Dancing with truth and peace



March 2020



3 Habits For A Healthier “Distanced” Life

Written by , Posted in Blog, Lead Yourself

Part of the stress I’ve felt this week are the number of great unknowns. The questions seem to swallow any answers.

What will happen? Will I lose a loved one? How long until this is over?

This crisis has made us realize what was already true – lots of things are outside our control. However, I would like to offer three time-sensitive habits to add health to you – all of you (heart, mind, body, soul).

1. Listen to God BEFORE you peek at the news.
This isn’t complicated:
1. Wake up.
2. Do what you need to do.
3. Spend time with your Heavenly Dad.

I’ve heard many people wisely recommending that we limit our News intake.* I agree. So follow steps 1-3 before…before you click on the news, scroll through social media, or read your emails.

Book of Brian 3:16 says, “Thou shall not prematurely proceed to step 4 (whatever that might be) until thou first fulfills step 3. Step 3, therefore, must always proceed step 4. And the number of thy first 3 steps shall be 3.

This habit is a wise choice even without a crisis. It’s especially powerful now. Were you created to be deluged with a thousand emergencies, updates, and emotions before you even get to your slice of toast? Instead of starting your day with anxiety, anger, and complexity, rest in the Lord.

Watch: How to use The Lord’s Prayer as a prayer guide.

2. Exercise BEFORE you get tired.
God made bodies to move. My body doesn’t move as far or fast as it used to, but it can still move a little. When it moves enough, bursts of endorphins and happiness fill me. People who specialize in physical and emotional health agree on the importance of exercise, especially in stressful times.

Some of you will move like my brother, jogging effortlessly down country roads. A few will move like Roger Federer, body gliding and feet barely touching the ground. Some will move like me, your feet clomping along. Others should settle for a walk around the block or leg-extensions from a chair. Don’t compare yourselves to others. Just move before you get tired. Once I get a little tired, it’s over. Plus, once you exercise, you feel energy, so you don’t want to do this right before bedtime.

I carry tension in big knots behind my shoulders. If you could’ve felt them before and after I exercised yesterday, you would have been amazed. I’ve told my wife that she needs to force me to exercise every day during this time. I know she’ll do this; she knows I’m a nicer person when I do.

I love to pray, think, or listen to sermons/podcasts, when I jog, walk, or hike. You may also find this to be an enriching spiritual time.

3. Call someone BEFORE you go to bed.
I really missed hugging my church family on Sunday morning, my Eritrean brothers and sisters on Tuesday evening, and my prayer group in North Tulsa on Thursday morning. I’m a bit afraid of lapsing into a social-distanced version of the movie Groundhog Day.

Our Small Group from church had a virtual meeting about four days after activities in Tulsa started drastically changing. I thought it would be helpful, but it was so much more. I grossly underestimated how much we needed to connect, laugh, learn of needs we could meet, pray, and feel a little normal. We scheduled our next meeting in three days. The Acts model of “meeting daily,” suddenly makes more sense.

Social media interaction isn’t enough. You need to hear a real voice (and it’s a bonus if you can see a face). And the person you talk to needs this too, maybe desperately. Be intentional.

Include some people who will encourage you. Include some people whom you can encourage. Include believers and also people who may be searching during this time.

I hope these habits will help you survive and maybe even thrive. Would you take a few minutes to make a plan to kickstart them? You may need a strategy, a new phone reminder, or an accountability partner.

Do you have a habit to suggest? I’d love to hear it.

Let me empty my idea-box here with some other things that may be of help:
Read more. Here are my favorite books from 2019.

If you live in Tulsa and want to read my newest book, I’ve got a box of them that I was going to sell at a seminar. I can get one to you. Contact me and we can have a sanitized, distanced drop-off.

Try a new podcast. Here are my favorite podcasts.

Don’t snack all day long. My wife had to remind my kids and me about this!

How cool would it be if you took big strides in learning a language, instrument, or skill during these weeks?

*This isn’t a terrible time to evaluate if your news sources and media personalities have proven themselves to be honest and helpful.

Photo used with permission by Erik Mclean

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