Ah, 2020. If you were a haircut, you’d be “The Karen”. If you were a cake, you’d be an olive loaf. And if you were a soda, you’d be Dr. Thunder. I think its safe to say that most of us came into this year hopeful. It was a fresh start, a new decade, and it had the buzz of opportunity all around it.
Then the Australian wildfires decimated the continent. And locusts attacked the Middle East. Soon came the pandemic, social unrest, and political upheaval. Its been a year already and we’re only halfway through. I won’t lie, I didn’t handle everything as best I could in the beginning. But now, I feel like I’m in a good groove and I want to share my wisdom with you. Here’s how I’ve been (somewhat) keeping it together when it seems like everything around me is falling apart.
I told myself I have to look after the four main focus points of my life: my physical health, my mental/emotional well-being, my spiritual welfare, and my relationships.
I found a long time ago that working out, for me, is a necessity. It improves my mood as well as my health. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long boxing session where I’m dripping in sweat at the end of it. A simple walk, a 20-minute Jillian Michaels DVD, or a few yoga poses can do wonders! Being more physically active can help boost your immune system–and I think we would all welcome a healthy immune system right now! Better yet, get outside and soak up some vitamin D while working out! I’ve made a goal to do a minimum of three workouts a week to help me not become a couch potato as well as help my mental state.
I’ve had anxiety and OCD for as long as I can remember, so when I spiral I spiral big time. About a month ago, I noticed I was starting to fall into a pit of information saturation and it was making my anxiety go from zero to a hundred. I deleted a few social media apps and “cleaned up” the ones I left. I unfollowed pages I felt were not an encouraging/calming voice, deleted inflammatory “friends”, and snoozed folks that I felt were just looking for arguments. And, I have to say, my social media experiences have been so much better. I also stopped watching the news.
When I really want to know about something I’ve seen on Facebook, I research a reputable news site to find the facts. I’ve also stopped engaging in arguments on Facebook. Most people who say things on social media would not say the comments they type to someone’s face. I’ve started a new policy: if you want my opinion, let’s meet for coffee or Facetime me. This way we can see each other and remember that we’re talking to a human being, not an innocuous avatar online.
If there has ever been a time to take care of your spiritual health it’s now. I’ve been bogged down a lot by events all over the world so making my spiritual well-being a priority has been key. I have started listening to Rick Warren’s Daily Hope podcast and it has been so inspiring! He recently did a podcast about showing kindness/respecting others. Find a podcast that can offer you some encouragement or join a Zoom Bible study! Sign up for daily devotionals to be emailed to you or try to find time to have some quiet, peaceful time of reflection.
If our time in quarantine has taught us anything, its that we need human interaction. Let me tell you, the people in my life have been getting a lot more FaceTime calls from me over the past four months than they ever thought possible! I’ve been trying to be a more intentional wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Checking in on people–whether that is through a phone call, a socially distant visit, or texting a funny meme–has become a daily event. Staying in communication with family and friends is a great way to steady your ship in these uncharted waters.
Not all of these needs will get met 100% of the time. But, thinking about the areas in your life that need some extra time and attention can help to lower the number of meltdowns and stressful moments during these uncertain times. Take it easy on yourself, mama, and be well.