Check-In with COVID-19
We don't know how long social distancing and the like will last. Unfortunately, it might be measured in months rather than weeks. If that is the case, people will start to get frustrated and feel a sense of cabin fever. It is believed that being socially isolated will cause many issues within the family by magnifying issues within the relationship. In addition, there may be families who are doing well one week and then are really struggling the next.
In addition, there may be some in your community who will be alone or feel very alone with the social distancing guidelines. Particularly those who are at risk. This can easily lead to a sense of helplessness, fear and feeling overwhelmed. It's a good idea to check-in and connect socially over the phone, social media or skype with every family once a fortnight.
When you check-in your goal is to see if people are okay and if there are some different ways that the community can bless them. You want to listen for how they are you coping with things? Have they lost their jobs? Are they struggling with depression, anxiety, or even death?
Is there a way that we can then help point them to the right resources? Can you help with any practical needs? This is a great chance to listen to how God can use us to be a blessing to others.
It may be helpful to have a few strategies to cope with the social distancing.
- Perspective – try to see this time as unique and different, not necessarily bad, even if it something you didn’t necessarily choose.
- Connection – think of creative ways to stay connected with others, including social media, email, phone, or even online games. Don’t let fear or anxiety drive your interactions with others. We are all in this together!
- Generosity – giving to others in times of need not only helps the recipient, it enhances your wellbeing too. Is there a way to be a blessing to others around you?
- Daily routine – create a routine that prioritises things you enjoy and even things you have been meaning to do but haven’t had enough time. Read that book, watch that show, take up that new hobby.
- New rhythms - try to see this as a new and unusual period that might even have some benefits. What new rhythms of life would you like to start engaging in?
- Limits - Put limits on your exposure to news and media. Perhaps choose specific times of day when you will get updates and ensure they are from reputable and reliable sources.
With all of these strategies, it is best to remember that it is not just about helping people, it's about sharing real life with others!