In the last weeks, our lives as Americans (and many other countries) have been changed dramatically. With the outbreak of COVID-19 most of us are now working from home, homeschooling our children for the first time, and adjusting to this new normal. In all of this, I am finding it more and more important to stay grounded while we are “grounded” at home.
So, whether you’re stuck at home cause you’re out of work, you’re sick, your child is sick, or there is a global pandemic (like right now), here are 5 Ways to Stay Grounded While You’re Grounded at Home.
1. Accept the New Normal
While this pandemic is a life-changing, history-making event, I think that it is important to recognize that, yes, this is a big deal. But, no, we do not have to dwell on it and let it consume our every-day life. It is so easy to constantly watch the news, read the websites, or endlessly google search the latest updates. And those things are not bad, I’m not saying you should live under a rock, please stay informed, wash your hands, boost your immunity. But I do think there is a line between staying informed and letting the media/news rule your thoughts and heart. So those things should not be your main focus each and every day.
In order to not solely focus on those things I am focusing on God’s Word (more on that later), but also on the reality that, for most of us, we are staying home for the next few weeks (maybe months).
This is our new normal.
We will still make meals, clean the house, change diapers, wash laundry, watch movies, etc…. And that’s good! We can, in a sense, move on from the hysteria of the event and live practically while we are at home.
The way to accept this new normal is to commit it to the Lord. Trust that God knows what’s going on, that He has planned and choreographed every step of our lives. He is the author and finisher of our faith, we serve the one and only true God, I think He’s got it under control. Paul thought this as well, Ephesians 1:11 says, “[God] works all things after the counsel of His will.”
Once I made this mind-shift, I no longer felt consumed by the worry, doubts, and fears surrounding the pandemic. And instead I now feel like I can take things as they come and do my best to enjoy being at home for these next weeks.
2. Read Your Bible
As I mentioned above, in order to stay grounded I am focusing on God’s Word during this extra time at home.
A couple years ago I read John Piper’s encouragement to read your Bible just as much as you read about cancer (from Don’t Waste Your Cancer). That little tid-bit has stuck with me ever since, I’ve often thought of it in relation to whatever major news or even new thing, hits me.
And I think the principle applies to our situation now as well. We need to be reading our Bibles just as much as we are reading the news. In fact, we need to read our Bibles MORE than we are reading about COVID-19 and the content that surrounds it. What a waste of a pandemic if it does not draw us deeper into God’s Word and closer to our Savior.
Make time to read your Bible. Whether you get up early, stay up late, or read while your kids play, make it happen.
The psalmist said in the first Psalm that he who meditates on the law of the Lord (Scripture) day and night will be “like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.” (Talk about grounded!)
If you are not sure what to read, here is a great reading plan that I follow.
3. Go Outside
While our “outings” are limited to essential trips only. This does not stop you from going out on a walk (at least not where I live, please obey governing authorities in your area). Getting fresh air really turns my attitude around and makes my day much better. Being outside helps me to stay grounded in that it gets my focus off of negativity when I’m out enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.
I saw a quote this week that said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” Not only did it make me giggle, but it is true! I often want to skip on a chance outside at the slightest possibility of clouds/rain (and I live in Southern California!).
So don’t use the weather as an excuse and figure out a way that you can get outside every day, even if it means you bundle up or bring your umbrella.
Pull out those markers, pencils, crayons, or your art tool of choice and get to work. I did this a couple nights and it was really fun!
Crayons/coloring had become a tool of distraction for me and I would usually just pull it out for Aletheia to color while I was doing something else. But when I took the time to sit down with her and color, it was a lot of fun and it kept her occupied too. Win, win!
To help with this last point, I’ve created a botanical flower coloring book with Bible verses that is free for you to download and print. Just subscribe at this link to get your copy!
Friend, I pray that you are doing well throughout this strange time that we are living in. And I hope that these five tips will help you to stay grounded during these turbulent times. Let me know how you like the coloring pages, how you are staying grounded, or anything else you’d like to talk about in the comments below!