“Lord, help us!”, was my first thought about life being interrupted and then, I began exploring ways to navigate this new normal. Like all of us, my routines and activities are disrupted with social distancing and living at our house is very different these days. My husband, teen daughter and I are in our new normal. The first week or so was a bit stressful while adjusting, however, I can thankfully share that we have successfully completed two months of all three of us “working from home” with each leading or participating in conference calls and video conferences.
Hunkered down in our home with my favorite people in the world is wonderful in many ways. However, navigating the logistics of home and work needs to find what works best, we looked at things like when to schedule piano practice, where to place our computers as to not put another family member in jeopardy of being caught on camera unaware (Yes, I photobombed at least two of my husband’s zoom calls in my pajamas! Yikes!) and how to signal that we’re “on-the-air.” Also, the future is uncertain. Our well-laid plans for the coming weeks, months and year have been cancelled, postponed or are in limbo.
Stress – don’t let it get the best of you
Although adapting to these changes can be stressful, I realize my challenges are light and momentary compared to others. So, I am irritated that my husband ate the leftover chili for lunch that I had planned for tonight’s dinner. I can, however, choose to quickly forgive and move on because this is not a catastrophic event in the whole scheme of things. Some in our country are sick, some are dying, some have loved ones in hospitals or care facilities not allowing visitors, and many are losing jobs and income. Many are worried about loved ones and are fearful of the unknown. Many are feeling isolated. Many are working on the front lines and fearful of getting sick and exposing loved ones to the virus. We are all experiencing loss at some level.
Don’t let stress get the best of you. When stressed, it’s easy to neglect the basics of loving God and one another. So, I have begun to consider getting back to the basics with my top five ways to help navigate this new normal.
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Focus on What Matters Most.
Here are my top five ways to help navigate this new normal:
1. Spiritual, Emotional and Mental Strength
What specific action steps do I want to do regularly to help me be strong spiritually, emotionally and mentally?
We cannot give what we do not have. What can I do to spend time growing closer to God? What can I do to focus on positive things more than negative? What can I do to strengthen myself in being the uplifting and encouraging wife and mom I want to be? Some ideas are: reading the Bible, keeping a personal prayer journal and listening and singing along with Christian praise and worship music.
2. Physical Health and Strength
What can I do to take care of my body that will make a big impact on my energy, emotions and mental health?
What good habits do I have that I want to continue? What areas have I been neglecting that I want to give attention? What stress relieving activities would be a good use of my time? A few ideas are: drinking more water, sleeping seven to nine hours each night and getting in a daily workout.
3. Loving My Family
What specific things can I do regularly to serve and show love to my family who are sheltered-in-place with me?
What can I do to show and express my love to my family? Our actions to make our family members feel loved may be different from season to season and situation to situation. Often, loving well is much less complicated than we imagine. If we’re not sure, ask! When I asked our teen daughter what things she wanted us to do together during our social distancing, I was pleasantly surprised when the list included: cook together and do a Bible study together. I would not have guessed these would have been on the list. Our pastor says, “Listening is a super-power” and it makes my family feel super loved when I do it
4. Loving Extended Family
What do I want to do regularly to serve and show love to my family not living with us?
For whom and how can we show love to extended family members in the midst of this social distancing? Our extended family members do not live in our city, but we can express our love from afar. Some ideas are: Call, text, make cards or videos for extended family members.
5. Serving Others
What would I like to do regularly to serve and show love to others, neighbors, and friends?
For whom and how can we serve others in the midst of this social distancing? A few ideas are: Calling, texting, picking up groceries and supplies for friends or neighbors who cannot get out.
Although some activities are restricted in our communities, there are innumerable things we can do. Let’s focus on what matters most and be intentional in loving well as we navigate our new normal.
Want some specific ideas? See below how to grab your free printables of 37 Practical Back to Basic Ways to Navigate Our New Normal.
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37 Practical Back to Basic Ways to Navigate Our New Normal.
Focus on what matters most during these uncertain times.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know God is hearing my prayer? Billy Graham answered this question a few years ago, find his reply here.
- How can I be sure I am a Christian? Here is a link to give you some information for how you can be sure. Also, I have some tips and resources for growing strong in your faith and in prayer on my blog.
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