Tag Archives: Anxiety

Life after lockdown. *The readjustment phase*.

*The readjustment phase*.

Like a trusty friend during isolation, You Tube has given me insights into and inspiration from other people’s lives, that have helped me build upon the positives in my own life, during a time with no face to face company. From bullet journaling, to crafts and creativity, prayer and faith, exercise, cooking, morning and evening routines, to simple entertainment, I’ve had plenty to think about and be inspired by. While pondering what possible analogy I could use to try to express the psychological and emotional shift that happens during times of change and readjustment, and the mixed emotions that some of us may be beginning to feel, it was in fact some videos from You Tube that came to mind!

There’s a lovely and entertaining family that vlogs about their life, and in recent videos, the parents were working on a surprise for their young twin girls to upgrade / redo their shared bedroom. When the girls finally saw the surprise they were so happy. They were excited about the new floor space to do cartwheels that their new bunkbeds gave them and were ‘over the moon’ with all the new things that they had and were able to do in their space. Well done parents ! 🙂 . However….. after a few nights the girls started shouting for help and saying they felt scared and ended up explaining that they loved their room but they were ‘going through an adjustment’. Pretty articulate for six year olds to express and explain that emotion, I thought.

I don’t know about you, but in the past few days I’ve experienced feelings of excitement, hope, apprehension and tiredness. It’s been a long four months, with many things to be grateful for, but despite the restrictions, the ‘cabin fever’ and so on, there has been, at least for me, a growing sense of comfort and stability in the predictable nature of day to day life. There’s been a sense of security and even of growth, and I’ve certainly benefited from a slower pace of life. Now, however, it’s like we’ve been given more ‘floor space’, and while at times we may feel like doing cartwheels and handstands, we may also be faced with unsettled or sleepless nights.

I think it’s worth recognising that there will be a degree of psychological and emotional shift for all of us. We’ve braved our first (and hopefully last) pandemic (but it’s not over yet!), we’ve made it through to the other side of our first ‘lockdown’, and restrictions have been significantly lifted in recent days. Yet what we’re moving into isn’t quite the same as what we had before. We have new freedoms, but they’ve changed. The excitement of meeting with friends may be slightly dampened by not being able to embrace them just yet. We might feel a sudden thirst for adventure again with the renewed prospect of being able to do more things, go places, see things for the first time or after a long time, having had the same surroundings day after day for one third of a year. But things have changed. We’re not out of the woods quite yet, there is that underlying risk of a ‘second wave’, and we still need to be aware of all the public health measures that we need to stick with, and maybe some of us are not quite ready to take the next step.

I think the mental realisation that this is a time of adjustment, of processing and reprocessing change is a shared reality in differing ways and to different degrees depending on our experience and circumstances.

I find it helpful though to be able to tell myself that the mixed emotions and figuring out of thoughts is a normal part of adjustment and readjustment to change, and the ‘new normal’ that we are still not yet all that familiar with.

It’s ok to feel unsettled at this stage. It’s ok to feel excited one moment and apprehensive the next. It’s ‘normal’ (or ‘new normal’, or something!).

One of the ways I began to process my experience of lockdown to enable me to have a productive time rather than days drifting into days into days, was to create for myself a ‘vision board’ (online) for my time in quarantine. While grappling with change and uncertainty, my first point of reference will always be the Unchanging Truth that I build my life and faith upon, however, for the day to day practicalities and making sense of what to do, I find I need to ‘reorient’ my brain, my mind, to figuring out how to look forwards and take the next productive steps as I walk through and navigate the changes ahead.

So, I guess for me it’s time to draw up a ‘post-quarantine vision board’ to help make sense of the next few weeks at least, and the adjustment phase we all find ourselves in. It works for me to a certain extent, or at least it did before.

Maybe you can inspire me, if you feel like it with how you are adapting to, managing and making sense of these changing days. 

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LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN – *Avoid the comparison trap*.

*Avoid the comparison trap*.

Remember ‘JOMO’? The phrase (the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’) coined to counter FOMO (‘Fear Of Missing Out’)?

