Before anything, I would like to say how I understand the scarcity people are experiencing because of the unknowns. And although I believe in a God who is much higher and bigger than all of this, Who protects, prospers, and will carry us through, I have compassion for the ones who don’t see this through. I also have compassion for the ones who do, but are still experiencing the battle between faith and fear because I get it … I go through it too.
My message to you is simple: that God sees the end of this. He knows the day, time, and very second that our nation will experience this virus “come to pass”. But in the meantime, let us rejoice for the health, people, and things surrounding us. Let us live in sound mind that for right now, in this very moment, you are breathing, loved and okay.
With that said – here are a few ideas that help me stay productive, present, and less anxious through the chaos around, and I hope that it will bring about the same for you!
OPEN THE BLINDS IN YOUR HOME!!
It sounds simple and silly but it makes a big difference! Nothing promotes lack of drive more than a cold and dark house. Enjoy the light and allow it to breathe life into your home; maybe even open a window if the weather is appropriate. But from the second I wake up, you bet I open every set of blinds (especially where I spend most of my time) doing chores or working etc. If I don’t, it is proven in Stephanie’s World Records to have way less pep-in-my-step. I promise it will change your life and promote a healthier energy than the dungeon you’re containing yourself in.
REFLECT FROM WITHIN
Create a “Quarantine To-Do List”. Meaning, write down all the things you’ve wanted to do, but didn’t have time for before. For example, I’ve wanted to take up photography since I was gifted my first camera in 1995. Lol JK it was more like high school in 2008-2009 but I dropped the hobby because…. life. So within the last year, I researched a specific camera that fit my budget and with some mental toughness, decided to purchase it! I’m not gonna lie, part of my convincing myself was saying “Well, if you don’t like it then you have 30-day return window” but of course, the moment I opened the packaging and placed that beauty in my hands I smiled and said to myself “There’s no way it’s going back; this is mine!” It’s one of my dreams come true; and it’s exciting! Secondly, I’ve been talking about becoming a licensed notary – so I found an online 6-hr study course that will prep me for state testing, and I’ll be on my way. YAY! So my point is simply this – you have time NOW to brainstorm and bring these things to life before going back to your routine busy-ness; so don’t wait another minute!
Say “NO” to the outings you don’t want to attend to
I know this sounds obvious but now is a great time to start getting used to saying “I don’t think we’re going to be able to make it”. Because I don’t know about you, but sometimes I commit to so many events and before you know it, they all end up on the SAME EXACT weekend and I’m completely overwhelmed with buying gifts, traveling, and just having to get ready is more than enough work for me sometimes. You feel me? But you have a space now to do things differently and focus your attention elsewhere, so take advantage of it and don’t feel sorry for not showing up every once in a while. Just last weekend I had to express to a family member that I wanted to hang out with my son at home, therefore wouldn’t make the birthday event. I still love them, but I needed to rest at home. So here’s your permission to keep your sanity! Stay home to chill with the family, read the book you’ve wanted to read, or take a nap if you’d rather. I promise it will teach you in long run that you can live more freely when you create boundaries that say “my future self will thank me for this”.
**FOR THE PARENTS** !! Hang out with your kids!
One thing I’m hyper aware of is how easily I can disregard engaging with my son. Sometimes his energy is so high or I’m tired from a days work, and all he wants to do is sit and color with me for an hour, but it seems like it could be an eternity. However, the other night my 5 year old, son, asked me if I wanted to watch a movie with him before bedtime (which is typically the norm for us once a week) but THIS time he did NOT want me on my phone. Except, I was on it throughout the beginning of the movie, and I remember 3 clear times where he asked me to put it away; so on my third “warning” I finally listened and threw it down (felt like he was the parent for a second there haha). I realize in these moments, that I have to consciously withdraw from everything else going on in the world so that I can live presently with my son; since I know these moments won’t last as frequently, forever. And okay seriously, have you guys seen The Incredibles 2?! I LOVED the first movie but the second was just as good!! Honestly, I wasn’t going to let him watch the entire movie because it was already late but we had to stay up past 11pm to watch it through the end! But my favorite part – toward the end of the movie, my son’s words to me were: “I love you mom, I don’t know what I would do without you”. *INSERT CRYING EMOJI HERE* Seriously though, que the tears; and if hearing my son say those words to me means spending quality time with him (which is when he’s typically the sweetest to his mama) then count me in every single time!
Right now is a challenging time for most people and I guarantee our friends and family are processing and coping with the pandemic of COVID-19, differently. Check in with your loved ones and don’t be afraid to gain their perspective so that you can have compassion on them. I’ve had a couple friends put me in check once or twice (haha) but I hope I have been able to bring some light to them throughout the situation as well. I’m a meme kinda gal, so sharing sarcasm and laughter helps me remain in the fun part of who I am through the “darkness” that we are experiencing. However, the positive side of me has to say that there’s so many blessings within this. We have time now to focus on our health, family, and future goals that were pushed aside previously. It’s a reboot and opportunity to seek from within; experiencing gratitude with what we do have versus what we don’t. And I hope you don’t miss the simplicity of this.
Lastly, for those of you wondering “Why this, why now, and when will it end?!” I challenge you to pray about it. You may not get all the answers you want right away and your prayer may not be “perfect” but that’s okay. Because in a worthy moment, you will find a time of peace that says “everything is okay and this too, shall pass”. If you need help with a prayer that aligns with God’s word then open your Bible or Bible App to Psalms. Psalms 91 specifically speaks over similar times to now and there’s many promises from God, in this verse, that belong to you – so take hold and watch His beauty unfold.