Hello and welcome to the 10 millionth post on the internet about the COVID-19 crisis! Let me preface this by saying that I am not technically quarantined right now. Since I work in a hospital and am considered “essential staff,” my work days are the same. Also, since we are now fostering baby K, we are in the NICU with him every night. So right now most of my days look something like this: work, make and eat dinner, visit baby K, watch an episode of Better Call Saul. That last one is especially non-negotiable. 😉
This is a scary time for our world and often I can feel us slipping into the well-worn grooves of fear and panic. Don’t get me wrong, there is much to be fearful and panicked about, and there is room at the table for every single emotion here. However, I don’t want to find myself swept away by a tidal wave of despair every single day. While I definitely don’t think we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend all of this isn’t happening, I do think there are ways to walk through suffering with an inner strength and foundation. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
I wanted to share just a few simple, practical things that have been helping me stay sane recently. There are only so many things we can control in this situation, and the following practices have helped me take a bit of my power back. How you navigate this crisis is obviously highly personal and individualized, so feel free to take or leave these tips!
-Limit your news to only a couple trusted sources. This one is huge for me, although I will admit that I was never a big news person to begin with. For me personally, getting COVID-19 information from multiple news sources really increases my fear and anxiety. Right now I have mostly been sticking to the daily emails that our hospital sends out. In it there are relevant updates and specific guidelines that we as employees should be following. Of course, I still hear news tidbits from friends and social media, but I try not to let that be the focus of every conversation I have or every piece of media I engage with.
-Do something to help others. I swear this is like the magic trick of life! The minute I shift my focus away from myself and towards what I can do for someone else, I feel my mood lifting. You could write a letter to a senior citizen stuck inside, drop groceries on a neighbor’s porch, or FaceTime your friend who just lost their job and needs some encouragement. This week Josh and I are taking groceries to our sweet respite babies and their mama, who told me she recently lost her job and doesn’t know when her food stamps are coming in. There are so many people out there who have fallen on harder times than we have; let’s help them!
-Focus on the good. This one might be my favorite because it is so dang easy. Make a gratitude list, dance to your favorite song, watch a funny TV show, bake something delicious, plant flowers (ayyy springtime I see you!), laugh at ridiculous memes. Give yourself a break from the heaviness of the world once in awhile and remind yourself that there is still so much beauty all around us.
Oh, and my final tip goes without saying: wash your hands!!!
Sending so much love to everyone right now. ❤