We are in the second week of quarantine due to COVID-19 and the coronavirus. The first week was an adjustment phase for our family during which we were still allowed to have a small amount of coming and going. That helped keep some normalcy.
But now we are in the thick of it. Businesses are closed. Restaurants can only serve curbside, and it is no longer just a suggestion to keep gatherings to ten or fewer people — it’s the law.
I can remember when our priest said China was canceling Mass. I felt bad for “those people.” I imagined how hard that would be. I was glad nothing like that would ever happen here. Those poor people in China.
It reminds me of how I felt about families dealing with childhood cancer before my son became sick in 2012. I felt bad for “those people.” Our kids even did a little childhood cancer fundraiser through their daycare to raise money for “them.”
But then, suddenly, we were “them.” We were a cancer family. Our child was the bald one, looking pale, fighting for his life.
In the same way, with this COVID-19 quarantine, the people in our area of the world are now “them.” We are the Chinese and the Italian. This disease has come into our lives. It’s impacting our schedule, our routine, our family and our relationships.
Now it is up to us to decide how we will respond.
Pulling from what I learned during our son’s cancer treatment, I can tell you one thing. How you take care of your mind and body will impact how you feel spiritually.
And it’s not just one-directional. The arrows go both ways. How you care for yourself spiritually during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will impact how you feel mentally and physically as well. It’s all interconnected.
To some of you, this concept might seem new or foreign. But it’s not new to God. It’s how He created us. We are spirit, body, and mind, not simply one or the other.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, take the chance to revolutionize the way you see your self-care – spirit, body, and mind. Transform your understanding of what it looks like to care for yourself and your family.
You are not required to pour yourself out and deplete yourself to the point where you walk around empty. Jesus gave everything He is to the crowds of people who came to him. He poured himself out for his apostles and disciples and to you and me.
But Jesus did not forget about His own spirituality. Over and over we read in the Bible about Jesus slipping off to the mountain to pray and recharge.
I implore you, beg you, stress with all that I am — find new ways to take care of yourself during this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Spirit — spend more time in prayer. Don’t worry about being “productive” or doing things “just right” during your prayer. Would you have an agenda when talking to a friend? No! Just be with God. The actual Spirit of God is inside you. Speak to it of the love, fear, anger, frustration you are feeling. Allow time for the Holy Spirit within you to speak back to your spirit. Even if you can’t hear it, let it be enough.
Body — eat as healthy as you can, drink more water, get enough rest, and exercise if your doctor says you can.
Mind — do more of what will help your peace of mind. Find some alone time every day or, if you are alone, find a way to reach out to someone virtually. Take a shower, get dressed, go outside even if it’s just to step out into the sunshine for a moment.
As we are quarantined to protect ourselves and our society from COVID-19 and coronavirus, how you care for yourself — spirit, body and mind — is more important than ever.