20200318 Rev. Rhona Reflects: Four Positive Steps to manage ourselves during COVID-19
“Social Distancing”, “Smooth the Curve”, “Self-isolation”. Within a week, these phrases have become part of our everyday vocabulary, and more importantly, part of our everyday lives. As the level of shutdowns has increased, a palpable sense of anxiety has increased too.
What began as a distant event in a distant country became more real to us when our enjoyment of sports was affected, but it was still a mild irritant at that point. We were asked to wash our hands more often - we could live with that! Then we were asked to postpone our vacations, get home if we were abroad, self-isolate and allow capacity for those with symptoms to be tested. It started becoming more real to us at that point, And today our borders are closed, businesses are closing, schools are closing and nothing feels stable anymore. In less than a week, the world as we know it has turned topsy-turvy.
And yet...Beyond our view, people are working tirelessly to support us. Our politicians, some in the midst of their own health challenges, are creating programs to support us financially and to keep us informed. Our doctors, nurses, care aides, paramedics, firefighters and police are serving the sick and injured. The people who work at our grocery stores and pharmacies, the people who operate our transit, the people who bring us our news and our infrastructure, all place their own well-being at risk in service to us, their community.
During this time of crisis, you may be wondering how you can be of service to the world. Here are some ideas:
There is power in prayer. We are all interconnected. When we radiate blessings of peace, love and appreciation, they uplift us all. Believe it. Do it.
2. “First, do no harm.”
This oath which is taken by doctors applies to us too. It means staying home and self-isolating. You could have no symptoms and still be contagious. Unless you are in a health care role, this apparently passive action is one of the best services you can offer to the world right now.
3. Take care of yourself physically and mentally: Use this time as an opportunity to EXPAND!.
- Get up at a reasonable time every day, shower and dress as you usually do.
- Breathe fresh air. At the moment we are not prevented from going for a walk around the block, or going into our gardens or patios.
- Move. Try not to sit too long. Walk, stretch, find an exercise or dance video on Youtube
- Watch or listen to interesting and uplifting programs. CBC has some of the best audio programming. CBC shows to laugh by: the Debaters, Laugh Out Loud. On Netflix we just discovered “The Good Place”, one of many shows that make us laugh
- Empty that bucket list. Do something you’ve always meant to do: write a book, do more baking, clean up “the catch-all drawer”, learn to play the guitar, paint your masterpiece, sing karaoke all day long.
- Begin a journal. Imagine how rewarding it will be to read your journal when all this is over! Include
- Journal your fears. It is normal to feel fear right now. When you name and write your fear, you help to get it out of your head.
- Journal your observations. What’s going on in your world?
- Journal your gratitude. Have you considered how much we have to be grateful for? We have healthcare, we have medication, we have groceries, we have technology, we have each other.
- Ask for help. If you are feeling alone, scared or in need of support, send an email to email@example.com or call the church at 604.526.1421, or call me at 778.988.5644
- Connect: i) Phone family and friends. ii) Write thank you letters and emails: they uplift you and the recipient! iii) Drop into our Tuesday and Thursday check-ins on Zoom from 10-noon
4. Take care of others: Give.
i) Consider giving from your abundance to a charity, church or neighbour
ii) When you go out for groceries, offer to pick up groceries for your neighbour as well
This is my “formula” for this time: Pray. Self-isolate. Take care of yourself. Take care of others.
As I look outside today, I see a beautiful day filled with sunshine and the promise of spring. I am convinced that there is order in nature, and reminded that we are part of the natural order. This crisis has led to anxiety, suffering and even death for many people. It represents uncertainty for all of us. And I know that it will bring us closer together, clarify our values and offer opportunities for beautiful new beginnings. We’re all in this together.
In love, in service,