Take Good Care of Yourself: Week 4
Last week we learned that we will not be returning to campus for the remainder of the school year. This was disappointing news to me, as I imagine it was for most everyone. I miss my coworkers and seeing all the students. And most likely, you are missing your friends, talking between classes, laughing at the lunch table, and enjoying extra-curricular activities. The reality of not ending the school year on campus is truly a disappointment.
People deal with disappointment in a variety of ways. Some become angry. Some turn into problem solvers. Some brush it off. Some withdraw. Some want to talk it out. Some create art. Some exercise. You get the point. We are all different.
It’s important when we face disappointment to work through it in a healthy way so the frustration and sadness don’t consume and overwhelm us. Depending on how you are wired, this may come easier or harder for you. Here are a few ideas on how to deal with disappointments in healthy ways:
Spiritual Wellbeing: “Read the Psalms”
I love the Psalms. They are reminders to me that God invites me to express my emotions, fears, and disappointments to Him. And they are a guide on how to do it. This week, take some time to read from the Psalms. They are full of encouragement and hope, even when things aren’t going well. Here are a several I recommend: Psalm 13, Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Psalm 103, Psalm 131.
Relational Wellbeing: “Talk it out”
The disappointments that you are experiencing due to this virus are real. It’s important to share these losses and talk it over with a trusted listener, who can offer encouraging words, prayer, different perspectives, and most importantly, support. So this week, reach out to someone you trust and talk through your losses and share what you are thinking and feeling about not returning to campus this school year. Ask them how they are doing, and help one another through this.
Mental/Emotional Wellbeing: “From ‘Why?’ to ‘How?’ & ‘Who?’”
Your mindset toward disappointment is important. Disappointment can either propel your mind into a tailspin of negative thinking, or it can lead you to challenge yourself toward growth. It’s tough to change from a pattern of negative thinking, but it can be done! One way is to move from asking “Why” questions to “How” and “Who” questions. Instead of focusing your thoughts on “Why did this happen?”, refocus your energy and thinking on “How can I grow from this?” and “Who can I help through this?”. This movement toward “How” and “Who” questions can radically change your perspective and create a positive mindset.
Physical Wellbeing: “Work it out”
Movement. Activity. Walking. Running. Basketball. Jumping on the trampoline. Your body needs to move. When disappointment turns to sadness, we often just want to sit. While this isn’t all bad, it isn’t healthy when it becomes a pattern of coping. Our bodies need to move to process the frustrations we are experiencing. This week, make it a point to move. To do something active. This will actually help process the stress hormones that race through our bodies when we are anxious and upset. If you dislike exercise of all kinds, find something active that you are willing to do in 5 minute increments and start there!
Together we will get through this and come out stronger on the other side!
Take good care of yourself!