Well, you might need to keep it handy so that you can bring it to mind in the days and weeks to come. While lockdown was somewhat of a leveller in that we all were made to stay indoors, it also brought to the fore some disparities between people’s experiences with a varying spectrum of health, wealth, work, care, family, social, ideological, and other issues. It’s been nice to see people finding a level of common ground despite varying experiences, and for communities to try to bridge the gaps to some extent. However, the differences in our experiences of life in lockdown may also have brought about divergences in friendships and relationships when for example people no longer have the same common ground that they once did socially to connect with each other. It’s worth reminding ourselves that everyone has been trying to make it through as best as they can through their own unique experiences, and remembering this will help us to manage our expectations and avoid disappointment. Lockdown may have strengthened and deepened some of our relationships and friendships, while others might have come under strain, broken down, stagnated or drifted away.

And here we all are gradually leaving that part of our experience behind. This is where the phrase ‘JOMO’ might come in handy, at least as a temporary measure to help you, and for you to help others, to navigate this transition. Why? Because people will be emerging from the past four months of lockdown with potentially very different stories to tell. Some may have flourished, others may have held on, and there are those who have broken down. You might have enjoyed more time with your family or more time to yourself, or you may be struggling financially, grieving, feeling neglected or lonely, facing job loss or uncertainty with the end of furlough, or be wrestling with mental health issues and broken relationships or exhaustion, or whatever your experience may be. You might have been able to use all of your mixed experiences as opportunities to grow or you may not have overcome the challenges quite yet. At times like this other people’s stories, media, social media, news, magazines and the internet in general, can potentially become a stumbling block or a difficult place to navigate, so just remember that you’re never seeing the full story of other people’s lives.

I personally find a wonderful perspective in this: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn”.

Try to remember that, as well as bringing to mind the joy of missing out, and deepen any other life lessons you’ve had the opportunity to learn in lockdown when you begin to see and hear of people’s experiences of life after lockdown.

If you’re doing great, well or getting through, then I rejoice with you, and am glad for you. If you are struggling and can barely make it through the day, try to prepare yourself to avoid the comparison trap when you begin to see, hear or read of some of the joyful post-lockdown stories in the days and weeks to come. It’s good that people are doing well, and even if you’re in tough spot you can choose to dig deep and learn and grow through it until your brighter days come along.

Don’t forget those simple day-to-day things that you found life in when you were focused on life at home. Try to avoid the temptation to compare, and if you are emerging from this and are doing well, then reach out to others who might not be. ‘JOMO’ – it sounds ridiculous, but it may just have some very useful lessons for us, as sometimes humility with gratitude is the road to ‘happiness’. 😀 

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Life After Lockdown – Think and Plan Ahead.

*Think and plan ahead*.

At this moment in time I am writing while feeling pretty ‘woozy’ 🥴 . I’ve got that feeling of being on a boat that is being rocked side to side by the waves, and while it is getting difficult to concentrate or to keep my equilibrium I have experienced this, and even stronger sensations, so many times that logically I can tell myself that this discomfort will pass, and the waves will be stilled. Peace will return again. In the meantime, I can choose to persevere through it, or let it overwhelm me. Making the right choice takes practice when something is a frequent feature of our lives.

There is a certain amount of discomfort that we will have to learn to adjust to and persevere through in our ‘new normal’ post-lockdown. It will take time, thought, planning and practice to make certain adjustments.

If the ‘world out there’ and the ‘new normal’ all seem a bit overwhelming for some of you, then try to break things down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Remember that you can only live one day at a time, moment by moment, therefore it won’t benefit you to worry about tomorrow, or the next day, or a year from now. Plan and prepare, but get into the practice of choosing not to worry.

In ‘normal’ (pre-lockdown) life I struggle with sensory overload. I could be standing in a supermarket and the sound of more than one conversation, or music playing, or people walking past can throw my wee brain out of kilter! It’s the same with most situations for me, so I’ve had to learn to cope and adapt and it is an ongoing challenge. Maybe you don’t have to experience things like that in your day to day life, but perhaps the adjustments of a world post-lockdown feel unsettling to you and make you feel a bit muddled yourself (you’d be in good company 😉 ). If so, try thinking ahead, planning for the different situations you might encounter, take some time to read and think about what some of the new legal requirements are (such as being aware that non-compliance regarding the use of face masks in certain situations will result in a hefty fine in some places) so that you won’t be caught off guard. Keep the essentials handy (face masks, hand sanitizers, etc) until the ‘new normal’ becomes part of your normal.

And if anxiety about life post-lockdown feels like something you don’t have to worry about, then that is great, but recognise that there may be people all around you who will struggle or feel overwhelmed, so try to help and encourage them.

Having a bit of a mental ‘road map’ will help you prepare for the situations you might face and help you adjust to what might at the moment be making you feel uncomfortable, uncertain (or ‘woozy’! 😉 ).

