Using our time well during a pandemic
So, the year 2020 hasn’t quite gone the way any of us could have predicted. But even in all this confusion, chaos, and uncertainty, there’s no reason to wallow in a pit of despair. Instead of getting bogged down and stressed out over all the crap that the media is feeding us, I’m determined to focus on the positive side of this very icky situation. I’m quite convinced that it is, in fact, possible to see this as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience.
We have been facing a situation that isn’t just affecting one part of the world, or even a section of our country. This virus has managed to creep its way into every corner and, as a result, push the pause button on the whole world. And despite what some people may think, this is not a time to be in an every-man-for-himself type of mentality. No. If we want to end this thing, or even just get through it, we have to do it together, by doing our part.
The most simple example of that: Social distancing
And all the introverts said amen!
It is a term we’re all too familiar with after being “quarantined” for just a little over a month now. Some states took a little longer reinforcing it than others. And some states have been on complete lock-down. We haven’t had access to gyms, theaters, restaurants, or bars. Churches have been holding virtual services online and state parks have been closed. No one is really leaving their homes unless they’re considered essential at their jobs, or if grocery shopping has to get done. Basically, only leaving the house if it is absolutely necessary.
And after a month of this, we’re all starting to really miss those little things, like strolling through the aisles of Target, grabbing lunch with a friend, getting a workout in at the gym, or even just having to make a quick store run because you forgot something. While we are beginning to hear some talk about potential steps to start reopening states and nonessential businesses, there are still no set dates to guarantee when that process can start. But as we’ve seen in some parts of our country, people are starting to lose their patience.
But all frustrations aside, this virus has given us a chance to hit the pause button (whether or not we wanted to), look around at what we need, and meet that need. Life can get crazy. Our schedules are packed, we’ve got kids or are working multiple jobs. Some of us are just trying to nail down this whole adulting thing attempting to have a social life, stay fit, go on dates, and still find time for soul-care or other personal activities. And day after day of balancing several spinning plates and wearing different hats, we eventually find ourselves in a permanent state of exhaustion. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we don’t give ourselves nearly enough time to just stop and take a breath.
It’s so easy to get lost in routines and busy schedules. Rushing around from one thing to the next with a red blinking battery over our heads has become normal. But when was the last time we allowed ourselves a chance to sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy the silence, or a moment to reflect on the week or even just the day? Better yet, when was the last time we had a cleared day, without a list of tasks or errands filling every empty crevice of our brains? When was the last time we didn’t need to consume an entire pot of coffee just to get the day started at an acceptable battery level? When was it?
This is not how we were meant to live. We are not meant to be slaves to our jobs. We are not meant to be working through exhaustion. We are not meant to push ourselves to the point of a mental breakdown. This is simply not the way we were created to live. And it’s certainly not what we were created for.
During this time of social distancing, I think it’s really important to consider how we choose to spend this time. This is an opportunity to put a little more time into ourselves. And on an even bigger scale, we’re given an opportunity to play our part in helping to bring an end to the spread of this virus.
Now, I totally understand that a lot of us are starting to lose our minds, especially if you’ve been quarantined with the kids. And for that, I just want to pray a little extra strength and patience for every parent out there. But for everyone else, frustrated with the isolation and inability to go anywhere or really do anything, I want to challenge you to shift your mindset for a moment. Because, how I see it, we really have one of two options here. You can either:
- Go in kicking and screaming, complaining that this whole thing is stupid, and just be mad, annoyed, and bored out of your gourd for the remainder of this quarantine
- You can accept what is happening, try to understand why this decision needed to be made, make peace with it and just make the most of it
This may come as a surprise, but #quarantinelife and social distancing doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.
While a lot of us may find ourselves in an uncomfortable in-between place due to this virus, I want to challenge every one of us to see what good we can soak up from these moments. Just because we’re keeping ourselves quarantined doesn’t mean we have to sit on the couch, binging on shows and all the snacks in the cupboard. This could be our chance to dive into soul-care, get house projects done, take care of those things we’ve been putting off, dig deeper into our relationships with God, or maybe even consider changes to make in our routines once things do open back up. We have been given the gift of time. It may not be in the most ideal way, but it’s still a gift. And it is up to you how you decide to use it.
While we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s really no telling how much longer this thing will be going on for. But my hope is that we are all able to return to work and school well-rested with a full battery, knowing that we used this time well. My hope is that we use it to take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically, and to also love, support, and care for everyone else in our lives. I hope and pray that we come out of this stronger and more connected than ever.
Be well, stay safe, and don’t forget to wash your hands!
Thanks for reading 🙂