If there is a word that the entire country is tired of hearing, COVID is probably high on that list. Adults and children are still forced to stay to themselves where they once had social opportunities and events to help them relax or keep busy. There is something to be said about changing up the routine from time to time. Though restrictions are easing up in some places, the stresses may linger for quite a while as we catch up and adjust to the “new normal”.
I have personally seen quite a number of blessings coming our way from uniting the world in faith and prayer for recovery, slowing down our hectic lives, spending more time together, and having to refocus on what is most important in our lives. Yes, there is some added stress, but we need not take it out on the ones we love most. Many couples are finding it difficult to spend so much time together. Don’t let this constant proximity ruin your relationship. There are some things you can do to ease the stress heaped upon everyone’s shoulders.
-Be grateful. Look around you and recognize the hand of the Lord in your life. Spend time reflecting on the courtship and engagement to your spouse. What was it that drew you to that person? Can you see what a blessing this person has been in your life?
-Be prayerful. The Lord knows that we humans will always have weaknesses. You might hate the way your spouse does dishes or leaves shoes all over the house but remember that you probably have some habits that might be annoying also. Pray for peace in your heart, for a willingness to forgive, and plead for the Holy Ghost to soften any feelings of discord. Pray together, kneel in communication with your Savior. You will renew your commitment to one another as you strengthen your commitment to Heavenly Father and His work.
-Don’t forget the fun! Do something silly. Lip sync a song on your phone camera, do a family talent show, have a game night, tell family stories, have a crazy fashion show, play in a sprinkler together. Laughing together will bring a tremendous amount of relief to quarantine stress and will strengthen your family bond. Find the humor in every day. The women in my family lines often laugh ourselves to tears over things other people don’t even consider.
-Be engaged in a good cause. Find something that fills your bucket, that satisfies your need for a sense of purpose. When you feel fulfilled, stressful situations are easier to meet with a positive outlook. Too much time on tv or phone can sabotage your sense of fulfillment so set realistic limits for yourself.
-Lastly, remember that Heavenly Father is in charge. While there is uncertainty and there is chaos all over the world, we can have peace by knowing that He has a purpose in this, that He is watching and that He offers comfort as often as we seek Him.
President Benson has said, “We live in an age when, as the Lord foretold, men’s hearts are failing them, not only physically but in spirit. Many are giving up heart for the battle of life… As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression. Yet, of all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that “peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,” we are also assured that “the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst.”
We do not need to give in to Satan’s attempts to hurt us. We can keep looking to our Father and the Savior for guidance, direction, and comfort. Peace will come as we earnestly strive to feel His influence in our lives and in our marriages under any circumstance.
“Do Not Despair”, Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, Sunday afternoon session, October 1974.