Parents, caregivers, emotional health and self care during this pandemic.

#SelfCare #MentalHealth

Self-care is all about taking care of yourself and taking the time to attend to your own wellbeing. That may sound like a self pursuit, but it is not. It is a necessary pursuit, especially during a pandemic.  People all over the world have been in isolation and or are isolated with/from their family members. This has been for a more extended period than before and under the most stressful scenarios than they have ever experienced before. What does scripture say about self-care?

Mental and emotional health

Contrary to what most people thought in the past, good emotional health is not the absence of psychosis or neurosis. Mental health refers to the presence of the ability to be really positive about what is happening around you, regardless of the current circumstances.

Mental or emotional health refers to an individual’s overall psychological wellbeing. It includes

  • what you think about yourself
  • the quality of your relationships,
  • your willingness to manage your feelings and or deal with difficulties that arise in the crises of everyday life

So, my questions for you, anyone who is reading this post.

  1. How is your emotional health?
  2. How are you handling the social distancing?
  3. How are your children handling social distancing?
  4. Do you feel prepared to handle the stressors that they are exhibiting right now?
  5. Will you be prepared for their reactions to going back to school in the fall?
  6. Have you discussed their fears and or anxieties with them about this pandemic?
  7. Are you able to do it yourself?
  8. DO YOU KNOW THAT HOW YOU REACT TO THESE STRESSORS WILL BE MIRRORED BY YOUR CHILDREN?

Emotionally healthy people demonstrate control of their emotions and their behavior towards themselves and others. They are far more ready to handle the challenges of life than unstable persons. They cater to and are looking for ways to build stronger relationships. More importantly, they quickly recover from relational setbacks and words or behaviors that present themselves.

Some steps that you can follow:

  1. You have become counselors to your family members, so: focus on the positive things that are being reported.
    •     Yes, this person is a therapist. BUT right now, that is what we are all doing to keep our family members and friends floating above the abyss of emotional challenges.
  2. Spend time with your family and friends sharing memories, hopes, dreams, and desires.
  3. Talk about feelings and emotions rather than burying them under the plethora of fear and concerns that are passing through our infamous “www.”
  4. Think about what you are pouring into your spirit and make the decision that is best for you and your family.

Things you can do

  1. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep.
  2. Try to eliminate the munches – eat as healthily as you can. If there is a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit in your area, then purchase canned fruit and vegetables that are low in sodium. 
  3. Try to engage in regular exercise. Keep your brain and physical muscles subtle. It makes you feel good about yourself. Yoga is an excellent activity for some people. I have found that walking and Quigong helps me. Whatever works for you, and that can help you t relax, is beneficial.
  4. Conduct virtual family time with your relatives. Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc., are all venues that are readily available for parents, caregivers, and children to use as they attempt to maintain friendships during this pandemic.
      • Children need to “hang out” with their school friends. Do it virtually.
      • Parents need to communicate with each other too. Talk about your anxiousness during this time. Talk about the children’s school work and how you are handling it. Ask questions of each other to see how you can support each other.
      • You do not have to be an expert on the subject that the students are struggling with. 
      • Caregivers if there isn’t a chat portal that meets your needs – create one. Focus on the positive. Ask for help with the challenging things that are bothering you.
      • Parents need to hand out with each other too. 
  5. Read for pleasure. You do not have to purchase a massive amount of books. Here is at least one resource for
  6. Take care of your spiritual health. Engage in daily Bible Studies. Please note that reading isolate images with Bible verses is NOT Bible study. Begin a thorough investigation of the Bible. Even if you can only do one chapter per day of a specific book of the Bible is will benefit you immensely.  We have two pages on this site that has 2 Books of the Bible that you can help to begin your daily spiritual studies. 1. Proverbs  2. Psalms  [I am still writing the studies for the chapters of the book of Psalms.]
  7. Spend time in nature. God created all of it for us to enjoy. If you do not have a garden look out of your window.  Breathe in the fresh air. Look at the canopy of trees, plants, flower beds that are around you. Listen to the sounds of nature and soak in the reality that all of it was created for you to enjoy. Researchers have found that isolated patients recover faster when they have access to nature. [These are scriptures related to the creation.]
      • Look at the intricacies that were involved in the creation of a single flower.
      • Look at the cloud formations and create any kind of visual picture that you want. Teach your children how to do that. Encourage them to draw what they saw and illustrate it.
      • IF you have no plants in your home, consider ordering some and taking care of them. Enjoy them as each day progresses.
  8. Listen to music: whatever music encourages and uplifts you – listen to it. Here is a YouTube Playlist of Christian Music for you. 
      • Scriptures about worship in the Bible.
      • 2020 PlayList. You can also search YouTube for your favorite Christian musicians. 
      • Start journaling. You can do one virtually. It is faster to ee how one’s mind is evolving in a digital sphere than in several books. How do you do that? Find a blogger website where you can begin blogging. Make sure that your journal is PRIVATE.
  9. Disengage from negativity. Self-care also involves knowing when to disengage from the negativity of social media. It will sap all of your energy – if you allow it to. You cannot be all things to all people all the time. Disconnect and recharge. Scriptures about negativity.
  10. Engage all of your senses. Take a soak in the tub with lovely scented candles. I am a tea drinker. Try some soothing flavorful teas. Listen to relaxing music. I like to listen to classical music. It helps me to relax.
  11. Keep track of your today lists. Complete the assignments. This is mainly for home rather than work. We will readily engage in work activities and forget about the things we need to do at home.  Space out your actions to ensure that you do not overdo it. I have a tendency to rush outside on my good days and attempt to do everything that I can. Then the fibromyalgia goes into overdrive, and I begin a severe pain cycle. Take your time.
  12. Make sure that your bedroom is a place that is free of clutter. I don’t like clutter. I began minimalizing my home a few years ago. Especially after my daughter moved back and put a home of her own on the back lot of my property. Keep your sleeping space clutter-free. It helps to keep your mind free from stress and worry.

In this busy yet isolated world, self-care offers a way of making sure that your personal needs are being met and that you aren’t burning yourself out. It is a practice designed to improve and maintain your overall wellness, and it doesn’t have to be fancy, confusing, filled with rhetoric, or mind-consuming. Self-care is a very personal practice. It must be tailored to fit your lifestyle and individual needs. These are just suggestions. Feel to reach out to this ministry if you wish to talk to someone.

Prayer: Father as your people continue this time of isolation during this pandemic please allow us to see that it is also a time for strengthening our relationship with you and with others. Also, please allow us to see that we are also an important part of our daily lives. We cannot help others when we remain in crisis mode ourselves. Trusting in your o protect, provide, and care for us helps us to remain calm. Give each of us the correct words to say to each other as we offer help and advice. Teach us how to grow closer to each other rather than apart from each other. Help each personality type to understand that we are not a law unto ourselves. We rely on others to keep us emotionally fueled, and we also help to fuel the emotions of others. Give us the right words to say when someone is stressed out. Teach us how to come to you first before we respond to others. Protect us from ourselves and continue your covering over our families and our friends. Teach us how to feast on your word during this time of social distancing. Thank you for being our comforter and our friend. -Amen.

Resources 

etyforpsychotherapy.org/distress-therapist-burnout-self-care-promotion-wellness-psychotherapists-trainees-issues-implications-recommendations/

  1. https://confidentcounselors.com/2017/05/08/importance-practicing-self-care/
  2. Taking care of yourself while you take care of others.
  3. Work as unto the Lord 
  4. Read something that will uplift your spirits.

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