I always have a bag of little floss sticks in my purse. I keep them next to me at home and typically use one after every meal. A couple of unfortunate dental issues in the recent future have made me pretty diligent when it comes to caring for my teeth. Lately, though, I haven’t flossed as often. I realized this the other day and tried to get back into it…slowly but surely.
Monday was a big day for me. I had the floss realization and also realized my body was starting to hate me. I was making too many exceptions with food choices and, because I’ve been moving much less, things were hurting. So, I decided to consider what I was able to do to get back to feeling “normal.” I let go of that thought pretty quickly and reoriented myself to this thought:
How do I take the best care of myself?
When you are in crisis, it’s normal to let some healthy habits go. Your mind is foggy, you don’t have as much energy, and the energy you do have is being put to use in different ways. Give yourself some mercy, and then take some time to assess where you are and how you are. Where can you make concessions? How can you be doing better with caring for yourself? For instance, I don’t want more cavities when we are on the other side of this, so I’ve got to keep up good dental hygiene. If I have to put a reminder on my phone to floss, so be it. Keeping these habits will give me a boost now and pay off later.
Paying attention to what you are eating is also something to put energy into. Taking time to consider what we eat, how much, and when will create a sense of stability in this time of uncertainty. We don’t always have access to the most healthy food, so it’s important to give yourself a break. However, you should do your best to maintain the best habits possible. When your normal routine and plans are disturbed, taking control of what you can will help to build in a new routine that will relieve some stress instead of cause more. Stress and anxiety can cause disturbances in digestion, so eating as close to your normal as you can and developing a routine with your meals will do wonders for your overall health.
Along with thoughtful eating, scheduling time to pursue inner peace will serve your body, mind, heart, and soul. Peace and understanding will not come out of nowhere. Our Lord is the Prince of Peace and he invites us to be Peacemakers. What a perfect time to pursue Him more deeply and intentionally. And what a crucial time to be someone who causes peace for others instead of disturbing it. Every aspect of our external lives has been disturbed, so constantly caring for your internal life will allow for balance and stillness. Scheduling in these things daily may help create a peaceful inner experience at this most difficult time.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes to an hour…outside if possible.
If not for exercise, spend time outside in some way.
Drink a warm beverage of your choice.
Don’t let the news be the soundtrack of your life. Just check in for updates.
Be quiet for at least 5-15 minutes.
Set a place and time(s) aside for prayer.
Keep your house clean. Not just for germs, but to be active and comfortable in your space.
Our lives are currently centered around doing everything we can to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone in our communities healthy. What a great mindset to practice now and for the sake of tomorrow. Every choice I make, from what I eat to how I feed my mind, will ultimately ripple out to the world in some way. My choices are never just mine. We have been given this opportunity to orient ourselves and our choices towards care for the other. Let’s put intentional focus on the things we can control and pursue a peaceful internal experience. Consider how your current daily routine can benefit you and others in this time of external disruption. Flossing matters.