As the regulations brought on by the coronavirus began to increase, I thought I was ready. I don’t know about you, but my first response was to make a list of everything I wanted to achieve in a period of isolation. I was firmly committed to caring for our community by staying home, doing my tiny part to “flatten the curve” and to protect our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

I wasn’t worried about being house-bound, there was plenty for me to do. Obviously, it was the perfect time to learn the recorder, start home-brewing mead, spring clean my entire home, work on my core, consolidate my super and learn Latin.

But the reality of our current situation really hit home when my grandfather was hospitalised. I couldn’t see him, and I still can’t.

I don’t know when, or even if, I will be able to see him again.

I wonder if we all have our own version of this moment, the moment we realised that the coronavirus is not just a distant disaster, or an inconvenience, but something that is already deeply impacting our lives.

What impact is the pandemic having on my life?

The coronavirus is a global pandemic; it is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. You and I are living through a global emergency. As we reckon with it’s impact in every sphere of our lives, we are forced to consider new ways to go on with the basics of being human. What kind of impact is the ongoing situation having on us socially, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually?

With that question in mind, I found it helpful to sit down with a cup of coffee and a notebook and get really specific about how I am going to take care of each part of my self during this time. I encourage you to give it a go too!

How to cope with living with coronavirus.

Begin by breaking it down to the important parts of your life. I chose Social, Mental, Physical and Spiritual – areas which I know will require my attention and care, particularly in such an uncertain time. But you could adapt these categories to make them more personal!

Under each heading, outline how you plan to proactively protect and invest in that part of your life.

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Social

We’re really fortunate to be living in age where technology allows us to talk with loved ones, and see their faces, even if it is on a screen! Ever since I was little, my grandparents would come over for a family dinner every Monday night. We can’t all be in the same room now, but we have kept that tradition going by sitting down and eating together over Zoom on a Monday night. Zoom has allowed me to catch up (and laugh a lot) with my oldest friends. Here are some other suggestions!

  • Catch up with a close friend every day or second day over phone or video.
  • Regularly check in with friends who are not comfortable at home
  • Join (or start!) a book club or discussion group over Zoom! (If you want to know more about Zoom, click here.)
Physical

It’s time to get physical! I’ve been starting my day with a morning walk and trying to get as much fresh air as possible throughout the day, because, as you know, exercise is important for both our physical health and our mental health.

One of my colleagues, Bec, has been posting videos of her daily workout to encourage the rest of us at Baptist World Aid to keep active… and she’s kindly allowed us to share one of these videos with you, too. It may be the inspiration you’ve been waiting for!

Mental

I don’t know about you, but I have been finding the constant flow of coronavirus news to be a bit overwhelming. It’s important to be informed, but it’s also important that we give ourselves time to focus on other parts of life that bring us hope. Here are some tips that I find helpful!

  • Make boundaries around reading news. Don’t read the news in bed – morning or night.
  • Get up and dressed every morning.
  • If you’re working from home, stick to your normal work hours.
  • Have a good show or book on the go. It’s okay to escape sometimes.
  • Go for a walk and listen to a favourite podcast.
  • Ignore any external pressure to ‘make the most’ of this pandemic by being ceaselessly productive.
  • Reach out and let someone know if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Remember, our team is committed to praying for each of you. So, please give us a call on 1300 789 991 or email your prayer points to [email protected] if you’d like us to stand with you in prayer.

Spiritual

My verse through this time is Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.” When our hope is in Christ, we have access to a different kind of security, one that is not determined by the world, because it is not of the world. This brings much comfort! Spiritually, it’s important that we’re dwelling on these truths, and remaining in community with other believers where possible.

Here are a couple of ways to do that!

  • If your church has a livestream, tune in! Perhaps have a video call with one or two friends afterwards to reflect on what you heard.
  • Write a meditative prayer to pray each day when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Continue to meet and pray with your community group or bible study over Zoom and keep prayer requests and support active in a group chat.
  • Finally, if you missed this encouraging message from John Lewis on Easter Saturday, why not watch it now?

I write all of this, very aware of the fact that it’s a privilege to still have a job, to have a backyard with trees in it, to have time to oneself.

Nevertheless, I would encourage you to give it a go! Think through each area of your life. What brings you joy and fills up your tank?

We would love to hear what’s helping you get through these uncertain times! Join our online Facebook community and let us know!