And remember, when all is said and done, we can each only live one day at a time, so don’t take on the mental and emotional burdens of unknown tomorrows, even as you plan ahead. 

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*Gather your thoughts*.

It’s 14th July 2020, and we’ve well passed the half way point of this year. I’ve no doubt at all that our thoughts at the start of this year as to what we might be doing or what the world would look like were very different to what has actually transpired in our personal and collective experiences.

I remember, at the start of the year, writing down a list of EU countries that I haven’t been to that I’d like to travel to before the practical changes related to ‘Brexit’ (remember that?!) come into force. We may well make plans, but we cannot put our Trust in those plans. This year has definitely been a collective lesson in that.

I don’t know anyone who thought we’d be living through a pandemic in 2020. The year ‘2020’ sounded much too ‘perfect’, too well rounded, ‘visionary’, and aspirational for anything like that. How wrong we all were.

However, let’s not ‘right this year off’ just yet, if that’s what you feel inclined to do. While there have been challenges and struggles and disappointments, there have also been opportunities to learn, grow, reflect and change.

We’re at a change point (in UK at least), where having been in lockdown for the past 4 months, restrictions are beginning to ease and society is gradually ‘opening up’ once more. Yet, what we are phasing back into isn’t quite the same as what we knew before. We now inhabit a world of the infamous ‘new normal’ that we’re all still trying to adjust to – a world of facemasks, social / physical distancing, R numbers, ‘coughing etiquette’, ‘elbow bumps’ as greetings, planned and limited interactions, and other changes to our daily lives.

Some people are excited to get back out into the world, while others find the prospect daunting, especially as the coronavirus is not yet a thing of the past.

I think at this point in time, especially if we are struggling with anxiety, apprehension, uncertainty and reluctance, it is important to take time to reframe our thoughts.

I’ve been doing this, in part, by putting together a little craft / keepsake journal to help me process and make sense of this year. Something that helps me see the positives, the lessons learned and the accomplishments that have blossomed through an otherwise collectively concerning and challenging year. By looking back to reframe our view of the year so far, we will be in a better position to look forwards as we approach what lies ahead.

We face unknowns and uncertainties as we ease out of lockdown – however, we also faced unknowns and uncertainties at the start of this process, and we have all made it through, despite the ups and downs we might have faced along the way.

While for some, reintegrating into society sounds exciting and appealing, for others, especially with underlying and pre-existing conditions in which anxiety plays a part, change can be daunting.

We’ve learned to plan, to take one step at a time, to put one foot in front of another, to encourage each other. As we approach more changes, we still have time to reflect on what we have learned so far, how we have grown, and how these lessons will help us as we take the next steps.

Taking a bit of time to gather your thoughts will help as we make our way through the muddle that we often may feel we are in. Structuring these times of reflections to think about one issue at a time will help to make things feel more manageable. Bringing creativity into the process can help us to think more positively about how we will approach what comes next, with wisdom, intention, and with care, hopefully in a way that will equip us to help other people too.

Small Steps Forwards…

We’ve all been living through a time of change and of readjustments. For some, such changes have been drastic and even life changing, for others the changes have been adapting to new routines and day to day restrictions.

And here we all are, once again, facing change as societies across the world venture into adapting to a ‘new normal’ and gradually or perhaps in some places more dramatically, moving forwards.

So, how do you feel about all of these major and minor adjustments in your own life? Has lockdown helped you to learn more about yourself and how you cope with and adapt to changes? Does the prospect of a ‘new normal’ feel daunting to you? Have you spent your time in a kind of hiatus and now are looking to re-engage with your life in more meaningful ways, yet don’t quite know how to go about it?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people have varying degrees of anxiety specifically about moving forwards with all of the societal changes we’ve been facing particularly around the coronavirus.

You might be facing challenges around your employment, you might have to physically leave your home and commute to get to your work and all these things can be quite daunting.

But those things aside, what about finding ways to keep moving forwards in your personal growth? Perhaps you have had more time to focus on such matters during lockdown, or perhaps things have been too busy that you have had to let such things take a back seat.

As you look to moving forwards, think of those small and simple steps that you can take to get back into things.

Maybe, like me, you had more pressing priorities during lockdown and you haven’t been able to blog for a while. Try taking the small step forwards of dipping your toe back into the water and writing a short post. And then keep going as and when you can.

