As more and more of our world is shutting down and embracing social distancing, some of us are wondering how we’re going to make it through the next several weeks with our sanity intact. I don’t have the answers, but I do have six suggestions that I hope are helpful.
1. Limit your time on social media. There’s only so much good that constantly scrolling your social media accounts is going to do you. More likely than not, what people are saying is going to make you depressed, anxious, angry, sad, or some combination of those emotions. Avoid that by limiting your time on social media. Relatedly…
2. Get information from your local news station or health department. Everyone is posting this or that or the other about how to know something or how this might fix things. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re not. What’s better is arming yourself with reputable medical facts. Stay informed by engaging trustworthy sources, not by believing everything your high school classmates have to say.
3. Check on your neighbors with a note, email, or phone call. There’s never been a better (or more necessary) time for us to be neighborly. Check on your neighbors—especially your elderly neighbors—in ways that help keep you all safe. A note, email, or phone call should do the trick.
4. Be intentional with your down time. Many of us are facing lots more down time than normal; even those who are still working or working from home have seen social calendars disrupted. Don’t just sit around watching Netflix and scrolling through Facebook. Be productive. Read a book. Work in your garden. Paint that wall. Make a blanket fort. Your time will go faster, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be more likely to use your time in redemptive ways.
5. Leverage technology to connect with others. Just because we can’t be around people doesn’t mean that we can’t interact with people. There are oodles of fun and creative ways to safely interact with other people. Use Skype, Snapchat, Google Hangouts, TikTok, or Zoom to stay involved in the lives of the people who love. Do you have family who you’ve been meaning to catch up with? Chances are you can find some time to see them via video in the next couple days.
6. Pray. As a pastor, I often hear things like, “Well, I’d love to pray more if I only had more time.” Well, wish granted. Spend a few moments in prayer for our world, our country, your friends, your family, your community. Pray for those who have COVID-19, for those facing fear and anxiety, for those who are losing jobs or hours, and for those who are homebound. But most importantly, spend some time talking to God—use this as an opportunity to hear more from Him.
What other suggestions have you found helpful for surviving in social isolation?