Are you stretched to the limit? Maybe.
Have we reached our limit? No.
Are you tired of quarantine? Are you beyond tired?
During this COVID-19 crisis, we have been stretched out for sure.
Weight Gain Stretches
Gaining weight is heavy on our emotions. Few of us can stand to gain a few pounds. Most of us need to lose a few, right?
The fear of added pounds during this time reflects the diet culture we live in. We're terrified of weight gain―even in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic―because we're constantly flooded with messages that gaining weight or living in a larger body is very, very bad. We're collectively obsessed with diets, products and intense workout routines that feature before and after photos.
High Emotions Stretches Us
There's already enough stress right now: Unemployment is skyrocketing, hospitals are on overflow (or preparing for the possibility), many people are struggling to meet basic needs and no one knows when or how this will all end. In a time of such anxiety and uncertainty, of course we cling to these weight-centric obsessions—they're familiar, which right now makes them feel almost comforting.
Uncertainty Stretches Us
Uncertainty carries its own struggle. Not knowing what's coming heightens our stress and alarms our nervous system.
Michel Dugas, a professor of psychology at the University of Quebec, compares extreme intolerance of uncertainty to an allergic reaction. "If you're allergic to nuts, and you have a piece of birthday cake that has a drop of almonds in it, you have a violent physical reaction to it," he says. "A small amount of a substance that's not harmful to most people provokes a violent reaction in you. It's like a psychological allergy."
Interesting. It's like a "psychological allergy."
Many of us are having a reaction. Are we in shock?
The shock resembles being pulled in several directions-stretched beyond our limits.
Conflicting Information Stretches Us
The news in conflicting. The reports are conflicting. Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Team are not on the same page. They seem stretched to the max.
Everyone is trying to please everyone. The political rhetoric is obvious.
The Democrats and Republicans are not in unity. The rest of the news media and Fox News are not in unity. But they all tell us to unite. That is stretching.
Let's stretch out.
Yes, it's the seventh inning of your favorite MLB game. The game is tied, and we are not sure who will win. That is a good tension.
Remember good tension? A tied score in the late innings makes a great game.
We do not know when we will win the coronavirus challenge. But we will.
The stretch is vital. It's the seventh inning. These are good ways to stretch yourself out:
—Take a walk.
—Remain in quarantine.
—Commit to the long haul.
—Control your thoughts.
Here is a bonus tip from Christine Bradstreet:
"While you're at it, turn down your own annoying meter. Examine your actions and behavior. Err on the side of being gentle and flexible. You don't have to utter every thought that pops into your head. You don't have to control and direct every action. You don't have to offer every opinion. You don't have to correct everything that you think is wrong."
Stretching Has Benefits
It increases your range of motion. We need this. Stretch yourself into new motions. Move around more. Get off the couch. Motion is lotion.
—Stretching reduces stress.
—Stretch your trust muscle.
—Stretch your hope muscle.
—Trust God with your outcomes, security and future.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jer. 29:11, NKJV)
We can do more than we believe. We can take more than we think we can. Allow this season to stretch you.
We only have three innings to go.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor/writer and the guy behind thomasmcdaniels.com. He has written for ChurchLeaders.com and currently is a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas. Thomas can be found on social media, Instagram and Twitter.
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