When dealing with stress, busy-ness, or weariness (or all 3), one’s good and helpful practices of self-care are typically one of the first things to go out the window. During the last 6+ months of this pandemic, I’ve noticed that I am more weary than is typical for me, more so than the amount of activity I’ve had would indicate. There is an emotional toll from all of the changes… social distancing, masks, another Zoom meeting, politics and news that are extremely polarizing. It is all exhausting and makes the case for the importance of being intentional about how we manage our lives. And all of these things begin to build upon one another, often causing us to want to escape… into food, porn, shopping, alcohol or whatever else may be your Go To pain reliever.
Taking care of ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally are the best defense against spiraling downward into addiction or behaviors that are otherwise unhelpful. Here are a few suggestions to get back or to stay on track:
Spend time with God
This one may seem obvious, but I find that God is often not on my radar when I get so wrapped up in whatever is happening around me. I can get preoccupied with all the negativity in the news and what is happening in our world and forget the need for prayer. It is helpful to take a step back from the news and social media just to let my brain rest. This allows room for God to meet me outside of all the noise. God is always there; I am not always able to hear Him through everything else.
Take care of your physical needs
Anyone else’s pants fitting a little more tightly since the quarantine began? I’m with you there. Being home more with all the uncertainty and confusion led me to one of my addictions… food. While toilet paper was scarce, chips and ice cream were aplenty. I did my part to make those things disappear. Sadly, it took a toll on my body. The way we care for and fuel our bodies is especially important during times of stress. Not taking care only adds to the burdens we are carrying – in the way we feel physically and the way we feel about ourselves. Diet and fitness don’t have to be overwhelming. One small change or two can make a big difference.
Talk to someone, stay current with your emotional state
One of the biggest losses during this season is personal connection. When we see others outside our homes, our faces are covered. I’ve noticed that few people make eye contact. When we do, it is hard to tell if I am being smiled at or scowled at. It feels easier to just look away and not make an effort. Most of the meetings I’ve had have been via Zoom. While I am so grateful that we have that technology available to us, using it seems to wear me out in a new kind of way. While the need for rest and time away from others seems heightened now, it is important to not pull away completely. Seek out ways to connect and share the way you are feeling. Check in with friends, family, and accountability partners.
Remember, taking care of yourself allows you to be more present to others during this difficult time. I pray that you will find the space and time to focus on self-care this week.
In the spring of 1995, the conflict Roger felt between his faith and his sexuality, as well as an addiction to pornography, led him to WGA. His personal journey has provided him unique insights into sexuality and the pain of adversity, which he shares through his testimony, facilitation of small groups, writing and public speaking. Roger began working with WGA in October of 1996 as the Assistant office Manager. Since that time, he has worn many hats and served in several different positions, including Assistant Program Director and Operations Director. In April of 2007, Roger assumed the position of Executive Director. Roger attended West Texas A&M University, where he studied Music Business. Much of his training has been “on the job,” where he was mentored by the ministry’s Founder, Mary Heathman, and the Program Director, Scott Kingry. He holds a BA from West Texas A&M University. Roger, his wife Jill, and their daughter Julia and son William, attend Celebration Community Church where Jill serves as Senior Pastor.
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