Last night, I woke up around 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep because like many of you, I have been glued to the television looking and listening regarding the hundreds of thousands of people affected by COVID-19 (of which my uncle is one of them) and the thousands that have died already. I also tuned in to what the experts are projecting to be the greatest devastation this pandemic will have on our country alone in the next few weeks.
I found myself looking at the news and seeing the weariness of so many of our first responders (i.e. doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, etc.) tirelessly working and sacrificing their lives to save ours.
My heart broke. And I breathe out a prayer for them.
But what I soon became aware of after taking in all that information is that I needed to BREATHE.
In other words, I had allowed myself to get so caught up in inhaling and exhaling all the real, yet negative news that I failed to hit the pause button and inhale in something else that is more hopeful and uplifting. Embracing that exchange alone makes a huge difference in navigating how I feel, think, and believe about what is going on around me.
Pushing pause to just BREATHE is something that I believe many of us need to do instead of becoming inundated with our 24-hour news cycle that can drown out maintaining a positive outlook even in the midst of a crisis of this magnitude.
When I think about the ability to breathe, for most of us it is automatic. We do it without even consciously thinking about it. We inhale and exhale all day long. So, what things are you filling yourself up with automatically without even giving it a second thought?
What are you “INHALING & EXHALING” on a regular basis? So unaware that you are exposing yourself to large quantities of negative thoughts, opinions, and beliefs, whether from others or from yourself that can become hazardous to our health; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Perhaps, it could be from engaging in too much TV, social media, the Internet, or negative people. Whatever it is or whoever it is, pull back and take a moment to just BREATHE. Allow your thoughts to be free from fear, worry, anxiety, and depression that this crisis definitely has the power to do and allow yourself to take a Deep Cleansing Breathe and just let it all go…at least for the moment.
Let go and just breathe in the right things to keep your heart and mind clear and at peace.
Here is a BREATHING exercise to do during this Coronavirus crisis that you might helpful: BREATHE IN FAITH, HOPE & LOVE DAILY. Here's how:
1. Inhale FAITH and Exhale TRUST
I don’t know about you, but I am a believer that in spite of what is going on, especially when there are no sure answers and things are out of my control, I know that God is in control. A strong belief (FAITH) in God gives me the ability to depend and rely on someone bigger than myself whose wisdom and power will help us all navigate through tough times and come out stronger, wiser, and better. Therefore, FAITH then solidifies into TRUST. TRUST is knowing in whom and in what we believe can decrease worry and fear and usher a sense of peace that everything will be taken care of.
2. Inhale HOPE and Exhale OPTIMISM
When we are in a crisis, it often feels like it will never end. But the reality is nothing last forever. HOPE is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. In other words, things are going to change and get better. It is that confident assurance that everything is going to be alright. While in the process of having HOPE, we birth OPTIMISM which is believing for a successful outcome regardless of how it looks right now!
3. Inhale LOVE and Exhale LOVE
The scripture states in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE; but the greatest of all three is LOVE." This is the time when a catastrophic event such as COVID-19 has seemly shaken the entire world with record breaking unemployment rates, sickness and disease running rampant, people not sure how they are going to pay their bills or mortgages, first responders’ risking it all on the line, and with extreme uncertainty that we all feel, we must extent our LOVE one to another with extravagant grace. Why? Because love never fails and we are all in this together. So, make sure you show someone FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE daily.
Now, all together let's just BREATHE!