Suggestions for Living Well Today
Dear brother and sisters in Christ. I spoke recently with Gustavo Perez, Ph.D, a psychologist and member of our Tucson Diocesan Review Board. I asked him if he had any advice for our faithful people as we face the current Coronavirus challenges. I thought his response below was thoughtful and encouraging. I am happy to share it with you. – Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger
1. Nurture your spiritual life
. We have an abundance of biblical images that show people coming to a deeper awareness of God’s never-ending love during challenging times. Schedule a time of daily prayer, even if only five minutes. Read scripture, meditate on a psalm, pray for others, go to your parish web site or the Diocesan web site and access the daily Mass, etc. Nurturing the spiritual life is critical in challenging times and God will give us strength.
2. Stay healthy
. God calls us to take care of our physical bodies. There are three basic practices proven to improve our physical health, reduce stress, and improve our mental abilities. They also result in more optimism, hope, and compassion toward others. They are:
: sleeping less than 7-8 hours per day leads to reduced energy. Moreover, you must refrain from television or internet for an hour before going to bed. Too, if possible, turn off your phone 30 minutes before going to bed. Sleep is critical.
in stressful times we tend to overeat the wrong foods or to indulge. Plan what you eat and pace your eating. If possible, increase fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
, do not remain idle for long periods of time. Daily physical activity will improve your mood and cognition, as well as your sense of hope. Anything counts! A 5-minute stretch, a short walk outside if possible (taking in a healthy amount of sunshine), or even a walk around the house will make a difference.
3. Stay connected with others
. Behavior science has proven that reaching out to others is crucial for our well-being in times of adversity. Human beings are communal by nature; it is critical that we not isolate. While observing proper social distancing, make an effort to call someone, talk with a neighbor across the fence, contact co-workers, or reach out to someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time.
4. Help others
. Volunteering your time to help others is a proven way to reduce anxiety and improve health. It also restores our sense of being connected to others. While you might not be able to volunteer in the ordinary ways try to be creative, consider contacting an elderly neighbor who may not be safe shopping at present.
5. Try something new
. If you’re not ordinarily a reader, read a book; tell your children or grandchildren happy stories of your childhood; draw your family tree; write a letter to someone who has impacted your life.
6. Turn off the television and the phone
. The average adult in the US spends 5 hours daily on their cell phone. In a time of crisis that number increases! Every unnecessary hour on the phone is time away from connecting with God, nature, those nearest to you, or yourself. And
be smart about media and how you absorb news
. Schedule a reasonable amount of time receiving media on television or internet and then
turn off the television or computer
. If in doubt, go back and try 1 through 5 above.
Bishop Edward Weisenburger
on Tuesday, March 24 at 9:29AM