Mission Newsletter - Oct. 2020: Pandemically Resilient

October 15, 2020

Submitted by the Rev. Patrick Lewis
Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Billings, Montana

How are you holding up? No, really, do you feel like the world is closing in on you, or are you one of the people who can seemingly bounce back every day and face this world with a smile? It is true, we have so much to be grateful for, but many of us are beginning to fatigue under the stresses of day to day obstacles we are being called to address. So, when someone asks how it is with our soul, we find it difficult to answer because we do not know. How are we supposed to be during this time and space in life?

Many of us move through difficult times in our lives and our ability to ‘bounce back’ has become known as resiliency. Sure most of us can rebound from diversity when it is just a one time deal, but hen crisis happens one after another and we don’t have time to regroup, we can become entangled in a space where we experience fatigue and trauma that can lead to spiritual, mental and physical breakdowns.

So, if you were asked today, “how resilient are you?” How would you answer? Here is a short test that might give you some insight to how much bounce you really have…

So, what was your score? How did it add up? Many people are finding it more and more difficult to recover from the daily stressors of the job and life. So, what can we do? First, know that you are not alone. Stress, anxiety, and trauma are seen today as one of the greatest health risks facing people. Next, begin taking small steps to reduce stress in your life. Here are a few ideas on managing daily stress.
Take a break! Walk around the building, step outside for a few minutes, ground yourself in nature. There is something so therapeutic about grounding, you should try it!
  • Nourish your body with healthy choices. You have heard it before, eat right, drink plenty of water and exercise… Well, it turns out, it makes your system more resilient and better able to
  • fend off stress and anxiety.
  • Meditate or pray every day. People that nourish their souls have a much greater ability to face challenges.
  • And most important, BREATHE! Breathing exercises have a multitude of beneficial effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Take a moment to be aware of your breathing and practice deep even breaths in and out.
As with anything, changing habits and routines is challenging, but small steps every day can make a huge difference in your life. If you find that these small changes do not increase your resiliency or you feel you scored too low on the short test above, seek out professional counseling with someone versed in trauma and anxiety. You just might find a quick tune up makes you feel better all over and helps you to
better deal with the challenges of each day.
For more information on building your resiliency read Resilient, by Rick Hanson, pub. Rider ©2018 Picture credits: https://www.peoplemattersglobal.com/blog/life-at-work/racing-with-resilience-22452 To find help near you go to: https://www.psychiatry.org/