Cynthia L. Eppley 01/16/2021
One of the reasons I partake in Social Media is to put my finger on the pulse of our culture. At least, part of it.
So when counselor Esther Lee posted this on Jan 13, I took notice:
“I’m sure so many of us can relate to this. It’s time to readjust expectations of ourselves and others.”
And then she referenced an article from USA Today:
“That Feeling You can’t name? It’s called Emotional Exhaustion.”
2020 was a hard year. I’ve already written blogs addressing it. And 2021 has started off in a similar fashion.
How would we define it?
When stress begins to accumulate from negative or challenging events in life that just keep coming, you can find yourself in a state of feeling emotionally worn out and drained. This is called emotional exhaustion.
For most people, emotional exhaustion tends to slowly build up over time.
Emotional exhaustion includes emotional, physical and performance symptoms.
And 2020, with Pandemic and Covid? It has had a way of slowly building up over time.
How is Today different from any other Day?
I reference, of course, the question from the events described in the Book of Exodus. Is 2021 really any different from 2020?
Yes, and no.
Our country has just gone through a major election.
Tensions run high, and there is certainly enough blame to go around for us all. The political climate has added to the emotional load we all carry.
But this is not a political post: it is a post for all of us.
It Must be in the Water
Tensions and opinions run strong and deep. Just look at someone’s innocent post and then a diatribe back? There is so much anger.
And it is all around us. Like a fish in the water, we can barely escape it.
What is a person to do?
1. Recognize it.
We are living in unprecedented times. The Pandemic has been very real. The threat of Covid has hung over our heads for almost 1 year now.
The Vaccine is not yet readily available.
Our health workers and first responders are exhausted.
And we, who observe from the sidelines, absorb the exhaustion as well.
Political events add to our stress, no matter what “side” you are on.
2. Come up for air.
We cannot keep our head in the sand. Ignorance is not bliss.
But holding our head under a deluge of continual information, reports, videos and analysis doesn’t allow us to breathe.
Practical Tips on Self Care
I wrote on practical issues last Spring. Who would have thought we would still need them? See Loss in a Pandemic, Grief 101 and Grief 102. Do we see ourselves in these descriptions?
Check “How do we Get Through Quarantine?” for practical steps.
Practice the Presence of God.
As Christians, we have the Body of Christ to encourage and renew us.
We have the Scriptures to remind us of the marvelous message of a Savior.
We have hope:
Lamentations 3:20-22 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
We lift our eyes up to Him: Psalm 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Pie in the Sky?
This is not a “Pie in the sky, bye and bye” unfounded hope.
This is a resilient, gritty trust that has placed its faith in a God who does not fail.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
How Firm a Foundation
The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” is full of Scriptural Truth:
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word
What more can He say than to you He has said To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed
For I am Thy God, and will still give you aid
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call you to go The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow For I will be with you, your troubles to bless And sanctify to you your deepest distress.
When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie My grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply The flame shall not hurt you, I only design Your dross to consume and the gold to refine.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to His foes
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
In these times of emotional exhaustion, let us find our foundation in Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
Let us know that He is our refuge; He upholds us.
And in these times, let us lean into Him, knowing He will never forsake us.