It has been interesting to watch a world that glorifies “busy”, suddenly shift and be forced to #stayathome. So many of us tend to define ourselves by the busyness that we each experience, often humbly bragging about all the events and projects that take up so much of our time.
As I’ve personally gone from a very busy season surrounded by people at all times to being forced into fourteen days of self-isolation (in an apartment living by myself), I’ve lived this and felt all of the emotions associated with it. My head was left spinning for a bit, trying to recalibrate to this new normal that isn’t normal at all. But over the past couple of days, somehow I’ve shifted from a mindset of surviving this quarantine to actually enjoying and thriving in it.
Here are a few tips that have helped to shift my mind and heart to thrive, even in this season of uncertainty.
Let go of any expectations that you have in this season
You might go into this “social distancing” season with a list of a dozen projects you want to complete, or be excited to read a few books you have on your list, or to even spend hours in prayer every day.
Let me tell you – I did too. But each day brings a new set of emotions, struggles, and joys with it. Take it all in as they come. Remember, WE HAVE NOT DONE THIS BEFORE. We don’t know what to expect and we don’t know how we will react. So let go of expectations and take it as it comes, trusting that there is grace for all of things.
Don’t compare your #stayathome life to anyone else’s
Some people find life in Marie Kondo’ing every space in their home. Other people find life in making funny dance videos and posting them all over social media. And others find life in doing nothing but reading all day.
Don’t judge yourself based on what everyone is doing in this season. Ask God what He wants for you each day (sometimes even in each hour), and go with that. Be kind to yourself, and have grace for yourself. And remember what Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” You do you, and be confident and grateful for the life God is calling you to live right now.
Keep a normal-ish schedule [for most days]
Don’t stay in your pajamas every day. Get up, take a shower, put on clothes, and be ready for the day. This is good for your soul. Even though I’m totally by myself, I’ve found myself still putting on mascara and spritzing a bit of perfume on. I don’t do this for anyone else but myself. It makes me feel my best, and to me, that’s important.
Also allow yourself to have a few days without a schedule
Designate a day (or two or three) as pajama days. Let yourself totally decompress. When else do we have this luxury of having nowhere to be? God has used this stillness to re-teach my heart that I am loved beyond belief even when I’m not “productive.” I’ve been able to reconnect with God in a new way, and I feel more at peace than I’ve felt in years. (Literally).
Be intentional to set the vibe in your home
This has been super important to me, especially as I’m working, resting, and also socialising (via Facetime) in the same place, all day, every day.
For example, lighting is important. When I’m working, I turn on my overhead lights, because it’s brighter and less warm. But any other times, I’m intentional to use lamps and natural light to make things feel comforting.
Smells are also a really big deal to me. Again, when I’m wanting to be alert, I put on a candle or diffuse some oils that are a bit brighter smelling, and at nights, I’ve been putting on a candle that smells more homey (like cinnamon and baking).
Also music shifts the mood like none other. It’s been so sweet to start the day with worship music and also keep this music as the general soundtrack of this season. There have also been times when fun dance music or a bit of country has been needed to set a peppy vibe.
Regardless of your preferences, be intentional in all of this. It really can shift your mindset and set the tone for the day!
With God, with others, and with yourself. Don’t check out during this time. Ask God what He wants to do in you and through you each day, and go with it. FaceTime your people. Have window coffee dates. Love them well and let them love you well. Allow yourself to process each day. Ask yourself why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, and learn more about yourself. It’s been quite rewarding to see what God has taught me during this time.
What tips do you have to #thrivenotsurvive? Comment below and let us know what you’re learning!
Mel hails from Texas (yee ha!) and has been on staff with us for the past three years. Mel is a physiotherapist by background, and serves onboard our medical ship for 6 months of the year. Mel is passionate about caring for people and mentoring.