Recently, I found myself googling the definition of a pandemic.
Strangely, I had not googled this word in all of 2020. I just accepted this word that was thrusted at literally all of us. I didn't google what it meant because the chaos of the world had proven that what media and leaders were saying, was truth. We were indeed in the midst of one.
Yet, this day for some strange reason, I wanted to understand the definition of this thing that we are being told that we are currently living in.
Google dictionary defines pandemic as the outbreak of a disease that is prevalent over a whole country or world.
Yep, they were right.
That's what we are in. Deep sigh.....
It's hard to not get wrapped up in the news, in social media, in our own worries when the world is so unpredictable.
I've found myself many times trying to predict what this upcoming year will look like. I've caught myself getting worried about opportunities, jobs, decisions, health, and many other things.
We must face two truths about the news being reported in this world:
1. The news we are hearing on a daily basis is scary.
2. The news we are hearing on a daily basis can also impact our mental health.
I recently admitted to myself that I have battled in this previous year with the fear of what stepping outside and being around others could consequently mean for my life. I've never had this question come to mind before 2020.
I've always felt confident and safe with the decision to step outside and I still ventured out and visited people and places, but worry seemed most times to decide to tag along with me.
If God wrote our lives, did He also write 2020? Did He write 2021?
If He has gone before us, did He see the years that we would face, the sorrow and the loss that we would have to endure?
I believe He did.
There is no thing that God has not seen concerning our lives.
That in itself, gives me hope.
Yet, I know that in this 2021 year, I must do more to truly and intentionally LIVE. I don't want to just skate and work through life. I literally want to LIVE. I don't want to be bogged down in social media and the news. I literally want to be present in my life and LIVE.
Do you struggle with staying present? You're not alone.
Being present is something we must practice and it is completely okay if this practice does not come as normal to you. It is completely okay if being present takes actual effort.
In all honesty, being present is something we all must daily work to accomplish. Especially in these times that we are experiencing.
THREE WAYS TO STAY PRESENT IN A PANDEMIC
Set Boundaries. The way to protect present moments is to set boundaries that will help you to enjoy those moments while they are happening. We often talk about boundaries with people, which are important, but we also need boundaries for work, social media, tv, etc. i.e., I plan to set boundaries around my phone usage whenever my husband and I are eating dinner, having discussions, or simply watching a movie. One thing I want to be intentional about "trying" to do in 2021 is being completely present with each person that God brings into my presence. There is so much richness and wealth that God wants to teach us in these present moments, but unfortunately most times.... we miss them. What boundaries are you setting for your 2021 year?
Limit the Amount of News that you Read and Watch. I understand that it is imperative to truly know what is going on in this world. Yet, I also understand how the news can be utilized as a fear tactic to coerce our decisions, paint specific pictures, and influence our thoughts on a daily basis. Try limiting the amount of time that you watch or read the news in order to become more present. If you love the news that's okay, but make sure that you are leaning on God for the full truth and not just what you are reading and seeing. Sometimes the news can have us wondering what will happen next and as hard as it is to accept, God is the only one who knows what will happen next. How can you limit the amount of news that you read and watch in this 2021 year?
Journal. I truly believe one of the best ways to stay present is to always reflect on where you are currently. When we begin to write down what we are experiencing currently, how we feel, and what things are taking place; we have no choice but to be present in that moment. Take time to really learn how to journal each and every day consistently, even if it's just for 10 minutes, include it in your day. Journaling helps you to be honest with where you are so that you can understand what needs to take place in order to be in the place that you desire to be. Can you spare 10 minutes in your day to journal about your present place?
There are so many other tools that we can utilize to be present, but I truly believe that these three when put into practice will promote whole minds and present moments in your 2021 year.