Hey, good morning (or whatever time it is in your corner of the world.) Maybe you are not like me. Since I was a child I have been very familiar with “time out.” Actually, that is not quite accurate because when I was a child, my parents did not know that phrase existed. Nonetheless, here we all are in time out of various forms. I thought it might be helpful for me to give some practical suggestions on how to maintain good mental health (for some of you this will be a new adventure) during these days of uncertainty.
Stay in the Word and Prayer – The extra time at home provides extra time for some personal time with the Father. Several of the office staff in our online meeting yesterday remarked how much they enjoyed the extra time to spend with the One who never changes. A lot of pastors are doing daily devotions on Facebook and musicians are singing and playing to connect us with each other and the Father.
Stay Connected – The beauty of the world we live in is that we have technology that we can stay connected very easily. It has also forced our churches to use technology, which is a win for us. Some of you are used to communicating with family and friends in the U.S. and other parts of the world, but maybe use this time to connect with some folks that the Father brings to your mind that you have not connected with for a long time.
Be Productive – You may have seen the video of the Naval admiral giving a graduation speech who said, “Get up every morning and make your bed. That way you start every morning by accomplishing something.” Good advice! This is a great time to work on a project that you have put on the back shelf, from ministry related to cleaning your closet.
Write – As a counselor I am an advocate of writing. It gets things out of your mind and onto a piece of paper. I can hear some of you saying, “I’m not a good writer.” Who said you had to be! I’m not either. I have written hundreds of things, most of which are never seen by the public. Writing is a mental catharsis, organizes your thoughts, and allows you to see new possibilities.
Sleep – One thing I have noticed about myself during the past 10 days or so that we have been home back in the U.S. is how physically worn out I was. I am sleeping about 7 hours a night and for those who know me that is a LOT. You have the time now (unless you have little ones) to catch up on some extra sleep. I will sound a bit of caution, sleeping too much is as harmful as sleeping too little. Try to understand how much you need (not want) and get that adequate amount of sleep.
Eat Healthy – I know this is the pot calling the kettle black as I drink my coffee and eat powdered donuts!! Don’t over or under eat and drink. Drink plenty of water (coffee does have water in it…right?). Balance is a key.
Get Some Exercise – Go outside! Take a walk, do some yard work. As my dad would say, “Get out of the house and get the stink blowed off.” Not good grammar but good advice. Some of you have daily exercise routines, keep them up. Others may just need to take a break and go for a stroll.
Laugh – I need not remind you that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Find ways to laugh. I know there is a crisis and it is a sobering time, but we also know Who is on the throne and will not be shaken so we can rely and trust in Him. So, if that is true then our anxiety can be less and we can wedge into our lives some laughter.