In light of the coronavirus spreading globally, news stations constantly churning out the latest frightening statistic on COVID-19 cases, and national and regional leaders calling for a time of quarantine it’s so easy to slip into a place of fear and anxiety.
One moment you may feel fine…and then a simple trip the grocery store, seeing empty shelves or hearing that a well known celebrity just caught the virus can make you feel uneasy.
For others, you may be asking yourself, Will I be able to get all the needed items for my family? Will I be able to cover my bills?
For those of us who are parents we may be wondering, Will I be able to keep my children occupied and productive in this time away from school?
For first responders and essential workers (the real heroes of this hour) who go into work everyday when every one else is quarantined at home, you may fear contracting the virus at any moment.
These are all very real concerns, but I wanted to encourage your heart today along with my own that worry can’t help in any way. In fact fear, worry, and anxiety only make matters worse. They weaken our immune systems, they cloud our judgment, and they rob us of the true gift it is to be present with our loved ones.
For my family, my husband is still working and my 5 year old son’s school is closed so I’ve become a homeschool SAHM of 3 little ones unexpectedly. Before this, I watched my 2 youngest daughters, Sophia and Hanna throughout the day. My girls and I would usually go to parks, libraries, and community programs throughout the week with my moms’ group or host playdates, but this was different. The programs and activities I usually attended were all closed.
At first I thought, how am I going to keep these little ones engaged, having fun, and still learning (without putting the TV on all day ), and without getting cabin fever? Is my husband safe (he works as an Enterprise salesman and encounters 100s of people weekly)? I thought of the elderly in my family, are they safe? And lastly, as an Atlanta area transplant, I thought, is my family back home safe? I wish I could be with them.
I’m sure you can relate to some of these thoughts, but I want to encourage you that after the initial swirl of these anxious thoughts, I’ve been able to find a true place of enduring peace in the midst of these uncertain times for me and my family where my mind isn’t racing with the latest death toll number, but instead calmly informed and filled with gratitude. If you’re like many and are fighting thoughts of anxiety, fear, or even depression I wanted to share how I believe you can reclaim your peace.
7 Ways to Reclaim Your Peace
In times of uncertainty, you can have peace.
1. Take social media and news breaks. We all want to stay informed but when we become too engrossed we can quickly get to a place of fear and even hysteria. You can give yourself set times to check in, or even take a social media detox for a day if needed.
Remember, your mental and emotional health comes first.
2. Start and end your day with prayer. We never know what a day will bring, but there’s an undeniable security that comes when we know we’ve already asked God to keep and protect us for the day. It’s also so much easier to rest at night after giving God the stress and worries of the day. Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
3. Journal your thoughts and emotions. When I feel overwhelmed journaling has always been an amazing exercise to get out all my emotions out and receive clarity on what I’m really thinking and feeling. You can journal a list of major things bothering you and then a list of blessings in your life. You can write a letter to God on how you’re feeling. You can rewrite a favorite scripture or quote and then journal what resonates with you from the quote or passage.
4. Play calming music throughout your home. I love playing worship sets on YouTube on the TV to play throughout the day now that the kids and I are home. We’re all more peaceful and the kids are more settled when I play music in the background as they paint, color, play with their sticker books, or snack.
5. Speak LIFE. Our words can bring life or death (Prov. 18:21). They can build up or tear down, you can speak words that will cause you and your loved ones to fear even more, or you can speak words of faith and hope. I love speaking out affirmations to lift my spirits and even reading aloud Psalms like Psalms 91 and Psalms 27 to shift my thoughts and atmosphere.
6. Meditate on what you’re thankful for. This “pandemic” is affecting everyone in some way right now. Some parents are struggling to keep their kids engaged at home, some are in nursing homes unable to receive visitors, some are working in hospitals praying they don’t take the virus home to their families, some have had to cancel trips they had been planning for months.
Each of us can focus on what personal battle, disappointment, or discomfort this situation has brought us or we can focus on the infinite blessings in our lives and give thanks for them. As you meditate on what you’re grateful for whether it’s clean water, food in your pantry, your health, peace will flood your heart.
7. Do something you enjoy! With a shift of perspective, you can see go from seeing this as a lock down to a staycation. If you’re home (which has been recommended by the CDC) quarantining yourself, enjoy this time. For me I’ve been trying new healthy recipes, getting creative with my smoothies, FaceTiming loved ones, having tickle fights, doing arts and crafts with my little ones, praying and worshipping, and more 🙂 .
If you’re home with your kids who are usually in school, enjoy them. Yes, there will be uncomfortable moments, but fill the other moments with love and laughter as much as you can.
Go outside in the backyard and play catch, make a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try, paint your nails, take a long bath, do a quick youtube work out, make tea, bake cookies with your kids, watch a funny movie, call or facetime that friend you’ve been thinking of.
I saw a quote that said “love will not be cancelled” and it resonated with me so deeply!
Work may be cancelled, school may be cancelled, the conference or trip you were looking forward to may be cancelled, but love will not, and will never be cancelled.
Receive God’s love afresh in this time, slow down to give love to yourself, and share love with those purposed to be around you in this time. We may be in uncertain times, but what is certain is that we can stay in a place of peace, love, and gratitude.
I’m praying for you and your loved ones during this time! I’m praying for your continued health and for God’s peace to guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Remember, God is (still) in control and He is (still) writing our stories, Page by Page. 🙂
I hope this blog encouraged you! What has been helping you stay in a place of peace? Or what are your prayer requests in this time? I love hearing from you and praying with you!