Maybe you need to look after your body better after spending a long spell of time indoors. Start today with something manageable, a bit of exercise, even if 5 minutes is all you can manage, and build it up from there.

Do you feel like you’ve been disconnected from people and don’t know how to re-engage with society? Think about reaching out to a trusted friend, take that first step, ask how someone else is doing, and allow things to take shape in their own way and time, even if that means facing silence or rejection. At least you will have tried, and you can take some confidence from that to keep trying to take new steps.

Does going outside seem daunting? Start small. Plan a short walk, be prepared with all your health and safety measures and gradually ease yourself back into the outside world.

Do you feel like you’ve been overly preoccupied or worried with certain aspects of your life? Try to do something that will help your mind move in a more positive direction. Perhaps you could read a book, do a crossword, have a conversation with someone positive, do something you enjoy.

Do you find the thought of doing certain things daunting? Can you reach out to a friend and share those thoughts with them? Maybe they feel the same, and maybe you can mutually help each other face those changes together.

Wherever you are at, there is no doubt that things always feel more overwhelming when we try to tackle them all in one go. Instead of seeing the mountain before you as a challenge to conquer, see the mountain and just take that one next step. We each can only live one moment at a time, yet all of these little moments add up and shape our choices and the direction of our lives.

Has it been a while since you have prayed? Start now. Have you forgotten gratitude? Write down three things you are grateful for today. Have you found it difficult to blog and are struggling to know how to come back to things? Write a paragraph, post a picture, share the little that is in your hand today, knowing and believing that someone else may benefit from it. Life is full, but we have to participate. We have to reach up in faith to find what we are meant to do and be on this earth while we have the chance. I look up to Jesus everyday, for all the Fulness of Life, Love, Goodness and Truth Is found in Him. And He Who holds all things together, also cares about the tiniest of details. So start small, start in faith and see where those small beginnings might lead you. Perhaps on the adventure of your lifetime! x

Surviving the Pandemic Together: Words of Encouragement (13): *Grief and disbelief*.

*Grief and disbelief*.


We are hearing everyday in the news and social media, and through other people, of the rising numbers of people affected by Coronavirus. We hear constant updates on the death tolls in our own and other countries. The scale of this tragedy is beyond comprehension, and we find ways to cope, to perhaps become ‘numb’ to it, or to hold it all at a distance.


However, we don’t just hear about the numbers, we are also reading stories about the real lives, seeing faces and names, and insights into the families that are grieving.
I know that among you there are some people who have either heard of people known to them in some way who have either recovered from the virus or who have died as a result.


That’s when it begins to hit home. That’s when there is a need for a Peace beyond ourselves, for reassurance, and comfort.


To any of you who are in this situation right now, I hope you can find the space to grieve, and to find comfort and Peace in this situation, and support from loved ones and friends.
For the rest of us for whom these realities are thankfully still at arms length and are other people’s stories, we will still be experiencing all sorts of thoughts and emotions including the disbelief of what we are actually living through collectively.


Last year, we heard of the deaths of many celebrities. This year, well….there really are no words, are there?


Perhaps we can take comfort in seeking and turning to a Peace and comfort that Is greater than and transcends all that is happening on earth right now, the Peace of Christ. Perhaps, we can also grow stronger as a community and be the listening ears for our friends, the shoulders to cry on, and the support that is much needed in sad and worrying times like this.

Peace I give

Surviving the pandemic together: Words of Encouragement (11): *Practical tips to help manage anxiety* .

Words of Encouragement (11):
*Practical tips to help manage anxiety*


I’m sure many of us have experienced feelings of anxiety and stress around this new situation we find ourselves thrust into in 2020. Although there is a lot that is outside the realm of our control, and that can make things feel very frightening at times, we can do some practical things to help us to manage feelings of anxiety better.
Here are three for you to focus on today:


1. Breathing / ‘breath work’.
I know this can sound overly simple, but trust me….I have years of experience in overcoming the ‘anxiety monster’! When we are in a state of stress and anxiety, our bodies can get stuck in a state of ‘fight / flight / freeze’. Anxiety and fear can contribute to lashing out, retreating, or becoming immobilized and ‘stuck’. There is a lot of science behind this regarding the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, the production of certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, for instance, and the different brain states that respond to threat (or perceived threat), and the resultant physiological responses. We don’t need to go into detail about that here, but these are all connected to your feelings of stress, tension, increased heartrate, sweating, racing thoughts and ‘catastrophic’ thinking, and so on. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows what it is like to experience these first hand, and if you have ever experienced a panic attack, then we’re on the same page here. You might find yourself breathing irregularly, pacing up or down, or just unable to concentrate. Being told to ‘calm down’ isn’t really going to help you, but knowing *how* to calm yourself down *will* help.
So what at first might sound over simplified, in focusing on your breathing, is actually very effective, as it changes the state of your body, your brain states and hormone production and release.


