We are collectively in uncharted territory. The rhythms that many of us knew from a few weeks ago have now changed because of Coronavirus.
Many of you have moved back home for the semester and it can be challenging to find your new rhythm, especially when the situation is very new and unexpected. Losing focus quickly becomes easy and with it a temptation to go to sleep on the things that keep us engaged.
Emotional and spiritual isolation can come with the physical isolation necessary to keep our communities safe. It is tough, and if we’re not careful we find ourselves not contributing well to the lives of the community we do have. The good news is that we do have much to contribute to the economy of these new rhythms.
I hope you’ll consider these few ways that you can stay engaged and “Keep the Edges Hot.”
Take Control of Your New Rhythm:
- Wake up with Intention.
- Give thanks for a new day. Take a breath deep and acknowledge God’s life in you again.
- Spend time in prayer, silence, and mediation.
- Do Two Things first when you wake up. Before you go to bed each night, set your alarm and think about at least two things you’ll do right when you wake up.
- Maybe that’s putting on the coffee for everyone or feeding the dog.
- Perhaps it is being grateful and thinking of people you will encourage that day.
Cook, Clean, Communicate: The New 3 C’s
Suddenly you’re back at home as an adult and you’ve come to an awareness that the meals never cooked themselves. Hard work was put into getting you clean clothes as a kid. Game night didn’t just happen. Your parents worked hard to build the economy of their home and now you’ve got a role to play.
- Help your parents with the dishes.
- Linger over your meal if you can and right when it’s over, get those dishes washed or in the dishwasher.
- Cook one or two meals during the week. Be adventurous! How about Vietnamese Pho.
- Take out the trash and sort the recycling.
- Claim responsibility for this moving forward. It’s simple, and having ownership of a project gives it a better chance of being accomplished, and puts healthy responsibility on the owner.
- “What’s Next?”
- At Camp we challenge you to ask the question, “What’s Next?” Do the same thing at home and give your parents the freedom to empower you!
Ask Big Questions:
Asking good and big questions is necessary for this new rhythm. How will you use this time to better your family, friends, community, and yourself?
- If you can be in touch with your grandparents, give them a call.
- Your grandparents need you. The elderly in America are already more isolated as it is. Coronavirus has only exacerbated that. Let them know you care for them and think of them.
- Be aware of your community’s needs.
- Chances are, there are kids out of school without guaranteed meals. People in our communities have lost mobility and need meals.
- Consider donating money online to your local food bank.
- Call or text an encouraging word to a friend.
- Many of us have anxiety or depression, or know someone who does, and insecure times like these can serve to expand that.
- The Gospel calls us to love our neighbors. That is core to who we are as communities of faith. Consider your neighbor’s needs and let them know you stand with them.
Be Mindful of What You Consume:
Screen time is seemingly unlimited now that many of us are social-isolating. Don’t binge watch Breaking Bad for the fourth time. Stay mindful!
- Set Healthy Boundaries
- If you use your phone or laptop for school work, don’t open YouTube in the same window.
- Don’t open Instagram every time you check your phone.
- Read a Book
- Here are some staff picks; Jaber Crow by Wendell Berry, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Tattoos on the Heart by Father Greg Boyle, Brave Companions by David McCullough, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery.
- Study and Exercise
- School and work goes on, but you’re now more isolated and less mobile.
- Be sure to focus on what’s in front of you.
- Get outside and move your body. Go for a run, a walk, or do simple stretching.
Staying disciplined at a time like this will serve you well! It will keep you nurturing yourself, your family, and community. Our world needs you to contribute all you can.
“People who live with faith in the midst of darkness never stop growing, are not easily defeated, are wise and compassionate, and frankly, are fun to live with. They have a quiet and confident joy.” Richard Rohr
Dan and Andrew