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How are you taking care of yourself during the quarantine? Are you? I have heard of some really creative ways people have been handling this terrible situation our world finds itself in. I have also heard stories and talked to many people who are struggling to maintain perspective and their sanity.

If you have kids (I have 3) at home with you, the chances are they are going a little crazy and making everyone else crazy too. One moment my kids are laughing with each other and the next they are ready to murder each other. We are all on edge. The truth is that the current crisis will pass and then the universe will quickly give us another. So we should probably learn how to handle crisis and learn to love ourselves and others better. You will never “help” others if you consistently neglect yourself.

Give yourself and others grace today. We are all doing the best we can… and when we don’t do our best… circle back to grace

What has your typical response to crisis looked like? Do you fold under the pressure? Or, are you wired to “cowboy up” and “bootstrap it” despite your circumstances and what others are doing? Whatever the case may be we all need to be careful with what is going on between our ears, especially in times of crisis. What you chose to think about will most definitely determine your outcomes and the way you handle your life and relationships.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Identify where the pain is and address it quickly. If you are bleeding you don’t stop to contemplate why you are bleeding and the greater purpose behind it. You have to just stop the bleeding.

9 Suggestions to help you move toward self care during crisis.

  1. Stop the bleeding. Identify where the pain is and address it quickly. If you are bleeding you don’t stop to contemplate why you are bleeding and the greater purpose behind it. You have to just stop the bleeding. Maybe you have heard the popular adage about the oxygen masks and the airplane. Basically, the idea is that we have to put the mask on ourselves before we can be of help to others. Likewise, in order to be helpful to others we have to first address the pain in our own lives.
  2. Give yourself and others grace – we are all doing the best we can! We have to remind ourselves that everyone is in the same boat right now. Everyone is in need of extra grace and so are you. Grace has a way of returning when we practice giving it.
  3. Identify the problems (both big and small). What’s the real issue here? You can’t solve every problem in front of you, but you can tackle one at a time. Write them out and begin to work on them one by one starting with the one giving you the most stress.
  4. Ask yourself, What’s true and real about my situation? What are my priorities and what is my perspective right now? Often our minds create far worse scenarios than what is real. Whatever is not real, let it go!
  5. Decide what to work on next. If ever there was a time to create new habits and clean house of old ones, it’s now. We all have more time on our hands than every before. If you don’t leave quarantine having grown, or developed a new skill, you are missing an incredible opportunity.
  6. Avoid unhealthy numbing. It will be extremely easy for all of us to eat our worries and fear, especially with being confined to our homes and kitchens. Maybe for you it’s having an extra drink or two, or drink a few more days of the week than usual. The traps has been set, be careful not to step in them. The goal isn’t to avoid the pain but to deal with it in healthy ways and to learn something from every crisis we experience.
  7. Watch your mind and heart intake. Watch what you read, who you listen to and what you watch! If you fill your mind with fear you will live a fearful life. If you fill your mind with good things, you will receive good things and be able to give good away.
  8. Invest in yourself. Invest in yourself in 3 areas: spiritually, emotionally, physically. Create rhythms and habits around these 3 things. Spend 30 minutes doing something for yourself in each of these categories. Find and cultivate fun and joy, and then keep doing it after the crisis has passed.
  9. Look for opportunities to serve and love others. This can’t be the place you spend all your time, or the place you start. Obviously, if you have children they need to be at the top of your priority list. However, if your life revolves solely around care taking for others and not taking care of yourself, you will quickly find yourself depleted of the energy to provide care for others when they truly need it. One of the greatest ways to care for yourself is giving your life away to others, BUT you have to be giving a healthy version of you away.

Be good to yourself and in doing so you will be good and do good to others. Ask yourself, “What do I need right now and how will I go about getting it?” Next, talk with your family, or those you are quarantined with, and ask, “what do you need from me right now?” If all this seems to much, you might be beyond being able to take care of yourself… Reach out for help!

Need help? Let’s talk…

Coach Matt

Coach Matt

Matt has over 20 years experience as a pastor, organizational leader and coach. Matt is a survivor of pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and codependency. He has learned to not only survive trauma and pain, but live a passionate and fulfilling life and loves helping others do the same.