This pandemic has brought a great deal of chaos to all of our lives. So many of us are living in a perpetual state of bad news, one way or the other. We all must be responsible for how much news we intake, whether it be from our television screens, or social media feeds, or even from our loved ones. It is imperative that we are intentional about our care and spiritual hygiene through this unsettling and disastrous time.
With families now hunkered down together, and parents now homeschooling their children, it is an understatement to say that we are all adjusting to a new sense of normality.
Some of us are finding momentary comfort in the forms of laughs from a lot of lighthearted memes that are now floating around in light of the pandemic.
So many more conversations surrounding mental health are now being elevated, which remain absolutely critical, even when we come out of this pandemic. Church is becoming even more accessible to the masses via streaming. My hope is that more hearts would be turning to Jesus during this time.
But one thing I haven’t noticed much of are conversations about so many people like me, and maybe even you, who are not in quarantine with anyone. People who are single, without children, and perhaps without healthy relationships with relatives.
For some, staying connected during this pandemic isn’t just as simple as Facetiming relatives or interacting in the family group chat– and that alone can bring on an influx of complicated emotions. This pandemic, for many, hasn’t merely given us a new harsh reality to deal with, it has exacerbated and heightened old ones. Naturally being by ourselves, can inherently make us feel lonely.
I have had quite my share of lonely days, and breakdowns, if I’m honest, in the midst of this quarantine. I am still actively trying my best to redeem the rough days, while making the most of this nuanced time. With that said, here are a few things that I try to be mindful of when being by myself proves to be too isolating:
Being in quarantine alone is better than being in quarantine with people, you are in unhealthy relationships with.
Simply moving, even if it’s just going on a brief jog outside when you feel too stagnant can provide a mental reset.
Just like people with families during this time, some days will be better than others. Be honest with yourself and others about your rough patches, and celebrate even the smallest wins–even if that means you’ve successfully organized a closet or cleaned the windows.
God is near, even when you are far away from the people you love. This time is not the time to drift far from God–lean into Him in prayers, worship, and time in His Word.
Your support system of friendships may feel different right now, as they may be grieving their own losses. They may not be as available to you. Try to give to them what you need. If you need to be checked on, check on them. You need prayer, pray for them.
Picking up a new hobby that you always wanted to commit to is helpful. I re-started a makeshift garden on my balcony, and began learning sign language on Youtube, and re-committed to reading and writing more. Some days, these fill both me and my days.
And yet, other days I am not motivated to do these activities at all. I accept that sometimes, my level of focus and concentration will variably change, mostly because these are all isolating activities, and I really just want to feel a part of community again. But nonetheless, have a set of go-to activities in your rolodex.
A prayer for us:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this day that You have made. You knew everything we would have to endure through, and so none of this is a surprise to You. It all passed through Your capable hands and with Your permission.
So many people are hurting and grieving loved ones. You promise to be near those who mourn. Sometimes it feels shallow to say that we are mourning our old sense of normalcy, while people are literally fighting for their lives. But God, no prayer is too small or too big for You. There is no such thing as an insignificant prayer. You care about all our woes.
I lift up this entire world. More than ever, it is comforting to know that You have the whole world in Your hands.
God, I lift up people who live alone, and whose hope for partnership, marriage, children, and family is only aggravated during this time. Lord, draw near to us. Fill our empty and longing spaces with Your presence and Your comfort.
Help us not grow weary during this time. Help us to not fall into sin as our flesh may get weak. Help our spirit to be willing. May Your grace and mercy abound during this time. Gift us the confidence that we will be well.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.