Has this happened to you recently? As you awake in the morning, open your eyes, tune your brain in with reality, the thought hits you – the pandemic wasn’t a dream. This is real life. Again today.
Are you weary of the pandemic? All of us are likely experiencing what I’m calling “COVID fatigue,” as we don’t yet know where and when the finish line will appear. We use phrases like, “I’m losing my mind” or “I’m going crazy.” I think the loose translation is simply, “I’m having a hard time dealing with the level of uncertainty that is now a part of my daily life for the foreseeable future.”
Vince Lombardi, famous Hall of Fame and Super Bowl winning football coach famously said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” If you’re weary right now, you’re not alone. So what to do?
It’s a simple truth that thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to behaviors. So, if you want to feel better you will need to pay closer attention to your thought life. You will do better if you think better. How do you do that? You’ll need to direct your thoughts. In other words, think.
Our thoughts will come and go in a passive, meandering sort of way. When that works well for us, it’s called imagination. When it works against us, it’s called worry. When we provide some direction to our thoughts, it’s called thinking.
To avoid “weak think,” make a 4:8 list.
Here’s a helpful tool to help keep or bring back our thoughts to a place that produces feelings we actually enjoy.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 NLT
When your thoughts ambush you in a not so pleasant way, this list of things to think about (think categories, if you will) can help you get back to a peaceful and enjoyable head space.
Here’s my current thought list to help me battle back when I’m weary. You can steal it or make your own!
True – “Things won’t always be this way.”
Honorable – Medical personnel who are serving those facing COVID-19 complications
Right – Watching someone who holds the door for another at a QT
Pure – A beautiful waterfall
Lovely – Our family pup of 9 human years!
Admirable – I’m thinking of the boy who you may have read about who stepped in front of his little sister to protect her from a dog and ended up getting a nasty bite on his face.
Excellent – Flowers, real or imagined
Worthy of praise – A sunrise or sunset
Maybe you are a little skeptical that it will work for you. The only way to find out is to give it a try. I think you’d agree you need some sort of plan to get through times like these. Oh, and the one who originally penned these words? He wrote them from a prison cell after being whipped and beaten.
Perhaps that will inspire you to think strong, and avoid “weak think.” Hang in there!
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.