Sunday, May 10, 2020

Holding on to faith, hope and love

Fr Paddy Byrne

LIVING through this pandemic and coping with isolation while managing our mental health is undoubtedly a challenge. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed and worried during this time. We may also experience feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, fear, irritability and depression. However, there are steps you can take to care for and manage your wellbeing.

1) TAKE A BREAK FROM NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

If the media coverage is overwhelming and heightening your anxiety, it may be useful to allocate set times throughout the day to catch up on news and updates. Too much time on social media, Googling things and excessive exposure to news coverage may increase your anxiety. This is an unsettling time for us, therefore it’s important to remember the facts and only listen to or follow reliable news sources.

2) PRAY … LOOK AFTER YOURSELF

Our basic self-care needs include taking deep breaths, exercising, eating healthily, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. However, we can further care for our wellbeing by creating an evening unwind session. Take 20 to 40 minutes in the evening to reflect and relax.

This can include reading, taking a bath, listening to music or practicing a guided breathing exercise on YouTube. Praying at this time is food for the soul; and be aware that there is no social distancing when it comes to the healing presence of God in our lives. God’s healing presence is available for us all.

3) MAINTAIN CONNECTIONS

Even though we are further apart physically through social distancing, this does not mean we need to lose our connections with family and friends. It is so important to keep in touch. Call, Skype, video call, message, text or email. It will help you and help them. We all need to check-in with one another, to talk about our fears and worries, to reassure and offer support.

Read Fr Paddy’s column: Time to think in this Tuesday’s Laois Nationalist.

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