Self Care During Crisis (for your Mind, Body & Spirit)
We have heard over and over again that these are challenging days. The Coronavirus Pandemic is unchartered territory for all of us. This is especially true for The Salvation Army our DNA is to be on the frontline meeting needs in Jesus’ name.
The Centers for Disease Control have been keeping us informed about what to look for and how to act in these days of “social distancing,” but what about those corps officers, ARC officers, emergency services workers, and food pantry workers? What about those involved in frontline ministry? You must become very aware of the needs of your body, mind, and soul.
The Spiritual Life Development Department has created a resource that may be helpful in these challenging times. We have put the information into post form to get the word out to all those who are at the forefront of ministry to stay healthy and balanced.
Self-Care Check List
For Your Physical Health
- Listen to your body –Is there anything you are keeping outside of your awareness that your body seems to be aware of and is trying to bring to the forefront?
- Stay active and exercise – What are the unique requirements of your physical health? What can you realistically do in your present situation for physical exercise?
- Stay hydrated – If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Carry water with you at all times.
- Wash your hands – Be an agent for ending contamination!
- Eat mindfully – Small meals, nutrient-dense food, hot/cold food, limit caffeine/sugar.
- Sleep – To the best of your ability, keep your body in rest/engagement balance (6-8 hours/nap when possible.
“…didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (MSG)
For Your Mental Health
- Reflect on your actions – Review the day; when did you hear God speak; when did you respond, and when did you resist?
- Decrease stress/know your limits – Create a Breath Prayer – select a name for God that resonates with you/state your desire (i.e., “Loving Father, make me aware of Your Presence.”) Use this throughout the day when needed.
- Listen to others – Resist the need to respond, give advice, or find a solution in every conversation.
- Build community/be engaged – Speak in turn, share your thoughts, share your fears, remain curious, ask questions. Remember, isolation can be deadly!
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7 (TPT)
For Your Spiritual Health
- Listen to yourself – Are you balanced? If not, what’s throwing you off balance? What is it you want…really want? Name your desire in Christ’s presence. Is there something Christ is inviting you to do to live into your heart’s desire?
- Schedule quiet time – Be in touch with your spiritual center by taking time to quiet your body and mind from outer distractions and “center down” inwardly. This takes time and practice.
- Schedule prayer time – Consciously rest in the knowledge you are in Christ’s presence. Allow His love to wash over you. Share your concerns and requests with Him. Thank Him for answered prayer.
- Schedule personal time – Sabbath keeping = worship, rest, and delight (doing something life-giving).
- Be open to not knowing – God is in control, trust His answers, and timeline.
- Be open to inspiration – God will breakthrough in nature, situations, and conversations if you are sensitive to His presence.
“Lord, my heart is meek before you. I don’t consider myself better than others.
I’m content to not pursue matters that are over my head—such as your complex mysteries and wonders—that I’m not yet ready to understand.
I am humbled and quieted in your presence. Like a contented child who rests on its mother’s lap, I’m your resting child, and my soul is content in you.” Psalm 131:1-2 (TPT)
For all those on the frontlines of ministry, may God give you wisdom and discernment as you meet human needs in His name.
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, USA East SLD
most of the content taken from an SLD resource created in collaboration with International Emergency Disaster Services for their use while serving during disaster relief work.