Here are a number of resources and suggestions, as well as encouraging thoughts, for coping with the mental health challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting season of stay-at-home isolation.
In this time of isolation, it is important to keep our perspective. We are aware of many difficulties and it is easy for our minds to be filled with them, spiraling us into a dark place. To prevent this we need to intentionally fill our minds with thoughts that focus on abundance and gratitude.
Each day choose one thing to be thankful for beauty, flowers, food, sunshine…
Ten times a day say, “Thank you for…beauty or flowers or whatever you are thankful for.
This will help “fill your mind” with positive, good thoughts.
We have little or no control over the things that are reported on the “News.” Most of these reports are of negative or threatening events in the lives of others and we can do little to help. This makes us feel vulnerable and sometimes even afraid. So, listen to the news only once a day and never in the evening before bed.
Sing, play, or listen to pleasant, happy, or soothing music. “…both performing and listening to music can have a significant impact on the immune system. (Hartford Courant, May 3, 2020).
Each day write an affirmation or prayer. Paint a picture of a beautiful object or scene. Draw a cartoon.
A suggested author: Julia Cameron
A suggested book: The Four Agreements
"I look at the flower and see the universe. I am drawn to beauty but see the fragility. I am grateful for its presence and yet know it will pass. The wonder of its life, the intricacies of its roots, stem, leaves, and petals fill me with awe. God’s creation inspires and entices me to be a flower for others." -RML
When you are feeling overwhelmed and need “peace like a river,” take a ride to a body of water. Sit in the boat launch parking lot park or by a dam. Find a quiet picnic area near a stream and enjoy the silence and the sounds.
THIS TOO, SHALL PASS!
When things are bad, remember:
It won’t always be this way.
Take one day at a time.
When things are good, remember:
It won’t always be this way.
Enjoy every great moment.
Spend time on YouTube, Spotify, or Amazon Music, and listen to your favorite music. Put on your headphones so as not to disturb anyone or, crank up the volume and jam to the music that makes you feel good.
Working on an art or craft project can help and inspire you. Get ideas at www.mybluprint.com. You can choose craft or art classes for about $20.
“It’s still a beautiful world.” (from Desiderata) Go outside on sunny days and see something you haven’t seen before. Visit the gardens and look for the beautiful in the simple flowers.
Call 1-800-678-8989, www.lifeextension.com, and request a free copy of their latest magazine: Natural Methods to enhance immune function.
Suggested book: The soul’s slow ripening, by Christine Valters Paintner.
During this very challenging time, prayers start with gratitude. Be thankful for God’s grace and love and the blessings of family and good friends, who are truly the family we choose for ourselves. You can start by practicing thankfulness for LIFE, a special occasion, and for the choices you make, one of which is choosing to be happy. A loving relationship, connecting with friends, reading, sewing creatively, gardening and nature, walking trails, bodies of water – all can contribute to personal well being and happiness. Spend time in prayer praying for all those who are unhealthy, suffering, and stressed, and hope that as we all focus on the “now,” we also plan for a more positive future.
One interesting book is “What’s the Least I can Believe and Still be a Christian?” by the Rev. Martin Thielen. As the name of the class suggested, it’s an excellent primer on the fundamentals of faith and a reminder of why our work as a church is so important.
Sharon is looking forward to new challenges, unafraid and trusting in God. She is enjoying the budding flowers and trees, watching her cats cuddling by the window in the warmth of the sun with a view of the song birds. Her joy is talking with the children and grandchildren to find out how they are and what creative things they are doing while secluded at home.
John and Sharon enjoy visiting with “church friends” on Zoom and learning what will follow at the Wednesday Cafe Storrs Bible lesson. John enjoys YouTube’s Gardening and Fly Fishing videos, a distraction from what is really happening in the world. He is happy to have a place to be safe and comfortable, food and supplies and is glad for the ability of seeing and hearing that his extended family is doing well. “My thoughts and prayers are for others who are now experiencing hunger, disease and death.”If you have motivational thoughts and/or activities, send them to Kathy Lindner, email@example.com. We may compile another list for next week.
There have been *lots* of good resources made available from our various church institutions and health organizations on dealing with anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges in this time… challenges that may be new for some of us, and challenges that some of us perhaps already faced but are finding exacerbated significantly by what’s going on right now.
Check out these various links below (just click on the linked titles to be taken to the corresponding resource):
This information provided by the mental health team at Storrs Congregational Church, UCC, and former church member, Kathy Lindner.
Office Phone: (201) 568-0608
Pastor David C. Bocock
We are an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.
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