We have all heard the advice from the medical folks, wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, keep your distance from others, stay home if you feel sick, etc. All the health advice is great, but what of our spiritual health during times of high stress?
Deborah Ringen, Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC has written a beautiful essay on spiritual health and stress release during this time. Here is a bit of what Ringen has to say:
“Spiritual, as well as physical and emotional self-care requires deliberate energy and time spent engaged in activities required for well-being and good health, including rest and relaxation. The first step toward self-care is recognizing our physical, emotional stress and anxiety. Feeling tension and stress in our bodies as headaches, backaches, joint pain and high blood pressure, in our minds with worrying, depression, and low self-esteem, and in our spirit as a feeling of emptiness, or distance from God tells us we need to respond with care. Our overall health depends on getting some exercise every day, making sure we eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, sleeping 7-9 hours each night, keeping up to date with our vaccines and taking our medications as prescribed. Physical, mental and spiritual health go hand in hand.
As activities and events are canceled you might find yourself with extra time. What will you do with it? Maybe this is an opportunity to care more for our emotional and spiritual needs. We can learn to slow down to focus on those we love, maybe even spend some time learning a new spiritual practice. We can lean on God who will sustain us!”
She goes on to say:
“Time for personal prayer, bible study, learning a new prayer practice such as Lectio Divina or meditation or relaxation breathing may help us hear God more clearly. We can use our time wisely and invite God in to bring healing to ourselves, our families, our neighbors and the world.”
Read the rest here