During this time of upheaval and uncertainty, there is a lot of extra stress to deal with. I don’t need to make a list because I’m sure your imagination can fill in the blanks. In the midst of all that is life right now and summer officially ending with my kids starting school next week (WHY????), I am being mindful of how to preserve my peace.
In all of these changes in lifestyle and fluxes of new information, I am intentional to maintain peace within myself. In the past, I have been an anxious person and I still have bouts with it here and there – like when they announced the fall plans for schools in my area 😬 – but I’ve come to the place where I know what I need to do to have a calm and quiet presence internally, despite what’s going on. A few weeks back a friend of mine posted on social media, “I’ll be glad when this is over.”. I understand the sentiment and I too want to go back to whatever “normal” is but I also don’t want to wish away time with my family right now and the young ages of my children. I also believe that joy and peace can be found right where I am in life.
Here are the things that are keeping me anchored in the midst of this seemingly never-ending storm.
Prayer & The Bible
I feel like I’ve been a broken record about how much I’ve been clinging to my faith during this time. It’s served me well all throughout my life and this is no different. One thing I have learned is that time in prayer and reading the Word doesn’t have to be so lengthy. I used to think that I needed to be exploring m Bible for hours at a time if I really wanted to get anything out of it. In my pandemic life, there are more demands as a mother and wife than ever before. I’m grateful that as I spend a little time in prayer throughout the day or reading and thinking about a Bible verse, God is faithful to let me know the next step in what I need to do or reveal something new. (Look at that rhyme!😆) As I’ve been growing in my faith, I’m finding that He has an abundance of grace for me. As I take time to focus on Him he continues to speak to me with His still small voice.
Take a Break
My pastor at church actually put me on to this one. During the stay-at-home orders, he recommended not looking at the news after 7 pm. Back in March and April, it seemed that all the news reports were how many new cases and deaths there were in relation to COVID. He also recommended not looking at the news until after you’ve had devotions. This has really helped me and I still try to do this. Sometimes I look at news a little after 7 but try to space it out a few hours before I go to bed. It helps me to go to bed with a clearer mind and fall asleep more quickly. When I’m more in tune with the news, I will literally have dreams about COVID. I try and pay attention to what is going on in spurts and not let it consume me. I also have taken breaks from social media at times and that has also helped me to continually have peace.
Laughter & Fun
In all of the chaos of life, I truly value keeping it light and having fun more than ever now that the world can seem very dark and heavy. This past Friday my husband and I “went on a date” and watched a live stream of a comedy show. We had so much fun just laughing. I’m so grateful for a husband who enjoys laughing and makes me laugh constantly. And not just a polite laugh but a hearty one, often to the point of tears. If you haven’t guessed by the name of my blog, I thoroughly enjoy laughing but in these wild times, I find it also invaluable even just taking time with my husband to be silly around our kids. The other day my husband and I were singing Hamilton to the kids at the dinner table. The boys were eating it up but our daughter was not amused. Of course, that made it funnier. It’s little moments like that which bring extra joy to life.
Three weeks ago I decided to start exercising again. Not for how I looked necessarily but to have more energy. Sweating it out a few times a week, I have noticed a HUGE change in my mood. I feel generally happier. I did the Beach Body on Demand trial but canceled it and now use the FITBOD app (there is a free trial) and also started going for run/walks and doing virtual Zumba once a week. It’s been such an asset to me.
Stay In Touch
Lastly, I’ve found keeping up with my friends to be vital. I text my best girlfriend almost every day. We also “get together” on Google Meet for chats after our kids go to bed. She lives out of state and this has been a great way to keep up in our friendship. I also use Marco Polo as well to stay connected with friends. I initially started using it when my daughter’s preschool shut down back in March and they wanted the kids to stay in touch with each other. It’s a great way to have a video conversation but respond when you can. I use it almost daily with my octogenarian dad. I’m so grateful for technology right now. Can you imagine if this had happened in the 80s or early 90s with little internet? It would’ve been sheer madness. Although it would’ve been easier for me since I was a young child during that time with no responsibilities. I’ve also made some new friends too. I’ve gotten to know people better in my own neighborhood from when we were home all the time and also recently joined the Patreon of content creator – That Chick Angel – that I enjoy. It’s been great to connect with like-minded people who are equally silly but will also pray for you when you need it. (SHOUT OUT TO THE ANGEL WINGS!!! 👼🏾👼🏾👼🏾)
I should also note that I am in contact with certain kinds of friends. The ones that are encouraging, life-giving, and supportive like me. Not that I’ve cut anyone off or am avoiding anybody but those kindred spirit friendships have a special place in my heart.
These are the things that are giving me the utmost peace during an otherwise wild time. I’d love to hear what’s helping preserve your peace right now. Tell me in the comments! Hope you all are able to have some peace during this time. ❤️