Coping During COVID-19
We are over six weeks into living a quarantined and socially distant life. These massive changes to our lives are impacting people in different ways. Some people love the extra time at home with family and are able to adjust without fear or concern. Others are struggling emotionally with anxiety and fear of the unknown.
Lord willing, things will continue to get better soon and we’ll be able to get out and spend more time around people and with our friends and family. Until then, I know that whichever side of the fence you are on, the changes in life can still be difficult.
As I was researching this past week I came across the following information from North Point Church in Atlanta, GA. These are some great steps to help you as you walk through this crisis. I encourage you to read through and see what may be beneficial for you and your family. Please know that I care deeply for each of you and am here for you in any way possible.
SIX HEALTHY TIPS TO HELP YOU COPE DURING THE PANDEMIC: 1. Create a routine. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. If you’re working from home, establish a start time and an end time. This can help create a sense of normalcy and predictability. 2. Stay connected to others. Use technology to stay connected to friends, family, and co-workers by calling, texting, emailing, and videoing with one another. Connect with people who will be present, compassionate, and good listeners. 3. Stay connected to your community. Actively seek ways to stay plugged in. Use technology to watch church services online. Support local businesses by buying gift cards for a later date or buying lunch for those on the front lines. Volunteer your time to help your local schools or nonprofits distribute food and essentials to your community. 4. Take care of your body. Do things that help you feel better and relieve stress. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, practice stretching and breathing exercises, and move your body daily (e.g., yoga, walking, dancing).
5. Access reliable media resources in small doses. Stay informed, but limit the amount of time you check the news to once or twice a day to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. 6. Limit addictive behaviors. Distracting yourself and finding ways to seek relief from what’s going on around you is normal. However, pay attention to how much time you’re spending on television and social media. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO ASK FOR HELP Often we are able to navigate life’s challenges by ourselves or with help from family and friends. However, there are times when we need to get help from a doctor or counselor. Here are a few indicators that it might be time to seek professional help:
Struggle is preventing you from functioning in a healthy way or is significantly impacting your quality of life.
It’s difficult to resolve an issue through your own ways of coping.
Your current coping mechanisms (e.g., overuse of alcohol or drugs) are potentially destructive.
You are overwhelmed to the point where negative emotions are dominating the way you feel.
You are feeling hopeless and/or losing interest in things that used to bring you joy.
Negative thoughts are preventing you from thinking clearly and making healthy decisions.
You’re experiencing heightened social conflict or a desire for increased social withdrawal that is difficult to control.
Note that thoughts of self-harm or the desire to harm others require immediate attention, including telling family and friends that care about you and contacting a suicide prevention center and/or other resources listed below. If you feel like you are in immediate danger or are a danger to others, go to a behavioral health hospital for a free assessment or seek medical attention by dialing 911.
COUNSELING If you decide to talk with a counselor, we’d like to refer you to one of our trusted counseling centers. These counselors are trained professionals and use the Bible as their most trusted resource. You can contact our church office (email@example.com) to receive a referral. You may also go directly to either of these websites to connect with a counselor:
Biblical Counseling of Arizona: https://www.biblicalcounselingaz.org
New Life Counseling: https://newlifeaz.org/about/
For those of you with existing emotional health conditions: Please be aware of your symptoms, and keep in touch with your mental health professionals to stay on track. If you would like to speak with Pastor Shea about your emotional health or to request prayer, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.