As COVID grinds on, our positivity may be waning – our hope and faith are tested.

(2020) By Becky Wilken, RN, Faith Community Nurse and member of SOTV since 1994

I have a dear friend who lives alone and is an active, accomplished, vibrant woman. Health issues make her vulnerable, so she continues to fastidiously distance and her many fabulous activities have gone by the wayside. She’s become disconnected from her purposeful life activities…Zoom is just not cutting it! Even with good intentions, she does not always get out for even a short walk. This kind of loss is leading to depression. Friends and family reach out, but it’s a struggle for her to nurture body, mind and spirit. She keeps on and has support, but is struggling. She is aware of helpful resources. Stories like this abound during COVID-19.

The case for starting small and gradually building upon healthy holistic behaviors:

Though my struggles do not compare with the severity of some others in our midst, I had a rough couple of years with surgeries and a fracture. I was majorly humbled and had to figure out what I COULD do, as there was so much I simply could not do. I was lousy at that; I’m a nurse and was accustomed to being the helper…not the one being helped. Walking, biking, kayaking, and yoga – my mainstays – were out. I was disappointed and numb. I could still work in mental health nursing, and I could sing, read, do crossword puzzles, and be with family and friends. I started there and admittedly was not a peach to live with (ask Bill), but kept on. It was a thrill to finally get back on my bike this spring! Bill and I are currently riding our bikes most mornings and it’s a moving meditation. It works for me to pray during the bike ride (ACTS format: adoration, confession, thanks, supplication). The physical exertion clears my head and emotion. I arrive home dirty, tired, but very much aired out…a holistic endeavor.

Tapping into the healing power of nature:

At least COVID-19 is happening during warmer weather, so we can access the great outdoors and get our feel-good body chemicals stimulated. I have always wanted morning coffee with a view, so have improvised with sitting on the front porch, gazing at the beautiful flower pots and beds. Just in our own yard, we have become more in-tune with the abundant life around us, from various birds singing to bunnies munching on our hostas. Do you know that pulling weeds can be therapeutic? One has something to show for one’s effort…a clear area, which also clears our minds. Try meditating on a single blossom…really looking at the miracle of perfection that God has created. The glass half-full view can be that we benefit from slowing down and noticing what is in our own back yard…buckthorn and all!

Disclaimer: this is geared toward people and situations where basic needs of life are met…food, clothing, shelter, finances.