Cindy Verbeek is a board member and occasional blogger for Diaconal Ministries Canada. This article first appeared on the DoJustice blog on July 20, 2020. We thought it was too good not to share!
How have you been coping with the changes brought about by COVID? As someone with a penchant for melancholy, I knew that I was going to have to do something to keep from travelling down a negative spiral and stay positive and healthy. Early on I came across a facebook post with six (6) questions to ask yourself in quarantine.
Shortly after March 24th (the day the world changed for us in BC), I bought myself a beautiful journal with the quote “Be still and know that I am God” on it to remind myself that God is here no matter what the circumstances. Also, beautiful stationary makes me happy. I altered the questions to meet my particular situation and needs and each night before bed I write the answers with my new set of colorful markers (…again…beautiful stationary.)
Here are the questions and why I chose them. I have distilled them into single word prompts to help remember each one:
May they bless you as much as they have blessed me.
- Celebrate. What am I grateful for today?
Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to change melancholy. While the negative and brokenness of the world is true, so also are the good, redeeming, “glimpse of hope” things and naming them does two things. It stops you from spiraling downward and gives you something to look back on. As they pile up day after day you start to realize that the good in the world can outweigh the brokenness and gives you hope.
- Connect. Who did I connect with or check up on today?
The wording social distancing was introduced early on during the pandemic but it is not really what we need to be doing. Socializing is an important human need that may need some creative ways of doing right now but are crucial for our mental well being. Physical distancing is necessary but this question reminds me that if I haven’t talked to anyone but my dogs all day, maybe I need to pick up the phone, organize a zoom or go for an appropriately distanced coffee with a friend.
- Release. What expectations do you have that you need to let go of today?
Expectation is a larger theme that God is working on with me this year but that’s for another blog post. In short we are having to let go of a lot. There is a grieving that goes with each “letting go” but that is a normal part of life. Naming it has helped me recognize why I am feeling a bit blue and allowing myself the grace to feel the negative emotions for a moment and then release them into God’s hands.
- Behold. What did you see outside today?
Going outside has not been cancelled and has in fact been encouraged and increased. Naming what I see outside each day gives me a record of the fun things God is showing me through creation in the midst of everything.
- Nurture. How did you move/care for your physical body today?
Featured Image by Pexels from Pixabay.