Many of us are watching world events unfold with great anxiety, fear, and sadness. With so much confusion and chaos in front of us, ‘hope’ can be hard to find. In just days, our lives have gone from normalcy to cancelling major sporting events and gatherings to social distancing and staying in our homes. It has hit us all personally in some way with news of more people testing positive each day. The Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and will continue to reshape the way that we live.
I, like all of you, have been trying to find hope in the turmoil. Finding hope in broken times is certainly an optimistic thought. I’ll admit, I’ve found it hard to find hope over the last week. However, hope continues to show up in many ways. Here are three ways that I’ve been able to find hope this past week:
Virtual Connection is Possible: I’ve still been able to connect with friends and family. On Sunday, nearly 600,000 people downloaded Zoom, a video conferencing app. The app is being used by professors and workplaces to stay on track. I’ve used it with friends to catch up “after the workday” while preparing dinner and winding down from the morning. Facetime, which is already built into your iPhone, allows multiple people at once- just start a group text message and you’re set.
If connection to God is what you’re after, Saint Joan of Arc will be uploading Mass each week during social distancing. You can find those on www.stjoan.com. In addition, this is a great time to try out other forms of prayer. So many communities are putting services online- go check them out.
(Re)discover Hobbies: This might be the cleanest my house has been since moving in a year ago. Cleaning may not have been a hobby before, but I’d consider it one now. If we’re all stuck at home, we might as well have a clean space to spend our time.
I have always had a bunch of hobbies. Before social distancing, my main hobbies included going to the gym, working my second job at Urban Growler Brewing Company, and brewing homemade kombucha. With gyms closed and restaurants slimmed down to essential staff, I have been able to find a few new hobbies to fill my time at home. First, remember to stay active! There are so many resources online for in home workouts. You can find them on Instagram, YouTube, and through a simple Google search. Fill a book bag with some books and you’ve got the start of a full body workout.
You can still support your favorite local businesses! Grab takeout, buy a gift card, or share their posts on your social media pages. These gestures can make a huge difference in businesses being able to survive during this time.
I’ve taken more time to be creative in the kitchen. Now is a good time to grab things from deep in the pantry and create new recipes. Be your own Food Network Chopped Champion and create something out of what you have.
Don’t be afraid to share your hobby! Friends that are musically talented have hosted live concerts from their living rooms on social media, a friend that is an excellent painter has shared videos of her projects online, and physical trainers have posted workouts for folks to try at home. These small gestures can make huge impacts on our moods. Now is the time to share your talents.
Have Things to Look Forward To: I wish there was an end day in sight: April 8, May 1, June 3, etc. However, most professionals don’t even have a clear idea of when life will return to normal. That’s why it is so important to continue setting goals and have things to look forward to.
Personally, I am so excited for Laura and me to be moving into our first home. We recently purchased our first home after several years of renting and close on the sale in mid-April. This has given us so much hope and excitement throughout the last couple weeks. We’ve been able to occupy our lives planning paint colors, projects, and room layouts. We’ve gotten a head start on packing our current rental into boxes and being as organized as possible for the move. I encourage you to find a project or something you’ve been hoping to complete and set a goal to do so.
It is important to recognize that we all must keep going. Take time to reflect on your habits over the past week. Try to find hope in each day. Take time away from the news and pick up a new book, complete a project, or reach out to a loved one. These small gestures will build into better days.
We are all in this together.
Our youth at SJA have amazing things to say. Our goal is to give them a platform to share their thoughts on topics they want to talk about. Their thoughts are uniquely theirs. From politics to faith, school issues to our church, this blog shares their voices with our community.