotes and, maybe even humor with your friends, your family, your people. Life is too short to be sad and serious all of the time and we have the HOPE OF JESUS! God is an optimist, and we have the chance to be the positive voice of calm.
- Get outside for a bit if you can.There is nothing like spending time in God’s creation to reset our mood and refocus our perspective to the awesome, creative, and all-powerful nature of God. Rejoice over the trees and flowers that are starting to bloom – nothing stays dormant forever. This too shall pass.
- Take time during this isolation for reflection. Where are you headed? What are some of your goals? Use this time to look at where you are and start to envision where you’d like to be. Get a journal. Write about your fears, your hopes, and your dreams. Pray about what God might be calling you to next and find a friend to join you in that prayer.
- Eat right, exercise and sleep. Healthy food, exercise, and sleep allow us to function at our best and boost immunity. So maybe today you can take a quick walk around the neighborhood – wave at the people you see and allow yourself the chance to get the sleep your body needs to rest and recover for whatever God has in store for you tomorrow.
- Reach out to people around you.This is the time to touch base with the people God has already brought into your life. Check in on your parents, your friends, and the nice people across the street. Let them know that they are not alone. A simple phone call, a quick note in the mail, a friendly conversation from driveway to driveway – it is those acts of kindness that make all the difference.