March 11, 2020 was my 28th birthday (woo!) and the start of a lot of uncertainty for America as the reality of the COVID-19 Coronavirus spread set in. Schools started closing, the NBA and other professional sports suspended their seasons, large events and tours ended, and companies all over changed business hours and policies to take this virus more seriously. It’s been a week now and I’ve personally been on a bit of a rollercoaster with it all! At first, I was a bit concerned, then got a little more panicked, then settled into giving it all to God and trying to maintain normalcy where I could. Right now, I know a lot of people are practicing a new (to many) thing called “social distancing” by staying away from public places, working from home, and limiting gatherings. We’re all aware that things may not go back to normal soon, so I thought I’d share just a bit of what’s been helping me the last couple of days. A few things that are obvious but easily forgotten in all the chaos. I hope this helps and encourages whoever needs it! Featuring images taken while second shooting for Michelle Scott Photography.
Quiet The Noise
There’s nothing wrong with backing away from anything and anyone that’s contributing to the chaos right now. We’re being bombarded by the news, social media, friends, and family all sharing information, and it’s nearly impossible to know what’s true or not. Log off your computer, delete your apps, keep the TV/radio off for a few days or at least a few hours just to silence everything for a bit. And when you do decide to get back to it all, it’s okay to quiet whatever is still contributing to the noise! Unfollow or mute accounts that are spreading more negativity and chaos than truth and encouragement.
Donate Or Spend Where You Can
I’m sure you’ve seen that stores and schools are temporarily closing, which is greatly impacting a lot of people. Without regular pay or access to meals, people are dealing with a lot of hard decisions and realities. Be wise about the money you do have, but don’t hesitate to give where you can. Here are a few organizations using donations for good right now: Meals on Wheels, CDC, No Kid Hungry, and Unicef. And don’t forget about small businesses! The local stores, vendors, or mom and pop shops you see in your community will need regular customers to stay in business!
Take It One Day At A Time
I apply this rule to my life whether the world is dealing with a pandemic or not! While it’s okay to be forward-thinking, there’s only so much you can do about the future…and worrying is never going to help. Stay present with today, with the here and now. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Matthew 6, has so much truth about this time we’re in, and it ends with this: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Stay Hydrated & Healthy
Earlier this month, before the Coronavirus got to where it is now, I decided to start the Whole 30 Program as a much-needed cleanse and reset. I’ve eliminated all dairy, processed foods, and sugar for 30 days, and I think the timing has been perfect because I know I would be stress-eating some terrible things right now if not on Whole 30! Now, you don’t have to go as far as changing your entire eating lifestyle, but upping your water intake, eating more whole foods, taking vitamins, and staying active are really good ways to boost your immune system and feel in control of something. And WASH YOUR HANDS!
This should be number one because man does it make a difference! Pray more than you panic. Have faith over your fears and your feelings. Trust that the Lord is good, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Pray for people locally and globally. Pray alone or pray with others. It’s truly incredible how our minds can shift when we talk to God about everything. And that’s all prayer is! Just talk to Him and listen for what He quietly and calmly says back to you. I hope you’re encouraged by Phillippians 4:6 that says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
Stay Connected…Virtually, Of Course
The world is at a physical halt right now, but thankfully, we live in a technological generation that allows for virtual connections to still happen. Video calls may become your new best friend! Schedule a group video chat with people that you would normally be spending time with in person or even with people that are farther away who you haven’t seen in a while. And it’s great because no one has an excuse to not answer your Facetime call 🙂
Find Your Favorite Things
Lastly, enjoy the little things that bring you joy! I’ve been blasting my favorite playlist, burning my favorite candles, and watching old episodes of my favorite TV show throughout these days at home. Throw on your favorite T-shirt, eat your favorite snack, watch your favorite movie and keep light-hearted. We’ll all get through this.