One winter, the entire high school where I taught shared an ailment. It started with laryngitis, though no physical discomfort. Then it became a cough and a chest cold, which led to bronchitis for me. When I saw the doctor, he said it was viral, not bacterial. An antibiotic would do nothing; I needed to boost my immune system, rest my body, and ride it out. Which I did, slowly, faithfully, day by day, long into spring.
Our faith helps us ride things out and assures us that “this too shall pass,” just as other things have. Yet, our sensibility, the power to gauge and monitor our reactions and behaviors, determines how we ensure our safety and well-being so we can function and thrive, even during trying times.
Amid tremendous anxiety about coronavirus, bear markets, and dysfunctional political systems, we can behave sensibly by:
- Refraining from hoarding. Hoarding is fear-based belief centered in lack. If we’re concerned about our supplies, we can take a gratitude inventory of food, medicine, personal care items, and/or bank balances, specifically noting how much we have to sustain us.
- Being gentle with ourselves. No matter our current health, this isn’t a time to rail against the healthcare system or worry that we didn’t wash our hands long enough. Instead, we can focus all our attention on renewing our life energy, building our strength, giving ourselves time to heal, blessing our bodies, and savoring peaceful sleep.
- Beginning and ending our days with prayer and meditation. Breathe deeply, chant mantras, count blessings, give thanks. When we pray, let’s include our world leaders, the media, and all those working to mitigate and eradicate disease.
- Connecting with loved ones. If needed, create a buddy system, agreeing to check-in daily to say, “Hi,” “I love you,” “I feel better today,” or share other good news. No fear-mongering or pity-parties allowed.
- Avoiding all “ain’t-it-awful,” “the sky is falling” dramas. Remain focused on the present and what can be done today.
- Choosing a few specific times — never at mealtime or bedtime — to check news, financial markets, and social media. Set a 15-minute limit; then log off.
- Checking facts and figures before sharing information, so we don’t inadvertently spread rumors. Check at least 3 reliable, vetted sources that conduct their own research.
- Getting outside into sunshine and fresh air. Commune with nature by digging in the garden or raking leaves. Sky gaze and track moon phases. All these extend our view beyond ourselves and give us a broader perspective of life.
- Scheduling time for exercise, fun and laughter. Play games, cook a favorite meal, binge-watch some comedy, read a new novel, color, draw, paint, dance, and sing.
Overall, remember that even though we desire certainty, much of life is uncertain and change is inevitable. As we remain patient and flexible, we’re less flustered and more adaptable as schools close, events cancel, or circumstances alter. With faith, we remain sensible about our choices, and day by day we discover that gentle, consistent pacing guides our way.
© 2020 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved. – Image by Florence D. from Pixabay