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No One Is Alone: How to Prevent True Isolation during Coronavirus

No One Is Alone: How to Prevent True Isolation during Coronavirus

No One Is Alone: How to Prevent True Isolation during Coronavirus

“I’m worried about how to combat loneliness and not get depressed,” my friend said. We were texting back and forth about the challenges of social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, and my heart went out to her. I’ve had a few freak-out moments inside my house with my family, but my friend lives alone, so obviously her challenge is greater than mine. During the current crisis, which mandates that many of us stay or work at home, how can we stick together and remember we’re not alone?

As Christians, let’s remember our greatest enemy is not the corona virus, and it’s certainly not that person who just grabbed the last package of toilet paper off the shelf at the grocery store. Our greatest enemy is Satan, and he will do anything he can to put us at odds with each other or make us feel fearful and isolated during this crisis.

Yet the Lord has promised to never leave His people; we need not fear because His unfailing love surrounds us always. The word that Moses spoke to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6 rings true for us today: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Remembering God’s presence helps us stand stronger against fear and discouragement. Reaching out to others who may be feeling discouraged can help us all feel more connected. If you are battling isolation like my friend and me, here are ideas to help:

<strong>Cultivate Companionship with Christ</strong>

Cultivate Companionship with Christ

We may run out of certain supplies temporarily, but as Christians, we have an inexhaustible treasure that never runs out: God’s word. I’ve felt challenged to start my day off with prayer and a few minutes of reading Scripture rather than glancing at the news for a quick update on the latest statistics. Would you consider joining me? Now is a better time than ever to start a simple Bible reading program. Try reading one Psalm or one chapter from the gospels each day to help you weather the current health and economic crisis.

Before He left this earth, Jesus reminded his followers, “Abide in me, and I in you” (John 15:4a). He also promised to send the Holy Spirit to dwell in us so that we would never be alone.

During the coronavirus crisis, we’ve heard a lot of talk about staying productive while working from home. What if we made “abiding in Christ” the top priority on our list today? What would that look like?  Maybe it would look like making an effort to talk to Jesus about regular life as we go about the day or turning on worship music for 5 minutes during a break from work.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/marjan

<strong>Stay Connected to Others</strong>&nbsp;

Stay Connected to Others 

We may not be able to see each other face to face, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay isolated.  We can still reach out to others with a phone call, a text, or even a quick email. Personally, I’ve noticed that reaching out to ask how others are helps me to feel better myself.

Just the other day, I telephoned my 81-year-old, tech-savvy aunt, who remains sharp as a whip, and we talked on the phone about ten minutes. I realized all over again how much I enjoy her, and when I hung up, I felt much better. It added some cheer to my day.

Friend, the Lord might want to use you to reach out to others and encourage them. Who might you encourage today? What if we just asked someone, “How are you hanging in there?” And then what if we really listened?

Photo Credit: Pexels

<strong>Find a Virtual Quarantine Buddy</strong>

Find a Virtual Quarantine Buddy

People who live alone, like my friend, may be at greater risk for loneliness and depression due to mandated social distancing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you live alone, consider reaching out to find a virtual quarantine buddy, someone you can be in contact with every day, or every few days, either by phone or text. Find someone you can talk to about your fears and worries.

If you don’t live alone, consider reaching out to someone who does. Having regular contact with a friend who will listen and pray for you might help all of us to not feel so lonely. It would also give us an avenue to serve another person.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/fizkes

<strong>Maximize Time with Your Family</strong>

Maximize Time with Your Family

Many of us feel trapped at home with kids who are driving us bonkers. Yet a Chinese young person I tutor online told me that the positive side of living under quarantine was that he has more time than ever before with his parents. What if we flip this crisis around and look at the bright side: more time together with our families to talk, cook, study, make art, play games, and watch movies.

Rediscover family dinner. Although studies show that children who eat dinner with their parents have better self-esteem, experience less depression, and perform better academically, the frenzy of modern life has made it difficult. Parents often spend their evenings shuttling kids to and from activities. Now is the perfect time to enjoy the blessing of being able to gather around the table each evening. Ask each family member about the high and low points of his or her day and see where the conversation goes.

We can also combat restlessness and cabin fever by engaging in physical fun with our kids. Consider going on a walk in the park or taking a bike ride. Open air is the safest place to be outside your home, as long as you follow physical distance recommendations. Start a new family challenge and take an online exercise or yoga class together.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

<strong>Find Creative Ways to Encourage and Serve Others</strong>

Find Creative Ways to Encourage and Serve Others

Just this morning, it made my day to receive a Facebook live video from an 86-year-old pastor I know. Obviously, he’s a member of the “at risk” segment of the population, but rather than cower in fear, this octogenarian made a lively video to encourage people to “call on 91-1” (instead of 9-1-1). He quoted the great truth of Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Both his example and the truth he shared encouraged me.

As believers, we have the opportunity to serve and encourage people who are scared. A friend shared with me that she gave a package of toilet paper to her neighbor. Another woman I know reported giving a brief word of encouragement to people she saw at the store. Who might we encourage or serve today? A hand-written note, a video call, or a home-cooked meal dropped off at the doorstep can shine the light of Christ over someone’s day.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Silvia Jansen

<strong>Let Someone Know if You Need Help</strong>

Let Someone Know if You Need Help

Friend, if you have a need or are just feeling lonely, please reach out and let someone know. The rest of us are here for you. God created us to live in community. When He created man, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18).  We are all in this together, and we are all helpers. So, please, don’t stay isolated if you need help; reach out to find someone who can come alongside you.

Together we are stronger to stand against fear and discouragement. Let’s help each other not feel so alone. We will weather this crisis with arms linked together.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has become a resource for many as we face growing fear and anxiety due to the Coronavirus pandemic. God is ALWAYS our source of protection, strength and peace during unknown times. In addition, the following articles may offer more encouragement for all to remember as we face the trials of COVID-19 together:

Betsy de Cruz writes and speaks to help overwhelmed women take small steps to invite more of God’s presence and power into their lives. Connect with Betsy and get a free Quiet Time Renewal Guide at FaithSpillingOver.com. Her book More of God is a distracted woman’s guide to more meaningful quiet times. Betsy and her husband José live in Arlington, Texas and love hanging with their two young adult children.

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Today's role for a Christian woman takes many forms working together - mom, sister, wife, home maker, career women, and more. All of these relationships demand your time and attention. At iBelieve.com we want to help you grow in healthy relationships whether you’re single and dating, newlyweds, married or widowed. Find encouragement and feel uplifted with the sharing of personal experiences from women in every walk of the Christian women’s life.