This year has been so surprising to all of us. Who would have thought that going out of your house can pose a health threat to you and yours? Having plans, going out, and enjoying things outside of the home seem like a story passed down through generations.
We have all been touched by the global pandemic to varying degrees. Some much more intensely and painfully than others. Let’s not forget that there are still health care workers and other essential workers who are putting themselves in danger to help others. There are many that are unemployed. There are others living in uncomfortable situations because there is no place to go. And finally, the ones that have been sick, have been in a delicate condition, or have passed on from this world.
Our people are also hurt and shocked from racial injustice this country lives and has lived in since its inception. Tragedies also continue to occur in other parts of the world, as if we did not have enough on our plate.
We have all been hit, and that screams stress.
Not only is our physical health in danger, our financial situation most likely is, and there is just so much that as humans we can bear. Our mental health is suffering as well. We don’t have easy access to many things that make us happy. We also don’t have access to things that could be a healthy outlet. It’s as if we are a bottle of soda in a freezer, continuously expanding and about to explode.
When we were all ordered to stay home many thought that this was a time to get your life in order. Finish all those projects you had in mind. Schedule your day to fit in a workout. Call those people who hadn’t gotten in contact with in a while. Basically catch up with life. I am sure that some people have done all of those or even more. If you were one of them, congratulations! You have used your energy for something worthwhile. If you are or are not an overachiever, there is something that we all need to hear: what we all need to do is be good to ourselves.
I’ve spoken previously about being kind to ourselves. We can see this as extending grace. Grace is unmerited favor. When you fail, when you are not as good as you can be, you need grace. Right now, we are in a such hard times, and not for any fault of ours. Are we going to keep thinking of what we are missing out on? Or on how much we are tired and fed up of this? How much pain and suffering is going around the world? What good is that going to do us? How are we adding to ourselves if we are not good to the first person, us? We have had enough of the alternative.
Be good to yourself. This is not permission to do act irresponsibly. It is more to act kindly towards your hurt person. Here are a few ways that can inspire you:
- Say a prayer. It doesn’t have be long or solemn, just what is on your heart and mind.
- Listen to calming music. I can recommend Daniela Soledade.
- Pick up a book for 10 minutes.
- Go on a walk after a rainfall.
- Go for a light jog, where you still go fast but not stress your body.
- Eat something light and airy, like a parfait. It is still summer!
- Turn off the screens and play.
- Talk about a new discovery.
- Put on a facial mask and zoom your friends (masks for them are optional).
- Pick one thing on your to-do list, give it ten minutes, and call it a productive day.
- If you can, give a donation to a cause you believe in.
- Watch a home remodel video. So inspiring and encouraging.
- Talk about your pain.
These exercises individually can slowly start lifting your spirits and guide you to what you truly need. However the last one is the most important one. The darkness will not help you out, but coming to the light will. Talk with someone about your fears and failures. We are stronger in community. We will not leave this place of pain and sickness until we are all walking together.
Breath in, breath out, and be good to yourself. You need it.