/Turn off the news and love the people in front of you

Turn off the news and love the people in front of you

I haven’t said much about COVID-19 because I don’t want to be just one more person adding to the noise. However, I felt this burden to share something that’s been on my heart…

If you are feeling panicked, scared, or stressed right now, can I encourage you to turn off the news and love the people right in front of you?

That might mean unsubscribing from email newsletters, being offline more, unfollowing (or hiding) people or pages you follow online for a season, or shutting off the news. Whatever is feeding your worry and fear, step away from it as much as you can and replace it with loving those right in front of you well.

Yes, we need to be informed. Yes, we need to be wise and cautious. Yes, we need to think carefully about how our actions might cause harm to those who are most at risk. But sitting around stressing and feeding ourselves a constant diet of theories and predictions and “what if’s” is not going to help anyone — and it’s going to wear down our own immune systems.

Rock and sing to your babies. Read to your toddler. Bake cookies with your 5-year-old. Play a game with your pre-teen. Hang out with your teenager. Watch a funny movie as a family.

Tell your spouse how much you love them. Plan a creative at-home date night. Text or call your elderly neighbor. Send an email or FaceTime a friend.

Pray for those who are most vulnerable. Look for ways to serve your community. Think of those people who might be overlooked or especially scared and reach out to them.

It’s amazing how much our perspective and outlook can change when we focus on loving others! Who needs your love and kindness today?

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