It’s a crazy time we’re living in, isn’t it? Life may never be the same after this whole virus thing dies down.
Here in South Africa, we’re all going to be stuck at home for the next three weeks. Some of you may be relishing the thought, others may be freaking out at the idea of forced isolation.
How you cope with this time depends largely on your attitude. Will you allow the anxiety and frustration to get to you, or do you have a plan for this time of forced solitude?
To help you survive the next few weeks I’ve put together a list of 10 things you can do to not just survive lockdown, but thrive.
If you don’t have a routine then create one ASAP. In times of uncertainty, routines provide a sense of normality and security (this will definitely benefit your kids). I’ve read a lot of books about people stuck in prison and how they survive. What kept them sane was having a routine every day. A time for prayer, exercise, stretching, thinking, “tidying” their cell, etc. Even if there wasn’t a lot to do, they established a daily routine, giving each day structure and purpose. (Read this post on how to create a schedule.)
Psalm 4:4 and 77:6 talk about communing with our own hearts. That word ‘commune’ means to think deeply, to ponder, meditate, do introspection, and converse with ourselves. What if God has given us this time of inaction and solitude to prepare us for more difficult times ahead? We should use this time wisely.
Read this post on why you should live a decluttered life. Decluttering will give you clearer thinking and you will feel less irritated. Don’t know where to start? Anywhere – the kitchen drawers, your sock drawer, bookshelves, clothes. Once you start, the Diderot Effect will kick in (google that J ). The Diderot Effect is usually used in terms of one purchase leading to another, but I’m applying it to decluttering here – once you start you’ll notice new areas that need decluttering and will be motivated to continue. Get your kids involved too!
Read to your kids, have a campfire, look at old photos, reminisce about favourite holidays and fun times. Teach your kids practical skills – how to bake a cake, how to change a tyre, how to sew on a button, how to do laundry, or how to budget. Feeling emotionally connected to your family will help you feel less isolated and more satisfied. If you are alone then connect with people via video call if possible.
Nature has a calming effect and will restore balance to an anxious mind as well as protecting against sickness. Sunlight and fresh air are natural immune boosters. Walk barefoot on the grass, deep breathe, appreciate the sounds of nature – crickets, birds, the wind in the trees.
A hot and cold shower (3 minutes hot as you can handle, 1 minute cold as you can handle, repeated 3-4 times) imitates a fever in the body and increases the production of white blood cells (they fight germs), giving your immune system a great boost.
Memorising promises allows the Holy Spirit to bring them to your mind just when you need them. They are a powerful antidote to fear and anxiety.
Here’s a brief list to get you started:
1 Peter 5:7
Exercise reduces the level of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) and increases the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators). It’s a great way to release your kids’ energy and fight the glooms, so get your whole family moving every day.
Communing with God through prayer, and casting all your cares on Him, is an outlet for stress, and soothes anxiety and fear. It provides a safe place to express what you are going through and reinforces the assurance that God is in control.
Doing some of your favourite hobbies like woodwork, knitting, cooking (try new recipes), scrapbooking, fixing bikes, DIY projects, etc. will give a sense of satisfaction because you are achieving something. Make use of this time to do things you enjoy but don’t always get time for.
With the economic impact of the global Coronavirus crisis, stress levels are going to skyrocket.
Keeping your life as “normal” as possible through routine, plus making good use of this downtime by drawing near to God and your family, will get you through this uncertain time.
How has the virus impacted your life? What are you doing to stay sane?