As the coronavirus and social distancing drag on, it’s easy to feel lonely, downtrodden, and depressed. It can feel like you don’t have any control, and it can leave you fearful for what is going to happen to you and your family in the future.
It can also test your faith, especially since you aren’t able to meet in person with members of your congregation or speak with your pastor directly about what you’re experiencing.
Not only can it affect those who attend church, but it can affect others who are having a hard time finding their purpose or connecting with a higher power.
Whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual, or you’re just trying to find meaning in this pandemic, you’ll find a few tips on this list that will help.
Don’t Attend Church Until It’s Safe
Church is a source of strength for many. Without being able to attend services on a regular basis, it’s easy to feel lost. Although you may be tempted to return to church as soon as possible, it may not be a good idea.
Churches across the country are experiencing clusters of COVID-19 as people congregate in close proximity and interact with each other in the name of religion. Although we’re all looking to connect in meaningful ways, doing it in person can be deadly.
Follow the recommendations of your local government and avoid returning to church too soon, even if their doors open. Just because you can return doesn’t mean it’s a good idea if you have a pre-existing condition, or if there has been an outbreak in your area.
Attend Virtual Church Services
It’s true that speaking virtually isn’t the same as speaking with others in person, but it’s also true that it’s better than nothing. If you’re missing your weekly meetings at the church, attend virtual church services instead.
Most churches are broadcasting weekly sermons online so you can maintain that personal connection with your pastor. However, if your church isn’t providing virtual services, you aren’t out of luck. There are other church sermons you can find online that will tide you over until you can go back to your regular church on Sunday mornings.
Start or Attend a Virtual Prayer Group
In times like these, we need more support than ever, but finding it can be hard. If your weekly virtual sessions just don’t seem like enough, consider joining a virtual prayer group.
There are many virtual groups getting together across the country if you are interested in meeting some new people. If you’re more interested in reconnecting with the people you miss from your own church, consider starting your own virtual prayer group.
Not sure what to do when you get together? Read from the bible, take turns organizing a prayer for the day, or simply talk about the challenges you and your family are facing. It can be a great way to stay connected in an informal and empowering way.
Rethink Your Social Media News Feed
Now that many of us are spending more time at home than ever before, we’re also spending more time on social media. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. If it is filling you with rage, fear, or dread, it’s time to rethink your social media newsfeed.
First, unfriend, unfollow, or block anyone who regularly posts negative content that makes you unhappy or anxious. Then, look for new pages to follow that will enrich your day.
You might want to follow religious or spiritual leaders that you admire, but you can also find other positive accounts that will provide you with hope for the future. Following a few funny accounts can make sure you laugh at least a few times every day!
Find a Way to Volunteer
Finding meaning during this difficult time isn’t easy. Especially since we’re struggling to find meaningful ways to connect with each other.
Volunteering can help. It can remind you of the good in humanity, and it can make you feel better knowing you’re doing your part, no matter how little, to make life better for others.
Worried about volunteering in person with everything going on? There are plenty of virtual ways for you to volunteer! They include:
- Donate money to relief funds
- Continue tithing at your local church
- Tutor students online to give their parents a break
- Donate essential items to those who need them
- Cook meals for elderly neighbors
- Foster or adopt an animal
- Work for a crisis hotline
Find Strength in Your Friends and Family
Finding strength can be difficult during times like these, but it’s closer than you think. Good friends can help you rediscover your strength, as can trusted family members.
Reach out to your friends and family regularly. Talk on the phone, video chat, or text regularly. Talk about what’s going on and how you feel. Just having someone to talk to may just give you the boost you need to make it through the day.
Practicing gratitude comes with many benefits. It can improve your psychological health, your physical health, and it can even help you sleep better, but it also has the ability to connect you to a higher power to help you get through hard times.
Finding things to be grateful for can be difficult, so start small. Be thankful that you can cook your family’s favorite meal, that your family is safe and healthy, or simply be glad for the coming of spring. If you’re spiritual or religious, may be grateful that a higher power is providing us with such a strong lesson.
Everyone has things that aren’t going their way during this trying time, but if you make a conscious effort to focus on the good things in between worrying about the bad, you’ll feel happier.
Whether you miss going to church or you simply feel like you’ve turned away from your spiritual path as the coronavirus develops, don’t despair. There are small things you can do as the pandemic plays out to feel a sense of purpose and happiness throughout your day.