“But love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18b).
Find yourself more irritable than normal?
- Small things set you off
- minor decisions are found taxing
- routine choices seem daunting
You find things more difficult and tiresome.
Hmmm. What’s going on?
I want you to know it’s normal for you to feel this way. Even without major painful events like the racial protests over BLM over the summer or the desecration of our House and Senate chambers this past week, the pandemic has been difficult for all of us.
The pandemic – with all the social distancing, closure of cafes and restaurants, limits to gatherings, closure of businesses, malls, gyms, etc. – has taken a toll.
You see, each of us have an emotional bank account. The pandemic has been a slow drain on our emotional bank account. And, what’s worse, the usual things we normally do to replenish our emotional bank account – getting together with people we love, having a quiet time at the cafe to recharge, gathering in God’s house to recalibrate with the church family – have been taken away by the pandemic. As a result, most of us our emotional bank accounts are nearing depletion.
So, if you’re feeling spent, cut yourself some slack. It’s normal that you feel this way.
But, also know that it’s not okay to stay depleted. We will end up making poor decisions, decisions we will regret if we stay depleted.
More than ever, it’s essential we practice self-care. While a lot of things we normally do to stay emotionally healthy are not available to us, there is still much you can do to replenish your bank account.
What are the things that fill you? What are the things that add to your emotional bank account? Please take a moment to jot those things down. After you’ve identified the things that fill you and add to your emotional bank account, be intentional about adding that to your daily/weekly schedule.
Here’s the thing about filling your emotional bank account. No one is going to do these things for you. You are the only one who can make this happen for you. Being intentional means recognizing the constant slow draw and scheduling those activities and conversations that will replenish you.
This starts with regular worship. We need to worship because without a regular time of recalibration with God, we will find ourselves empty.
Secondly, don’t ignore daily time with God in prayer and God’s word. This time with God is absolutely essential.
Third, keep meeting, conversing, checking in with people who replenish you.
These are things we can all do to stay on top of caring for ourselves.
As our verse reminds us we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. When we are empty we no longer have the capacity to care for others. It starts with you being gentle with yourself and practicing self-care.
You are not in this alone. The leaders at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace are working hard to provide you with the tools to practice self-care. We do this because we want the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace to be a beacon of light and hope. To do that, we need you to be emotionally and spiritually healthy.
Finally, God is with us. God has given each of us everything we need to not only survive the pandemic, but to thrive during the pandemic.
Be gentle on yourself. Recognize the times we are living in. Have an intentional plan of self-care and a plan to replenish your emotional bank account.
You are in my prayers. Know you are loved. Be well. Practice good self-care.