5 things to do in this time of crisis

For several years the NHS has recommended the ‘five simple things’ as a way of maintaining good mental health. They were not derived from the Christian faith but certainly do not contradict it.

For more information see NHS

Based on a paper by Rhiannon Johnson of the Church in Wales, Fr Chris offers the following suggestions based on these 5 simple things:

The ‘five simple things’ in bold with suggestions about how they can be adapted to caring for each other at the present time

Connect with other people Relationships and contact with others is important. ‘Phone-visiting’ and various apps can help us all connect with our neighbours and our friends and family. We can also contact those who we know to be alone. In Genesis God says “it is not good for the human being to be alone”. We can be “with” others using phones and Apps. There is the Church Facebook Group here – why not post or comment on what you read – and you can join with others in prayer at Mid-day and at 5pm on our Facebook page.

Be Physically Active Being active can hugely improve our mental health and wellbeing. We can find ourselves in front of the TV/Tablet/Computer for long periods. Take a break to stretch, turn on some music and dance, or put on an exercise video. If you live in a flat are there some stairs you can easily climb? Maybe take a walk in your garden or park – but maintain a safe-distance.

Be Curious- learn new things We are all going to have extra time so perhaps this is the opportunity to try new things, or to learn or develop a skill. We can recommend books, films and simple activities for one another. A “Google” search can bring up interconnectivity and on-line games.  We can also develop new ways of connecting with God.

Give to others We certainly know that the crisis is likely to make life difficult for almost everyone and almost impossible for those who were already struggling. We can give to others by being a helping hand, offering to shop for the self-isolating, phoning someone you feel may be lonely or distressed. Whatever we can do will benefit both those who receive and those who give.

Pay attention to the present moment We can become obsessed with the news, lose sight of where we are in life, accepting the blessing that is ours today, and taking a rest from worry about the future and regret for the past. There can be a temptation to want to blame the situation on someone or something or become obsessively anxious. We can find ourselves hearing a constant commentary on the News. Why not listen to one newscast a day, and connect a time of prayer to it? We can so often forget those little things that we need to be thankful for – the smile of a stranger, the phone call from a friend.

For me, the five simple things are a useful checklist for helping people to support each other in these difficult times.

May God help us to help each other at this time.

Fr Chris


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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