Maintaining Shalom in Trials


It’s my sincerest hope that wherever you are, that you are warm, well and in good health. There seems to be a lot of information swirling around and not all of it good or helpful. Even if it looks bleak, you don’t have to focus on it. If you’re totally stressing, you’re completely justified. However, I don’t want to leave you stranded there. Want to move out of the anxiety zone? Here are a few ideas I’m trying.

Unplug your news source for 24 hours. With that time do something completely different. If you’re able, go for a walk or ride a bike and get some fresh air. In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is unleashing jillions of flowers!

Clear your head with calming music. I can’t recommend Wholetones enough. These two sets are my go-to chill music.  Check it out here.

Get to know your neighbors. NextDoor puts you in touch with folks in your location. During these trying times, amazing people manage to rise above it all and do for others. In my neck of the woods, one lady organized a team of people to do grocery runs, pray with others and make or deliver meals to those who were elderly or less mobile. Your neighbors keep up with the goings on in your locale, buy & sell, share information and answer questions. Find out who’s in your neck of the woods.

Begin a gratitude list. Write down everything that you’re glad about. Anyone can see all that’s wrong in the world. There’s plenty going right and positive things to talk about. Kickstart your thinking With Gratitude by fellow ghostwriter Marala Scott may be the pick-me-up you’re looking for. This refreshing book of poetry can help you recognize the good in difficult situations. It’s a must-read for recalibrating thinking.

Get your Zen back with Zentangles. Repeating patterns make interesting art and creating them uses a different part of your brain. There’s a design for every skill level so make sure to invite the kids! Look through their hundreds or patterns and choose one to try. You probably won’t get to them all before you have to punch a time clock again. When you complete your creations, make them into cards or screen shot them to share. Very relaxing.

We’re in this together. We’re all concerned how this will turn out. But by worrying about that, or listening to endless cycles of bad news, or scary statistics, we’re wasting our precious here and now. If you can find even one person to bless in some way that improves their day, you’ve made the world a kinder, gentler place.

What can you do today?

So much of enduring is about reframing. For some, this crises has become their much-needed respite to reconnect with family, clean (their office!), organize or catch up on tasks that have gone by the wayside. In our far-too-busy lives–for once–many of us are not.

It won’t always be like this.

Despite how long some of us have been in quarantine, it might seem that this will last forever, but the odds are against it. This too shall pass. You could imagine what you’ll do when this is over, but how do you want to remember this event years from now? What special thing can you do right now that you didn’t have time for previously? You’ve been given the gift of time. Make it memorable.

Have more ideas about getting calm or productive ways to use your time? Please share in comments below.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. JEOcean says:

    gotcha covered!

  2. Sue H-m says:

    These are excellent suggestions.
    I disconnected from the news after the first week of stay at home. Having had anxiety issues for years, I know my triggers well! I only watch the mayor’s daily update here in L.A. and feel this is my best source of factual info. He and I may disagree on a lot of matters, but I applaud him on his handling of this crisis. He is a true leader in a world where that trait is not always present.
    Zentangling! You introduced me to this several years ago and what a wonderful, relaxing and grounding activity it is! Cannot say enough nice things about it!
    New hobby–try knitting or crocheting (of course I advocate for these, lol!). There are tons of how-to videos on YouTube, and the yarn and needles or hooks are very affordable!
    I’m practically matching your post lengthwise, lol! So I’ll stop, but again, all of these suggestions of yours are wonderful! Thank you!

    1. JEOcean says:

      Thanks so much!! I appreciate your comments. Zentangles have really kept me grounded through a number of crises. Their catalog of designs continues to expand so it’s great brail chill exercise. Loved every word you wrote!

Thanks for stopping by. Let me hear from you!