First things first... how are you doing? Are you taking care of yourself right now? We want to let you know what we're here for you in any way that we can help. Below you'll find a set of tools we're calling our Spiritual and Emotional First Aid Kit. It is incredibly important that you are intentional about caring for yourself and getting the help you need. We've also set up a way that you can get in touch with our pastoral staff should you need to talk to Pastor Shane or any of our wonderful and caring church . If you need to talk or anything at all please click the button below to visit our cares page to get in touch.
One of the easiest things to overlook in traumatic experiences is your own physical wellbeing. It's easy to let poor coping techniques become bad habits that only made the situation even more difficult.
"Make a conscious effort to consume nutritious foods, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, do some form of physical activity every day, and avoid using substances such as alcohol or cigarettes to cope"
- Kaushal Shah, a psychiatric researcher at Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, Okla., who has done research on Psychological First Aid.
Besides being important for your overall health, these healthy lifestyle practices are a vital part of caring for yourself. Find a baseline routine that works for you and maintain it.
If you know people who are struggling to get enough food, water or shelter, please consider nominating them for our Good Neighbor Grant
Recognize that most of us have hit our maximum bandwidth and we need to be intentional about protecting ourselves from additional distress. This means treating both yourself and others with compassion. You’re going to need to remind yourself that what you are experiencing and feeling right now is perfectly normal. This is an abnormal, traumatic situation… You’re not built to feel normal right now and that’s ok. Part of caring for yourself right now means protecting yourself from information overload. Turn off the TV, put down the computer and do something unplugged and disconnected for a while.
Set aside time for prayer and meditation each day. Take some time to do a little deep breathing. Find a quiet, cool place and dedicate yourself to de-stressing by doing some light yoga. You have to be intentional about tending to your spiritual needs and so setting priorities about what activities are most life affirming to you is incredibly important.
Gratitude is psychologically one of most beneficial things you can do right now. We suggest keeping a gratitude journal. Keeping one is really very simple... Any journal or even plain paper can work. Keep it by your bed and first thing in the morning write down 3 things you're grateful for. Then before you go to sleep each night reflect on your day and highlight some things, no matter how small, that you are grateful for. If you are looking for a very good gratitude journal you might give this one a shot.
The single best predictor of human resilience is support from other people. Reach out to friends and family members on social media and make an effort to rekindle old friendships by phone, text, email or ZOOM. Connect with The Eights, a prayer group that meets online every weekday at 8am and 8pm to pray and check in with each other. More info here about the Eights. You can join one of our many lifegroups and small groups that continue to meet virtual during this pandemic. More info here. Consider establishing your own covid-safe pod or bubble so you can spend in-person time with supportive people.
If you need to talk with Pastor Shane or any of our or wonderful church staff please don't hesitate to reach out. Shane has met with folks outdoors at the church, in backyards and on neighborhood walks. He's also available to talk via the phone or webchat. Click here to get in touch with Shane or our staff.