To all my single friends out there, who are now housebound, self-isolating and maybe feel lonely in their hood, I stand with you.
As I mentor a few of my friends who face these challenging COVID-19 times and are single, some issues are reoccurring. I am sure you do not need anyone else providing you with grand suggestions, but as I am single myself, maybe some of my reflections and questions might help you not only survive this season but thrive in and through it.
Some of us, due to home office or shorter working hours have more TIME at our hands. What do we do with it?
I know personally that the Television or online movies and series are a great way to relax and unwind. I can spend hours just watching. But often afterwards I wonder if I could not have used that time better. How about not spending too much time in front of our screens these days but do other stuff instead? How about putting “Jesus time” into my calendar and take time just to hang out with him, read His Word, write down a few words to remember? It could be such a valuable time for reflections.
And why not start painting again, get your instrument out, create a photo book or whatever has been on your to do list forever. Maybe there are still books you wanted to read, some online study courses waiting for you etc. This time could really be a gift. And share your results with your friends. At least they can cheer you online.
Some of us feel we need to REWARD ourselves after another COVID-19 day lived through. What could this reward look like for you? Maybe it could be a walk around the neighbourhood plus chocolate? Chocolate tastes better after exercise! 🙂 At least I am trying to convince myself. Or put a face mask on, pick fresh flowers or cook a good meal.
What can you do to see your SOUL refreshed? What would normally give you energy and get your creativity going? How about starting a journal and reflect on thoughts, experiences, write down a list of things you have achieved in these times and are grateful for? You might be surprised to notice how strong you are.
Everyone tells us these days that looking after our BODY is highly important, especially these days as we are all afraid of catching this virus. But it seems much harder as we cannot do all the sports we love doing. External motivation is rare and we cannot exercise with our friends. Some of my friends have discovered great online courses for free to exercise in your living room. Ask some other friends to join you doing this. You cannot hear the other scream but it does something wonderful to you as you share pain in community. Or if you can, how about taking your bike and explore new areas in your hood?
What is the one thing each day where you can LEARN something new? It will stimulate your brain and lead to new ideas, solutions for some problems. I look forward hearing of all the innovation coming out through this “down” time.
MONEY plays a vital role but how much do I really need to spend online these days? What might I buy impulsively now but know I would regret later? It is certainly a temptation as so much is happening online right now. I remember doing wild online-shopping when I suffered under jetlag. Bad timing! I have also been challenged not to simply stop my donations for others in response to fear and a possible economic crisis.
How can I be a BLESSING to others? It is OK to have a few pity parties. To leave them faster, I choose to do something for others. How can you serve your friends, family members, neighbours as we are facing this period and do not know when the end is in sight?
Who comes to your mind and would appreciate an encouragement from you? How about writing a card, texting, sending voice messages or even picking up the phone? Someone might just need to be surprised.
How can we stay CONNECTED? A lot of things happen online now. This is great and can be a huge blessing. But there are moments, when we are on our own, where it is so tempting to go into dark places within our soul and on the internet. If you struggle with this, it might help to be accountable to someone.
The recent launch of the study of Christian singles in Germany (https://www.scm-shop.de/christliche-singles.html) portrayed the real significance of church services for singles. This is the meeting place and is considered a family substitute. Now this is gone. FELLOWSHIP in churches these days happens online. How about watching a Sunday service together with some friends and use the chat function to discuss content? Though it is no substitute for face to face encounters, I find it amazing how you can still build or invest into friendships.
SPEAK about your needs. When you face a lonely or dark time being separated from everyone, find one or two friends and share with them how you are doing, feeling and what would help you to face this extraordinary time.
Whatever you go through, I pray it will be a time of more victories than struggles, of more relationships than before and less loneliness. I wish you quality times with Jesus like you have never experienced so far. Yes, these are challenging times and we need to also take time to mourn over the things we have lost or we feel we are about to lose. Grieving is part of coping with this situation.
I have a CHOICE of how I want to use this time best. And for this to happen, I need to plan it. For me it works best, that each day I create a small to do list of things I want to get done. I schedule my day to fill it with things which are good for me and where I feel fulfilled. I include exercises to walk at least 10.000 steps each day.
I love how my friend Agnes encounters this special time. She is organizing online game nights via Zoom to play and interact with friends. Last Saturday she invited girls for an online breakfast together and afterwards did Bible lettering as a group, each in their homes. This Easter she has asked a few friends of hers to spend this special time together and they have planned specific times each day to enjoy the Easter celebration together through online connections, sharing, listening to a sermon together, each cooking with the same 6 ingredients etc.
May I encourage us to think outside the box and use this time to not just get through and survive but come out stronger?
I am cheering you on!
If a call with me helps, I am here! 🙂