Feeling Down?

During this information-filled, divisive, politically polar, pandemic-laden time it is easy to feel overwhelmed and, possibly, even hopeless. People are struggling through unemployment, fear, anxiety, sickness, stress, loss, and grief. With the closings of once-dependable cultural distractions like sports, movie theaters, bars, gyms, churches, and schools, people are finding out just how fragile life as we knew it — something that we’ve all taken for granted at least to some extent — really was.

But, the fact is that there are options that you can choose from in order to help you see through the clouds, at least a little. Here are some ideas that have been most helpful for me:

  1. Find some open space outside and take a long walk. It’s not always something I feel inclined to do, but, once I get out there, it almost always makes me feel better. Maybe listen to a positive podcast or some favorite music. One of my favorite podcasts is the Journey Church Podcast . In terms of music, I’ve been digging a quarantine playlist that I put together weeks ago featuring the likes of Pearl Jam (help provide food for those in need during the pandemic and enter for an amazing Pearl Jam prize), Aaron Sprinkle, R.E.M., Jesse Sprinkle, Kevin Max, Josh Calhoun, and Josh Harmony
  2. Think of somebody you know and haven’t spoken to in a while, a loved one, or somebody who might also be feeling down and give them a call
  3. Think of a way that you can lend a hand to somebody in your neighborhood, while keeping within the guidelines of social distancing. This might mean mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, taking their trash to the curb, or making a trip to the grocery store for them when you go to get your own
  4. Give to a charity or non-profit in need. Some of my favorites are:
    1. The Hands & Feet Project — fighting the orphan crisis in Haiti by striving to reunify abandoned children with their families, when possible, providing family-style care for those reunification isn’t possible for, and providing opportunities for sustainable employment
    2. Show Hope — providing support for adoption
    3. Rowan Helping Ministries is our local homeless shelter that also provides clothing and food to those in need, but, you can reach out to the homeless shelter closest to where you live
  5. Shop! Haiti Made is a small company that provides sustainable employment through the production of high-quality, hand-made leather goods and more. Your business will be most appreciated during this time as Haiti has also been hit hard by Covid-19
  6. Get creative. This may look different depending on who you are. For some this might mean drawing, remodeling their kitchen, journaling, writing music, learning to play an instrument, painting, or sculpting. You don’t have to be an expert in any of these areas to give them a try. Now is a great time to try something new!
  7. Get involved with online devotionals. If you’re interested in being part of a devotional group, e-mail me at gracemark76@gmail.com and I will hook you up! The devotionals that I’ve been enjoying the most are from You Version and Lectio365
  8. Pray — God is always listening, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and he’d love to hear from you. If you’d like somebody to pray specifically for you, e-mail me at gracemark76@gmail.com

You might notice that a lot of these suggestions have to do with looking up and out to consider the needs of others and that is because helping others is one of the surest ways to walk in line with the original design with which we were created.

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

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