Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
// Catie Desttate //
In this time of pandemic, when we’re all quarantined at home with much less to do than normal, a lot more negative news swirling around us, and a lot more time that seems to beg to be filled, I’m noticing that my mind is becoming a lot less of a happy place to be. I’ve noticed that my anxiety is increasing, there’s a lot more binge-watching happening than would normally take place in my life, and instead of drawing closer to the people I’m quarantined with, I’m much quicker to be snippy and irritable. I’ve also been noticing that the pattern of thinking that takes place in my mind has become a lot more negative. Maybe your experience has been similar.
I’ve been very convicted in the last few days that this time of quarantine and pandemic that we’re in is something that we can either allow the Lord to use for our good or the enemy to use or waste to our detriment. I’m determined that I want this to be a time of pruning and restoration used by the Lord, and if you want that too, I’ve come up with a list of 6 ways that we can take back control of our minds during this time.
1.Pay attention to the media you consume
It’s been said that we’re a combination of the five people we spend the most time with. Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s also true that we’re a combination of the five sources of media we consume the most. If those sources are the news, the iffy tv show we’re currently binge-ing, the account we follow on instagram that makes us feel bad about ourselves, the dumb iphone game we play to pass the time, and the facebook feed that we mindlessly scroll through, that’s going to add up to a combination that makes us less than our best selves. On the flip side, if we’re using media to supplement our prayer time, to connect with the people we’re isolated from, to bond with the people that we’re in isolation with, to form ourselves in personal development, and to recreate well, then that’s a pretty good combo.
So here’s my tip: take stock of what media you’re consuming. Is it leading you closer to the person the Lord would have you be, or is it contributing to your anxiety and irritability in this time of isolation?
Here’s the combo I’m finding life-giving: frequent zoom meetings with friends and family, watching the Mandalorian with my fiance, listening to podcasts and talks from people that I admire and want to learn from, instagram accounts that motivate me to love better or take care of my body better, and watching some old seasons of Survivor to be a light-hearted break from the harder realities that most of us are facing.
2. Immerse yourself in Scripture
If there’s one thing that has the power to transform our minds, it’s the Word of God. It can teach us how to live, how to love, how to pray. It tells the story of our good Father’s plan to bring salvation to each one of us. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture every day, our minds and our hearts begin to change — we begin to learn the language of our Father. I think it can be a really powerful force of hope and transformation for us in this time we’re in.
So here’s my tip: choose a couple of books and begin reading them. Stop and linger when something sticks out to you. If there’s a particular verse that strikes you, write it down on an index card and memorize it. Repeat it to yourself whenever you’re in a downward spiral in your mind.
What I’m finding life-giving: the book of Isaiah and the book of John (particularly the stories of Jesus appearing to his disciples after the Resurrection).
3. Put on worship music instead of other types of music
The music we listen to influences us too! When we have worship music on, even in the background as we go about our days, it influences our disposition to the movements of the Holy Spirit. I notice that it hugely affects my mood and enriches my prayer when I choose worship music instead of the latest hits or even a podcast I love while I go about cleaning the kitchen or making dinner or whatever else I might be doing. I’m listening to it now as I write this blog post!
Here’s my tip: find a playlist you like, and the next time you want to jam to something or have some noise on in the background, choose that worship playlist!
What I’m finding helpful: this playlist of worship songs on Spotify.
4. Work out regularly
I won’t devote a ton of space to this, since this usually more fits in with a post about our bodies, but I find that when I exercise, I have a clearer mind. I’m obsessed with Rachel Hollis, a speaker and author, and she says that when you move your body, you change your mind. Taking care of ourselves, even in this time of pandemic, is going to help us to be more in control of our minds.
Here’s my tip: find a home workout that’s fun for you and make a commitment to move your body in some way (workout video, dancing around with your quarantine buddy, going for a walk) for 30 minutes every day!
What I’m doing most days: free youtube workout routines from fitnessblender!
5. Form your mind with talks & podcasts by people you admire
This may be a strange couple of months, but it doesn’t have to be a wasted couple of months. Many of us have more time than we usually would on our hands, and what if we used that time for some personal development? What if we used that time to form our minds and become better versions of ourselves? What a difference that would make in our world! I love sitting down with an inspiring or motivating talk and taking notes and then spending some time reflecting on how I can implement my key takeaways in my own life. It’s an easy and meaningful way to take control of our minds — by forming them!
Here’s my tip: grab a notebook and set it aside as your “personal development” journal. Find some talks or podcasts from people you admire and use that extra hour you have to form yourself!
People I’m listening to: the Abiding Together podcast, the Arise Beloved podcast (shameless plug), Rachel Hollis (her RISE podcast, her books, and the series of talks she’s giving in the Next 90 Days Challenge that her company is running), and Brene Brown audiobooks (or her talk that’s on Netflix).
6. Change your thought patterns
This one is a little bit harder, but it’s also incredibly important. We have so much power over what we think about. A podcast I was listening to recently was sharing that people think about 9,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. 85% of our thoughts are negative, and 95% of our thoughts are repetitive from the day before. This means that we’re thinking the same negative things over and over again. But the good news is that there are a few steps we can take to change this. 1) Start to notice the pattern of our thoughts. Often we don’t even really know what we’re thinking about until we take the time to actually notice and make note. 2) When you notice yourself thinking a negative thought, replace it with a positive one. This helps re-train your brain. 3) Ask Jesus to help you renounce any patterns of lies that you may be believing as you notice the patterns of your thoughts. This helps us kick the enemy out of our minds!
Here’s my tip: follow those three steps as a way to retrain your brain!
What helped me: listening to this podcast, where I got a lot of those stats & ideas of how to change our thoughts.
Thanks for following along with these tips, everyone! I pray that you all experience healthy transformation in the area of your minds during these crazy times!