This past Sunday my husband and I tuned into our regular church service via live stream and I was so inspired by our pastor’s words that I felt compelled to share her message with you all today. Many of us are experiencing a lot of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, or panic in response to the current state of our world. If we know one thing right now, it’s that all of these feelings spread just as quickly as a virus, infecting every person they come in contact with. I do not know a single person whose life has not been impacted by COVID-19 in some way or another. So what do we do with all of this stuff? How do we cope and support one another while at a distance?
The greatest combatant to fear is love. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. It’s very difficult, maybe even impossible, to be wrapped up in fear or anxiety when our focus is holding on to what is good. I used to have a therapist that said it’s impossible to think about two things at once (i.e. anxiety and something else), so channel your anxious or fearful thoughts into something that is good and nourishing. Maybe this looks like a mindfulness or meditation practice, checking in with a friend on the phone, writing a note to a family member, playing a game with your kids… Find an activity that fills you with joy, laughter, love, and peace. When we are full of joy and love and peace we can more readily spread that to those around us, displacing fear and panic.
I will encourage you in the same way my pastor did for us, think about the different ways you can still serve your community while at a distance to spread that love and joy. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Make a fun sign with your kids thanking the bus driver for delivering meals while schools are closed
- Continue to financially support local businesses who may be suffering, if you’re able
- Prepare meals to deliver at a neighbor’s doorstep if they are unable to cook
- Write letters and cards to send to local nursing homes and hospital units that might be on lock-down
- Check in on friends and loved ones to see how they’re doing
- Be kind to those in the service industry who are still being called into work
- Send thank you notes to those working around the clock in the medical field, keeping us safe
Friends, most importantly, there is no fear in love.