By Waylon Bailey
I’m sure I’ve never thought that I would be writing about social distancing or how to cope with being quarantined, but this is reality.
By the way, when I told a friend about this blog, he suggested that another title might be, “How to live with your children all day without going stir crazy.” I laughed and then realized he was serious.
Beginning last evening, the state of Louisiana was asked (actually ordered) by the governor to stay at home. Over the past week, we have had the fastest growth of the virus anywhere in the world. We obviously need strong measures to slow the growth of the virus.
How do we cope with such stress-filled, difficult days? Let me give you some coping mechanisms that fit this crisis and those to come.
First, establish structure and give yourself a schedule. This is especially important for children. Schools have rigid schedules and children function well with those schedules.
Even if you live by yourself, you need a schedule, with a time to go to bed and a time to get up. You need to know what is coming at what time. We simply do better with schedules.
Second, get outside. In Louisiana we’re having a wonderful spring. Staying at home still allows us to get outside. I’ve been running again. My running fights my stress in two ways, I’m outside and I’m getting physical exercise.
If possible, sit in the sun for a few minutes and let the sun “heal” you (Malachi 4:2).
Three, accept the reality of our situation and do your best to be flexible with your circumstances. Basically, you can’t change much of anything. As a friend says, “it is what it is.” Therefore, we have to be able to handle reality and make the most of the situation.
While running yesterday, I saw a young dad who is also a coach and teacher. He and his wife have an infant. He said, “Now I have time to be the dad I want to be.” Try to be flexible and see how God can bring good out of this.
Fourth, find people who need you more than you need them. It’s always a blessing to bless other people. Anytime I seek to bless others, I am blessed. Being blessed in that way makes everything in life look better.
Fifth, make your lockdown a time of knowing God better. Seek Him and take the opportunity to get closer to God. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
You will be blessed when you get closer to God, and your situation will look and feel better.