from our partnerLightWorkers Guest
written byJackelyn Viera Iloff
As time passes and we start moving back to the daily routine while reuniting at work, at school, at the mall, on beaches and on airplanes, buses and subways, you know that there’s going to be some residual longing to return to the old ways.
But really, what can we expect as the world opens up again and begins the social and business exchange? Lots of us have become quite comfortable with the daily routine we have established to make sense of our world.
Most adults have set up a routine that includes daily or weekly online meetings, creating new and scrapping old agendas for work that still needs to get done. Essential workers have taken on ridiculous schedules to serve those homebound, and those who need care. Kids have had to adapt to various versions of homeschooling and have had to forgo traditional graduations and other rights of passage—first dance, first prom, first home-runs, lots of firsts. Some unhappily, have had to face major life events because life goes on with or without COVID19—birth, death, divorce, accidents, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, emergency health conditions. So here we are still living, still trying to cope with what life has for us and now comes another twist.
We finally get to go back to school, to work, to our lives, but not as we knew life to be. Welcome to the new normal. All that newfound normalcy requires us to cope with new hurdles, and through it all, we’re just supposed to adapt…wear a mask/don’t wear a mask; be outside/don’t you dare go outside; wash your hands/don’t touch your face; stay away/come back.
How are we supposed to cope and stay in a good frame of mind with so many variables coming at us in such rapid-fire?
Structure can help. Don’t try to be superhuman, do too much and get overwhelmed. Try these steps to help you ease back into this new normal and above all breathe, look up and give thanks. This will be over soon, at some point, and the next thing will be upon us and we will sort through it, too. So don’t worry, because worry never solved anything. Be happy because the alternative….really there is no alternative. Be happy or just succumb to all that is—and that’s just no way to live a fruitful life.
So here goes…try these tips:
- Set up limits for how long you can reasonably work each day; don’t just work and exhaust yourself.
- Take time to do what you like to do best; include family.
- Take a walk if you can; definitely get some sunshine. We need vitamin-D.
- Eat well-balanced meals, don’t just binge on junk food and alcohol. Who wants to have to lose all that extra weight as we’re going into summer?
- Stay fit and exercise. If you didn’t exercise before, start now; it’s a great stress reliever.
- If you’re in a state that is open for business get out and change the scenery; visit friends you haven’t seen since COVID19 shut everything down.
- If you’re still locked down, call family or friends and have long conversations face to face on Zoom or FaceTime that you haven’t had the time to call in the past. You will be surprised how happy you will make someone who can’t get out either.
- And finally, but most importantly, do a daily devotion—pray, meditate, journal, sit quietly and look at the clouds—and give thanks for all you have. You’re still here, you’re healthy or you’ve recovered, you have family, you have friends. Look around at all you do have.
It’s said that you can’t be down if you’re looking up! Counting your blessings puts everything into perspective. The love of family and friends makes life worth living, and if you’re still stressed out seek counsel. It’s OK!
Do you need someone to talk to who can listen without judgment?
Mental health is as important as physical health. There is always someone to help you through the difficult, sometimes painful times, sometimes tragic circumstances you may encounter. Pastors, counselors, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are ready to help you cope.
And remember, always with prayer, is the promise of hope and the love that God provides. His promises are yes and amen whenever we ask for help. So seek Him in whatever your circumstances. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble.
So now it begins, whatever the future holds, we are a resilient people. We will get through this, and along the way not only adapt but be innovative and conquer the hurdles COVID19 has wrought.
So get on that swing, put your head back, point your toes and aim for the sky. If you do it right, it feels like flying. Stay well, be happy!
Jackelyn Viera Iloff is the author of What if You Could? Find Faith in the Face of Fear, a senior advisor and ordained minister at Joel Osteen Ministries/Lakewood Church where she leads Lakewood Movie Night—a faith films ministry outreach. She regularly writes for ChurchGrowth magazine and offers expert opinion on other publications.