Since COVID-19 grounded much of our world to a halt last month, we have been focusing our Mentor Minute content on caring for the students we mentor. This week, we’re shifting our focus to YOU, the mentor. We recognize that these times that we are living in are impacting everyone, and we would like to take some time to encourage you!
In a lot of ways, these past several weeks have felt like the movie Groundhog Day. We wake up and basically repeat the same day over and over and over again. And, that can easily lead to discouragement, doubt, fear, anger, and so many more negative emotions. So, how do we combat that? How do we keep ourselves from the downward spiral that many of these emotions can lead to?
These are big questions with no easy answers. For some of us, this pandemic world we’re living in has stretched us beyond what we could have ever imagined. And, we don’t want to presume that we can give you a simple formula or three-step process for working through it all. But, what we can do is encourage you to build things into your days that will help you make the most of these times we’re living in.
Here are three things you can build into your daily routine right now:
- Maximize your family time. Many of you have kids and even spouses at home during the day right now that normally wouldn’t be there. And, even though this can create challenges, it can also create opportunities. Use this time as a gift. Be creative with meals, movie nights, family-friendly competitions, and whatever else you can dream up together. This is time that none of us expected to have with our families…choose to make the most of it.
- Start a new hobby (or revisit an old one). This gift of time has given us more opportunities to focus on things that we “didn’t have time” to do before. When I was a kid, one of my favorite hobbies was playing with Lego. I still love Lego, but until last month, I didn’t have much time for it. But, now I do. And, so I went out and bought a new Lego set that I’ve been working on. What’s a new (or old) hobby that you can do with this gift of time that we have right now?
- Get outside (and be active). Fresh air and sunshine (when we have it) are both important ingredients for maintaining positive mental health. Whether it’s working out in your yard, going for a walk or bike ride, or even just reading a book outside in the sun, there are a lot of good things that happen when we get out of the house. And, building activity into your daily routine will positively impact both your physical and mental health as well.
We hope that you find these three things helpful as we all continue to live in this “new normal” for the foreseeable future. Check back next week for more ways that you can make the most of these times that we are living in.
Jason Matthews is a youth pastor in Washington State, where he’s been serving students for over 20 years. When he doesn’t have to be in the office, he loves to be outside with his family, hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. He also loves to network with other youth workers.