As Christ-followers, we are tasked with caring for our spiritual health and that of our neighbors. However, unprecedented times like the ongoing pandemic can make it hard to stay positive. Added stress can make it hard to care for our minds and bodies. But it’s important now, more than ever, to be of sound mind and spirit so that we can continue our mission “to make disciples for the transformation of the world.”
Rev. Mike Warner of Clergy Care Services shared some tips to help us care for ourselves during this season of honoring the “stay at home” order.
“A wise mentor once advised me, ‘You can do very little about what happens to you, but you can do a lot about how you respond to what happens to you,” Mike said. Self-care is one affirmative response to the life-changing circumstance in which we currently find ourselves.”
On Staying Positive
With a media cycle that is constantly streaming on our phones with an abundance of nerve-racking information, it’s hard to remain positive. Mike suggests that we seek content based on facts rather than opinions, that we take time to “reflect on the times in the past when we’ve experienced God.” We can also gain much from being good neighbors, says Mike. “Do something good for someone near you, like a neighbor, colleague, or extended family member.”
What to Do with Your Spare Time
While some American employees in “essential” industries are still required to work each day, others have been asked to stay at home. How can we use our spare time for good? Mike suggests taking time to care for the little things in our lives we may have forgotten. “Use this extra time to make repairs, clean, organize, purge items in your home. It’s also a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends.”
On Keeping C.A.L.M.
In his book Anxious for Nothing, author and pastor Max Lucado shared a helpful tenet using the acronym “CALM.” Mike says that this is a great tool to help us “remember God’s self-care prescription for times that are filled with anxiety.”
CALM stands for…
C – CELEBRATE God’s goodness. Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice! (Phil. 4:4)
A – ASK God for help. Fear triggers either despair or prayer. Choose wisely.
Let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)
L – LEAVE your concerns with God. Let him take charge. Let God do what he is so willing to do.
Guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
M – MEDITATE on good things.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
On Caring for your Spiritual Life
When it comes to caring for one’s spiritual life, Mike emphasized maintaining an active prayer life. “Pray daily and frequently. Read your Bible and other inspirational literature.” But it’s also about keeping an attitude of faith and finding time to be still, that allows us to “look for God’s activity,” as Mike suggests. A healthy spiritual life and can be improved through finding balance as well. “Reflect on your work/rest balance,” says Mike. “This could be a new opportunity to make changes for a more permanent balance in your life.”
Other Ideas for Self-Help
- Call Clergy Care Services (317-550-5406) for free and confidential pastoral care available to all Conference clergy and employees and their immediate family members.
- Explore self-help articles at , a UMC-supported health care resource designed for and with United Methodist pastors in mind. The password should be the same as your pension password, or you can use the guest password of GAUMC.