None of us could have predicted how 2020 would pan out. We were barely into the year when the COVID-19 pandemic landed, and before we knew it, the world went into lockdown – a global phenomenon we have never seen, and will be telling generations about for years to come.
During lockdown, our homes became our new worlds. For the most, this created new ways of working, living, studying, attending church, learning, shopping, socializing, and so much more. We have all seen videos of people making the best of the situation, and creating ‘new norms’ – from online PE classes to church services on Zoom.
Yet, we cannot deny that lockdown has taken a toll on us. Whilst some have been able to cope with it, the fact remains that many have struggled to cope.
When hope deferred made the heart sick
Lockdown not only meant being confined to our homes to prevent the spreading of COVID-19, but it also brought about a sense of deferred hopes and dreams. Plans had to change, be cancelled or just held in limbo. Lina (not her real name), a young girl with high aspirations, had been preparing hard for her exams, hoping to get good grades to go to college and then UnI. But, with her school shut, what seemed ‘cool’ being off school for a short while morphed into depressive episodes about her future. Her parents are struggling to pull her out of this dark chasm.
Jerome, who just launched his business, ploughed all he had into it just before lockdown. It had been his lifelong dream. But then it all came to a halt. To make things worse, he didn’t qualify for any government aids. Though normally hopeful, Jerome soon found himself grappling with fear, anxiety and despondency.
Jenny looked forward to seeing her elderly mum every Sunday but, with her care home following government guidelines, she hadn’t seen Mum for a long while. Both Jenny and her mum were feeling isolated and sad, as they were all each other had.
These stories are just a snapshot of what has been going on.
Overcoming lockdown blues
If you have been feeling down as a result of lockdown, consider these steps to help you:
Step 1: Accept the season you are in
The fact is, you cannot change what’s going on, but you can change your attitude towards it. Focus on what you have the power to change, and work on these.
Step 2: Acknowledge the impact
Take a moment to reflect on how the pandemic and lockdown have affected your well-being. Be real with yourself, and don’t just reel off positive affirmations/faith statements. Prayerfully consider the true state of your heart. Make a note of what’s going on with your mind, will and emotions.
Step 3: Take action to ditch any baggage
If you have identified any clutter, my Ministry is giving away FREE* copies of my book, Overcoming Emotional Baggage, during this pandemic, to help you learn biblical principles and practical strategies to bring about healing and well-being during this time, particularly if you are struggling. Grab your copy at gracethespeaker.com/freebaggagebook
Step 4: Maintain your well-being
Find an activity that uplifts you and get a healthy dose of it. This could be taking walks, listening to music, gardening, connecting with others (safely), and much more. Furthermore, watch
out for warning signals (eg. withdrawing, feeling sad, etc.) and triggers (eg. isolation, stress, fatigue, etc.).
Step 5: Keep a daily gratitude journal
Maintain a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving by keeping a gratitude journal. I have been doing this for decades and, when you start to count your blessings, it really does uplift you. Moreover, you cultivate the habit of thanking God for all things, in all things.
And lastly, as the Bible encourages, guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Whilst life does happen, with God, you can remain strong and hopeful…even during a pandemic or lockdown.
Grace Gladys Famoriyo is the author of Healing A Discourages Heart, Quit Hiding, Start Living!, Bounce Back & One Minute Tonic For The Heart.
*Terms and conditions apply. Handling/shipping cost applies.