Anyway, enough of the ‘theory stuff’….here’s a practical exercise.
You’re most likely breathing from your chest up, but you need to breathe more deeply from your diaphragm. Breathe in through your nose so that your belly rises (for a count of 4), hold the breath for a count of 5, and exhale slowly and completely through your mouth so that your belly goes in, expelling the air for a count of 7. These numbers are indications, you can do what works for you, but make sure that the out-breath is longer than the in breath…that’s important (and there’s science -y stuff behind that too 😉 ). Repeat as often as needed and your body and brain will gradually ‘switch’ states from fight/flight/freeze to a calmer state which will in turn help you to manage your thoughts better.


2. Five-senses
Pay attention to your five senses, and take time over each one. Some people don’t like the term ‘mindfulness’, but really it is just paying attention, noticing things, and once again changing your brain and body states which is very effective in managing anxiety and the often accompanying racing thoughts. You could try the ‘5-4-3-2-1’ method and work your way slowly through 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 that you can smell and one that you can taste.
Alternatively, you can focus on one object and really take in the details of it, and this will help you to return to a calmer state.


3. Creative distraction
This can be incredibly helpful, especially if you build it up over time, although there can be immediate results on a smaller scale, to help you in that moment. Whether it is drawing, colouring, cooking, painting, playing a musical instrument, or even (less creative perhaps) tidying up, this will help you with attention, problem solving, and focus and using your hands productively will also have a calming effect if you are struggling with anxiety.
Try to incorporate these into your day to day life, even in small ways here and there, and build up your own ‘toolkit’ and adapt it to your own needs. There are so many resources out there, and different ones that will suit you individually, hopefully you will find something that fits your needs, or can connect with a friend, family member or group who can help to point you in the right direction.
Keep calm and carry on 😉

woman holding a poster with anxiety
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Surviving the pandemic together. Words of Encouragement (1): Not alone.

Words of Encouragement (1):
We all find ourselves in a situation that we’ve never experienced before (a global pandemic! ), one that can feel frightening, nerve-wracking and filled with uncertainty and worry. A situation that none of us expected to be facing this year, or perhaps ever! Yet notice that *we* are facing this together, and it is affecting *us*. I’d like to try as much as possible to offer some snippets of regular encouragement to help us all through as a community.
To start with, I’d like to encourage you that you are not alone, we are all facing this together, and if you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach out to bloggers, you can reach out to groups, or other friends or family, and even if we don’t have a direct solution, there are a lot of networks forming regularly, with advice, support and practical and emotional help, so someone should be able to point you in the right direction in your area. You’re not alone. We’re in this together. Feel free to open up discussion in the comments because someone might just be able to offer you the encouragement and mutual support that we all need, especially at a time like this. Stay safe and well.

woman near window
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Coronavirus musings: Don’t let the pandemic throw your recovery off course.

The news is all around us, and it’s hard to avoid. I have an anxiety disorder and complex PTSD and clinical depression and I have been working hard over the past few years to get stronger and to really make progress in this recovery and wellbeing journey. However, like many of you, the news and the uncertainty of Covid-19, and the reactions of other people, can add to those inner feelings of anxiety and unease. Last night, after chatting with my family on the phone, I spent some time just laying down and listening to healing Scriptures, and I woke up in the morning feeling His Peace – the Peace of Christ – so that when I read the news it didn’t really shake me. I remember the times before I knew The LORD in experience, I couldn’t find any true and lasting relief for my anxiety and often crippling fears (symptoms of C-PTSD and GAD that I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with) no matter how hard I tried. And I did try! The soothing feelings I experienced in nature, as lovely as they were, didn’t last beyond my time being in such natural surroundings. When I had to re-join the world of other people, my peace quickly dissipated. Now, I have a true Peace, an experiential Peace and the reality of The Living God Who Is holding me and guiding me (and often times carrying me) through the trials and tribulations, ups and downs, and joys of life, in His Perfect Love. I pray that we all will come to know this in reality.

