By Rev. Graeme Peters, St James Anglican Church, Dandenong
Health authorities have been warning us right from the start of the pandemic that our race against Covid-19 would be more like a marathon than a sprint.
We will need reliance and stamina to stay the course and we will need hope in order to not get discouraged.
But how can we build hope and resilience? Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful in my own life.
Find strength from the example of former generations.
Remember that we are not the first people to face a pandemic. Generations before us have battled the Spanish Flu pandemic and fought against polio and AIDS.
We stand on their shoulders, and we can arm ourselves with lessons that they learned the hard way from their experience.
We are not the first or the only ones to have faced a pandemic.
Secondly, practise gratitude.
Consciously giving thanks for little things each day helps us to acknowledge the good things in our lives and not be dragged down or overwhelmed by the bad things.
I thank God each day for so many little and big things that the silver lining on the dark clouds starts to shine very bright.
Focus on the needs of others.
Focussing on yourself and the things you are missing out on can have you spiralling into self-pity.
We are more blessed when we give than when we receive, and we can find more joy in helping others than in helping ourselves.
Why not call someone today to encourage them!
Set short-term goals and achieve them.
We may have lost control over many things in our lives, but we will be strengthened by setting achievable goals and reaching them.
It might be to walk for the full hour that we are allowed to exercise. It might be to weed a whole garden bed.
Successes in the areas where we still have some control in our lives will strengthen our hope and resilience.
Finally, discipline your daily life.
Set routines for eating, sleep, work, exercise and prayer. Find a balance in your life and stick with the discipline.
Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, worship, acts of charity, mindfulness, silence, and meditation will help strengthen your mind and your spirit.
I hope you find hope and resilience as you try these simple suggestions.