I’ve been consuming news and social media at a higher rate than normal, much like others and more than I typically do. I’m happy to be part of many online communities that were just additions to my daily life before now … but now are my community and interactions. Not every state is in the same place regarding social distancing and self-quarantining at this moment, but we are in the beginning of a global pandemic. It’s not an exaggeration or an over blown thing the government is ‘spouting off this week.’
So after scrolling Facebook and seeing someone (who is officially employed by the Church) saying things like the “government can’t force us to not have Mass, it’s a violation of our rights” and then continuing to spout off a lot of stuff that’s not helpful, nor scientific. Everyone believes they’re an expert, but the only thing I’m actually an expert in is me and the boundaries I need right now. So these are my boundaries right now to keep myself sane.
Limiting Who I’m Informed By: I’ve got to limit my news sources. I’ve chosen a few for coverage like the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR. The 1st and 3rd are my regular news sources, but I don’t need all-day coverage. I also don’t need sensationalized coverage.
With this I need to stay off Facebook because my news feed is just a cease-pool of humanity (also composed of my friends and family … but they are not at their best on that platform). I’m staying on Instagram, but muting and un-following people who are negatively contributing to my mental health and emotional stability.
Social Media Usage: And following people who are providing hope and light right now. My favorite new follow is: Good Good Good. Kristen Bell and Rachel Hollis area also great follows for joy and goodness. There are lots of amazing spiritual life posts that I can’t help but share in my stories, so if you want to get them too, just follow me! I’m also participating in Blessed is She’s VBS (Virtual Bible Study) on Luke that started today. Which leads to my next area.
Being Intentional About Spiritual Life: It would be easy to stay home from Mass and do nothing. We’ve been excused of our obligation and some might take that to mean they can begin sleeping in on Sunday. I found a Mass that I could watch at a specific time for Sunday Mass and prayed the Rosary beforehand like I typically do at the parish. Looking for a new Mass though that’s live streamed and not previously recorded or even “produced” in any way. I just want to attend Mass with a community, with a moment of prayer during Communion. I think this is the one I’m going to attend from home next Sunday: Mass from America’s Catholic Church. I’ve also really appreciated this live stream of Eucharistic Adoration.
Staying Active: I made a commitment months ago that I was going to work out for 30 minutes every day, and I still am. Morning yoga has been my jam for the past few weeks while recovering from a cold I got while traveling (I’m better now), but later this week I’m going to add my cardio/strength routine back in. I’m not letting this be a time of staying up late and then sleeping in late … my alarm’s still set for 6:20 am. Walking outside when possible, while also social distancing.
Cleaning All the Things: I’ve been needing to clean my shower and bathroom and bedroom and whole house really for a while. So I started with a deep clean of my bedroom and bathroom on Saturday. Curtains, sheets, vacuuming behind things, etc. I even cleaned my shower, which does not regularly get cleaned while I’m getting cleaned. Then my office, guest bath, and hallway the next day. Next step is downstairs!
Reading All the Things: I’m also reading more (I know, more?! How?!). I gave up TV for Lent, so I’m trying not to watch movies and shows and instead pick up a book. I wish I’d grabbed a whole shelf when I was at the library last week, but alas I’ve got many books that are unread on my bookshelves. Probably enough books to last 26 weeks of quarantining instead of the 2-6 that we’re going to have to do. So if you need a book, let me know! Also the library does eBook lending via Libby and Hoopla, so there’s an unending supply should I run out of reads. I do have a favorite books I might re-read like Kara Isaac’s Christian Rom-Com’s. I also could dive deep into Anne of Green Gables, the antidote to a global pandemic since she’s just so delightful!
It’s really only day 3, the 3rd day of being 35 and I’m so grateful I was able to celebrate my birthday last week. Never before has a birthday brought in “such a new day” right afterward. Here’s to a few weeks of quarantining and social distancing to hopefully be back to normal by Mid-April? May? The summer? Soon!