Whether or not you know The Lord Jesus Christ, I’d like to encourage you in terms of the effects that this current world situation might be having on you, especially if you are in recovery of any type. This could be recovery from mental health conditions such as depression, managing anxiety, or it could be to do with fear of open spaces, of viruses and health, recovery from addiction or eating disorders or social phobias, or whatever the case may be. I don’t know what you might have been working hard to overcome, but if you have been working hard to overcome something, please don’t let this pandemic ‘situation’ throw you off course.

This ‘wise advice’ is for myself as well as for many of you, because when we are so caught up in what is going on around us, our own wellbeing might begin to take second, or third, or even last place, and that’s not good for anyone.

As well as following the medical and government advice and all the protocols to look after your health in terms of this pandemic, please, please don’t neglect to keep up your routines for your own recovery for whatever that might be.

You might find that you will have to work harder at things because of the additional things that everyone is dealing with, but remember your coping strategies, your tools and techniques, and be organised in your mind and write down and plan your routine as much as possible so that in this seeming chaos, you don’t forget to keep doing what you’ve been doing to get better, stronger, healthier and to stay well.

Take care everyone, and I will write more encouraging posts for you as the days progress. x

 

Coronavirus: Self preservation and protecting others…

We all must be familiar with the news of this unfamiliar virus Covid-19 by now. It is fair to say that a lot of things have been revealed about human behaviour during this time:

  • Fear of the unknown.
  • Feelings towards dying (a good time to consider our need for eternal salvation, and lift our eyes above our immediate concerns!).
  • Panic that leads to hoarding and buying more than we need.
  • A lack of consideration for the impact that our behaviour will have on others, such as the most vulnerable who may find that they cannot even find their basic necessities when they go to the shops.
  • Racist attitudes.
  • Compassion.
  • A desire to help.
  • Self protection and self preservation.
  • Isolation and loneliness.
  • Nonchalance.
  • Community spirit.
  • Gratitude.
  • Selfishness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Fear and concern for other people.
  • The realisation that viruses don’t respect borders and at the end of the day no matter where we are from, we are all human and vulnerable to things that are bigger than us.

It’s a mixed bag, isn’t it!

And I don’t condemn or judge any of you / us who have experienced a range of these emotions or attitudes. Initially I saw the panic buying and I avoided it completely. Then the practical side of me considered the possible reality that I would have to stock up on what I need…but not to the extent of hoarding. Simultaneously I want to help other people and have been looking online for ways to do that.

We oscillate between self protection and wanting to help others, or at least I imagine most of us do. Our immediate concerns are for ourselves, our nearest and dearest, for avoiding causing harm to others and where safe, to help other people.

What can we do to help?

Keeping ourselves safe and well and hygienic actually is a help to others if we can curb the spread of this virus. Keeping away from frail or vulnerable people if we are at risk of compromising their immune system in some way. Keeping up to date with scientific advice to avoid the spread of misinformation. Helping each other with anxiety and fear, and most of all casting our cares upon God and seeking His Wisdom and love for humanity.

We can also do practical things where it is safe to do so. I’ve seen and heard of people doing things that encourages me. Such as parents who home-school / home educate their children sharing resources and advice with those whose children’s schools have been closed. I’ve heard stories of small local shops providing free care packages to vulnerable and elderly people and care homes, at a cost to themselves. My local church has set up an online support group where people can ask for or offer help in line with specialist advice to keep people safe. People checking in by telephone or email or text or Skype with those who are self isolating. Donations to charities. A local college recently set up a crowd funding page to raise money to prepare care packages for vulnerable people and they had to ask for people to stop donating because they had exceeded their target by far, and were donating the extra money to local food banks and homeless charities.

We have to start somewhere. We all have a selfishness in our hearts, and protecting ourselves and our loved ones is a good thing, but selfishness is not. Yet being honest with ourselves is the first step forwards. Realising that we are a global community is the next. And sharing ways to help and encourage each other safely will help us a little further down the path of kindness. We all need each other.

I need you. I need your advice and suggestions and encouragement. Because I don’t want to live selfishly through this time.

So my small step for today is to write this blog post. To encourage you no matter where you are that you can make a small change today, and if you need help, to encourage you to reach out to someone while at the same time staying safe and well.

Most of all I can pray – for each and every one of you reading this, for your loved ones, family, friends and those in your neighbourhoods to be protected, for your ultimate healing and salvation and also for your protection on earth also. God bless and let’s all help and encourage each other to live kindly in these uncertain times. x

cooking hands handwashing health
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