With the nation implementing mandatory quarantines and normal work schedules being turned upside-down, it can be hard to find the bright side.
However, some students at PHC have found beneficial ways to cope with this difficult and uncertain time. James 1:2-3 challenges us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Senior Sarah Henry, junior Adriana Von Helms, and freshman Celine Robishaw are discovering ways to find joy during this time of change and uncertainty.
“A few things I do are pick up my old hobbies (I sketch and paint),” Henry says. Doing fun activities that you otherwise wouldn’t do is a great way to feel productive while staying inside your home.
When planning out the week, finding specific ways to keep yourself on a consistent schedule. This is key to making the most out of your day and balancing work with rest. Henry started a group chat with some of her PHC friends to help them keep each other on track.
Sometimes being present with the few people around you is the best way to combat the blues of social distancing. Robishaw recommends either sitting in places where others are present or Face Timing while working to prevent being alone most of the day.
“I would suggest that people remain intentional,” Henry said. She says that texting people you haven’t talked to for a while and seeing how they are doing is a good way to start. Catching up with old friends makes isolation feel less cold and is a great way to generate positivity.
“In truth, I think social distancing is gonna be something that gives us the gift of intentionality and prayer,” Von Helms said. She has learned to value her friendships more and to focus on the people around her instead of those far away. She has found that praying for people when they come to her mind is a great way to be more intentional.
“I think it’s so important to find ways of making others feel loved, seen, and valued,” Von Helms said. She has enjoyed being friendly to people she sees on her walks and seeing their warm smiles.
Embrace the Quiet
“To stay encouraged, I would suggest that you take a moment to be still,” Robishaw said. She recommends taking time each day to abide in Christ and to reveal whatever is weighing you down. If it is feelings of loneliness or insufficiency, take that time to enjoy the peace of God.
Von Helms has found writing letters to her friends to be a wonderful consolation for the lack of social interaction. While it is not as fun as getting coffee with a good friend, writing letters is a great way to embrace the quiet and lack of interaction.
It also lets others know you care for them. “I’ve simply accepted that my right hand will forever be cramping from the amount of letters I’m writing regularly,” Von Helms said.
Find Joy in Simplicity
Social distancing means not going to events, restaurants, friend’s houses, and other places. Everything has become more basic as work meetings and classes are online. Noticing the simple things around you to be thankful for helps combat feelings of isolation.
“I'm definitely not a fan of the uncertain and chaotic schedule and lifestyle right now,” Robishaw said. But she and her friends are using it as an opportunity to be thankful and loving. During this time, it can be hard to not get distracted by the big things, but focusing on the little things to be thankful for is a way to stay positive.
Von Helms has creative ways to find joy in simple activities. She recommends packing picnics for the front yard, having a designated reading time, going running, hiking, and cooking a food you’ve never cooked before. These things may seem basic and mundane, but there is a kind of beauty about their warmth and simplicity.
“So the way I see it, we’ve all been given a gift,” Von Helms said. “My strategy is this: If joy is in simplicity, how many moments of joy can I see today?”
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