Choosing faith rather than fear as your "go to" mindset makes all the difference...
Turn on any TV, radio or news feed in any country today and the top story is going to be the COVID 19 virus. The focus will be on how fast the virus is spreading and the growing concern of how deeply this virus is affecting the entire world -- not only from a health perspective, but also our financial base, our social interactions, the way we do business, etc. Every time you check email, you are most likely receiving notice from a business stating their concern for your health and the measures being taken to keep you and their employees safe (banks, restaurants, fast-food chains, grocery stores, retail stores, churches, schools, airlines, hotels, theaters, ….need I go on?). There is validity in the concern, and we pray for those who are infected by the virus and those who have existing conditions that make them more vulnerable. We also pray for those affected by it through layoffs, reduced hours, travel restrictions, etc. It is easy to hear all of this and be afraid.
But you don’t have to stay afraid.
The focus of the government and media to individuals is instructing us to take care of our physical well-being. Social distancing is designed to slow the growth and spread of the virus; cleaning practices (personal and institutional) are designed to protect you from getting sick. It is wise to follow these guidelines to stay healthy.
But please also practice good self-care for your mental well-being. Remember that you have a choice in how you receive all the information. You can choose to live with a perspective of fear or with a perspective of faith. You can allow fear to paralyze you, or you can choose to tap into your inner and outer resources and be creative in how you deal with the challenges you face.
Your inner resources are those strengths God has given you. Some will come to mind easily; there may be others you haven’t used recently, so you may need to take them off the shelf, dust them off, and re-acquaint yourself with them, but they are there to serve you and to help you serve others Your outer resources are those you normally turn to – again, your family, friends, pastors, community, etc.
Here are a few quick examples of being creative: Every time you wash your hands, use those 20 seconds to think of things that you are grateful for today. When you reach for the hand sanitizer, say a quick prayer for someone you know of who is in need (it can simply be the mention of their name – God knows the need). Instead of reading another Covid 19 statistics article, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member, or reach out to a neighbor and see if there is anything they need help with. Start planning a trip you’ve been thinking about -- understand that there will come a time when the virus is less of a threat and travel will start up again. You can dream and put a plan into place now for a great trip you will take in the not-too-distant future! Refuse to let fear stop you from living a great life.
You have a choice. You get a vote. And if you need additional, one-on-one support, please reach out. You are not alone. You can conquer fear and live in faith.