One essential self care tip for life under lockdown
Lockdown doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Here is one essential self-care tip to transform your lockdown experience.
Yesterday when I emerged from my “office” down the hall, I found my son sitting on the couch, dressed in snorkel and flippers watching the Olympics. Officially, he was 1 hour into the on-line school day.
He looked up at me. The glass of his snorkel was misty. He’d clearly been wearing it for a while. This was no, prank for my dad. This was a serious protest. He remarked that he couldn’t remember life before lockdown.
He may not entirely, but clearly he remembered enough to know what he would rather be doing other than occasional couch schooling.
Speaking to friends, living alone or in households, and apart from some who’ve found a new chilled groove, the majority are fraying at the edges – some with the continuum of demanding kids, and some with the banality of the ground hog day existence that stalks every new sunrise.
The non-urgent and important painting
For us, it’s been painting.
Way back when, we were reasonably social. We’d have friends around most weekends and a busy sports Saturday, church Sunday etc etc. And the walls and woodwork of our ageing house never got the attention they deserved.
I’d glance at their marks and cracks occasionally, acknowledging at some subterranean level the inherent guilt that I sensed as the man around the house. But I didn’t do anything about it.
Admittedly, it did take a major kitchen and floor renovation that began just before lockdown to force my hand, but ultimately lockdown has provided the space and impetuous to do the painting I would never have done without it.
It reminded me of Covey’s famous Urgent/Important matrix. Covey urges us to allocate attention and time to the second quadrant, the non-urgent and important. The tyranny of the urgent generally precludes that focus so it is to be fought for, counsels Covey.
And then lockdown. The second quadrant is now there for the taking.
So what is in your second quadrant?
There are sites and articles that love to stun us with incredible numbers around the years we will spend in our lifetimes sleeping, eating, watching TV, working.
So these things, we can assume are not in the second quadrant. They will get the attention they demand. Included in that, depending on your inclination, we could place exercise and recreation generally.
But what about other less immediate concerns?
What about the state of your heart? (This gets bundled under mental health it seems.) And what even about questions of existence?
Ok, I’ll show my hand. This is after all a blog for a church.
Have you honestly taken more than a cursory glance at perhaps the core questions of existence, Is there a God? And if there is, what is God like? And perhaps, who am I to this God?
I recognise these questions might not feel urgent or, for that matter, important. But at some point they will.
I can think of no better act of self-care during lockdown than to pay attention to these questions now.
At Viva our shameless elevator pitch under lockdown is that we want to help you discover Jesus from Home.
The encouraging thing is that people are. They want community. They want to explore Jesus with others, not simply through the anonymity of YouTube (as enticing as that can occasionally be).
Our woodwork was crying out for my attention but we ignored it till lockdown. Under lockdown our anxieties, our fears, our heart’s cries for meaning are getting louder.
Rather than trying to hit mute, perhaps it’s time to listen. I think there’s an invitation in all this to take this moment – as strange as it is – to genuinely search out the claims of Jesus.
Here’s a suggestion, how…
Try a free course that helps others like you explore the big questions of life with a focus on Jesus. The course is called Alpha. Over 25 million people globally have done it. We run it online here at Viva. You can sign up for our next course here.