As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces increasing casualties and cases due to the COVID-19 virus, he made a statement in a press conference about how his state can get through the stay-at-home orders.
“The goal for me: socially distanced, but spiritually connected,” he said. “How do you achieve socially distanced, but spiritually connected? I don’t have the answer, but I know the question.”
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in being spiritually connected and love to be unified. No matter what your belief system, here are some ideas on how to stay spiritually connected throughout the crisis.
Pray for one another in private.
Pray daily for relief from COVID-19. Pray for yourself, those you love, and the world. Pray to know how you can serve others in appropriate ways.
As you pray, also try to ponder on the things you are learning from this experience and the things you have to be grateful for. If your faith does not adhere to prayer to a higher being, consider positive meditation and manifestation practices.
Pray together through technology.
Use technology to pray with those you love. Offer to pray with those you know who may need comfort and connection. Ask someone if they have anything you can pray about on their behalf. When you’re praying with others, pray for them by name. There is nothing more sweet or touching than to hear a loved one praying for you.
Give freely of your substance, as circumstances allow.
Many are in need, but it can be hard to know how to give when you’re socially distanced. Ponder on ways you can serve others. Jesus Christ said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Serving others brings us closer to God and to each other. We forget our own worries and start to recognize God’s hand. Try sharing some of your essential supplies with others, donating to causes, or looking for online volunteer opportunities.
Share messages of hope online.
Don’t contribute to the panic online. Share positive messages of hope and faith. Honestly discuss the challenges you’re going through, but also share ways you’ve been able to overcome. Ask for help and suggestions on how to pull together.
In the Book of Mormon we are taught that disciples of Jesus Christ, “are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”
Learn from others and embrace them.
When trials hit, cultural lines can either fade or become sharper. Now is the time to learn about others, learn from them, and metaphorically embrace those who seem different than you. Bridge the physical distance by connecting through religious and cultural practices that are relevant to your circumstances.
Extend forgiveness and grace to others.
Has someone hurt you or angered you during this pandemic? Extend forgiveness to them. In this stressful time, emotions are running high and people are sensitive. Try to empathize with other points of view, speak kindly of those you know, and forgive quickly.
We all need a little extra kindness and grace right now.
Discuss your dreams for the future.
During such trying times, the future doesn’t feel very bright. But faith reminds us there is always hope. Continue to talk about the future. Discuss your dreams and what you hope to achieve throughout this trial. Talk about the future. Make plans. President Thomas S. Monson, a Latter-day prophet, said, “Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
Make an uncomfortable sacrifice.
Christians recognize the greatest act of love was a monumental sacrifice. When Christ gave His life for us, He showed us that sacrifices can be an ultimate expression of love and a way to be like Him. Make a sacrifice. Follow guidelines that are hard, but necessary. In your unselfish giving, you will find your heart more like the heart of Christ.
What are some ways that you spiritually connect to others, even when you’re social distancing?
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.