I’m sitting here at home…all by myself…no work to go to, no social gathering to be at, no place I need to get to at this time. Just a lot of doing stuff around the house in an attempt to pass the time as I wait for things to be figured out regarding this COVID-19 virus.
For some, I’m betting this time of “social distancing” and isolating at home isn’t too difficult yet…some actually enjoy being home and not around other people. But for others, like me, who are total extroverts…this is a bit of a challenge.
However, as time goes on, even those who like to be home and aren’t total extroverts will probably begin to get a little stir crazy. We are a very busy and fast-paced culture, so regardless of our personality, that is what we have become accustomed to. It is life as we have known it, and we are in the midst of experiencing some extreme changes to what we know.
So a very practical question is, ‘How do we handle this time that is so different than our normal routine?’
I’m not claiming to be an expert here…but I do want to take some time and share a few ideas that maybe will help you with that questions. Because I’m asking them too, and I’ve had to think through how I will respond during this time same as you. So allow me to share some tips with you (you can take or leave them as you wish)…
Keep things as normal as possible
One thing that makes changes more difficult to handle is when we allow those changes to upset every area of our life. Yes, many areas of our life have changed right now…but it doesn’t have to upset everything. Figure out which areas of your life don’t have to change, and keep those things as normal as possible.
- When I wake up, I begin my day the same as I always have…drink my coffee while spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. I have generally begun my day that way for years now, and that doesn’t need to change.
- I keep the same kinds of food around, and eat meals like I normally did. My normal way of eating was based partly on going to work and taking a lunch. Now that I’m home and all the food I have is at my disposal, it would be easy to eat more. To keep things normal, I try to eat the way I am used to.
- Each day when I came home from work I would workout. So even though I’m not coming home, I am still working out around the same time. This keeps me feeling the same physically, and on a normal schedule.
- I am doing my best to sleep like normal. I don’t want to start sleeping a lot more because I have no where to go, as that will just make me feel lethargic, cause me to change my daily routine, and probably keep me from wanting to workout.
My tip for you is to do the same thing. Figure out which parts of your daily routine don’t have to change, and don’t change them. Life has changed a lot right now, but you can minimize it’s effect.
Try using this extra time to your advantage
What is something I am not able to do regularly when I’m at work all day every day? What are some things I can get done? Or things I like to do that I generally have minimal time to do?
Some times big changes can lead to some good things. It gets us out of our normal routine, which can be tough…but at the same time can also open the door for us to have time to do other things that we normal wouldn’t.
- Is there a project around the house that you haven’t had the time to do? Now you do. Take advantage of that.
- Are there any friends you haven’t connected with in a while, because life is just too busy? Now you have some extra time, and I’m betting they do too. So take advantage of that and reconnect with them.
- Any books, movies, blogs, etc that you’ve been wanting to read/watch? Now you can. Take advantage of this extra time to include those things to your daily routine.
Use this unexpected extra time to your advantage…you may find that you even become thankful for some of this time rather than just struggling through it.
Enjoy the family time you’ve been given
Let’s be honest, family time is not always a priority in our culture. Activities, work, sports, life…it all takes away our ability to sit at home with our family and interact with them. We have to work to be intentional to have family time.
Well now you have a lot of it. More than expected I’m betting, and I know that can lead to feeling anxious about how to fill all this extra time with everyone being home. But try seeing this as a gift…it may not last long, so enjoy it while you have it. Play games together, watch movies together, eat meals together. Enjoy being a family during this time.
(FYI – I live alone, my kids live with their mother…so please take this one seriously and to heart, because it is a gift during this time that some of us don’t get, but wish we did.)
Allow your faith to be strengthened
Trials test our faith. That’s just the truth.
James 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
We may not be in the midst of persecution, but we are facing trials during this time. Many of us are facing the hardship of not working and thus not having regular income. And if you’re like the average person, we don’t have tons of money in the bank to fall back on…we work to live, and taking away work feels like taking away our ability to live. It’s scary…believe me, I know. I have no idea right now what will happen in the weeks to come, or how I will afford life without my regular income.
But God does. He is on his throne same as he always has been. He saw this coming, and he knows what the future holds. So in the midst of all this uncertainty, allow your faith to grow stronger. It’s not easy, I’m not saying it will be…but if we do let this time strengthen our faith, we will be glad we did.
As we continue to seek to Simply Follow Jesus during this very interesting and difficult time, may we do so with a sound mind rather than in fear (2 Timothy 1:7), exercising the fruits of the spirit we have been given…especially peace, patience, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). May we seek ways to stay connected to our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith, and may we come to see the importance of being able to gather together once we have that ability again (Hebrews 10:24-25).
May we learn to trust God in ways we never had to before, may our faith grow stronger through this, and may God receive ALL OF THE GLORY through all of this.