It’s a running joke that since the pandemic started, our pairs of jeans haven’t seen the light of day. In fact, we may not even have gotten out of pajamas before schooling children, working remotely, and keeping up with a house when everyone is always home. It’s maintenance mode – or even just plain old survival.
If you’re in that place and don’t see the way out, I hear you. Each of us has our own challenges in this time – from multitasking to financial and health worries to isolation and mental health concerns.
But for some of you, you may be itching for a way forward, even amidst the chaos and uncertainty. As Christians, we know that we have a God-given mission in our lives – our Vocations for one. Then, in a more specific way, God has a mission for each one of us, a way in which He is calling us to use our unique gifts and talents to live fully and to serve others. Change, even really tough change like the lock-down, can open a window in our hearts to embracing our missions in a new way.
As a life coach, I walk alongside men and women with dreams – or at least who want to figure out what those dreams are. Here are just a few things that I, and they, have found helpful in this chaotic time:
- Time to grieve: It’s okay (and even healthy) to acknowledge what you’ve lost during this time, whether it be a loved one, job, or time with friends and family. Take a few moments each day for prayerful awareness of what you’re feeling and pray to the Holy Spirit for consolation.
- Journal: This doesn’t need to be a formal event. What I suggest is taking a few moments each morning before the day really starts (perhaps with a cup of coffee) and writing out your thoughts. What is discouraging you? What is filling you with hope? What are you thankful for?
- Spend time pursuing joy: Whether you have 10 minutes to spare or two hours, plan each day to do something for the pure enjoyment of it. It is not selfish or useless to take time to try a dance video, find a new socially isolated place to hike, make a homemade card for a friend, or figure out how to play a new board game.
- Get to know yourself again: In this time away from social trends and expectations, you have the chance to remember and rediscover what makes you happy. What do you like to read? How do you feel called to serve others? What clothes actually make you happy to wear? Is there a pursuit you’ve always thought of trying (Hip hop? Basket weaving? Fostering a pet?) but pushed aside? Now may be the time.
- Dream of the future: Some days it’s hard to imagine that the pandemic will end and it’s true life may not return to “normal” (and the not knowing is certainly part of the challenge). But these circumstances shouldn’t stop us from dreaming and discerning what’s down the road for us. In this time of change, in fact, maybe some new things will come up for you – a new job path, a side venture or creative pursuit, or a change to your family life at home you want to explore.
I encourage you to make the space in your life at home to live both sides of reality – the surviving and also the looking ahead to the future.
If you’re a woman who is interested in spending time digging deep into your goals and God-given mission, I invite you to check out a new group coaching experience for Catholic women – Fully Alive. Fully Alive is a six week course with two professional Catholic life coaches who will give you tools and a process to discover what’s next for you. Find out more about Fully Alive here.