This is incredibly simple, but if you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, or just need a minute, deep breathing can be extremely helpful. God designed our bodies to be able to reboot by breathing. Take 30 seconds to take some deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. One thing that could be helpful is to inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, and then exhale for 4 seconds.
I am prone to complaining, and will be the first to admit it. But it has been scientifically proven that moving towards being thankful for various things in your life can actually counteract anxiety. It trains your brain to focus on positivity instead of going deeper into fears. Keep a mental log of how you think of your situation and note when you want to complain. This is not to invalidate the difficulty of the situation, but to choose to focus on good.
Throughout the day, set reminders to assess yourself on a scale of 1-10, 1 being terrible and 10 being excellent. Where do you fall? Why? Take a moment to pray through that, journal about it or talk to someone about how you are doing. Space agencies encourage astronauts to journal to combat isolation and have something to look back on.
How have you been about reaching out to others? Are you isolating yourself more than you need to be doing? If you have not spoken to people during the day, make the effort to contact someone. One of the great joys during this season for me is that almost all of my people are working from home, and therefore more available to talk. Have you taken advantage of that?
Make up a game with your family. Create a movie list together. My husband and I have a tally of who has won backgammon the most (I’m ahead by two games). If you are feeling lethargic or sleepy, open a window and breathe in some fresh air.
This season is the Lord’s provision for us to take a break from the spring busyness, but it comes with its own unique challenges of everyone being home all day--especially if you’re a parent trying to work and take care of kids in the same space. Hopefully these things will get you started on ways to check in with yourself on how you are doing and how to care for others. Let us know if you have tricks that have been helpful for you.
By Linley Stringer
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Empathy is about giving the gift of true, engaged listening.
During this time of global pandemic, if there is a word worthy to underline – and which brings to light thousands of people’s selfless commitment to risk their lives and serve unconditionally with their time and resources – it is the word generosity.