Jenna Le – Scale Back Alabama

Self-Care During COVID-19

School closings. Working from home. Empty toilet paper aisles. Social distancing. I think we all know what these things have in common. The coronavirus has taken the world by storm, and it’s been life altering to all of us in some degree. I am sobered by the news of elderly who are unable to get groceries or see their families, employees who have been laid off, parents searching for childcare so they can go to work, and the growing number of COVID-19 victims each day. I realize I don’t know or understand even half of the pain and loss being suffered by so many, and I don’t claim to have any answers. All I can truly offer is my own experience, be there for others as I am able, and pray. It is certainly easy to get lost amidst all the chaos, uncertainty, fear, and negativity. In times of crisis, self-care can feel like the least important thing on the list. However, I discovered the hard way just how quickly I hit rock bottom when I let go of self-care.  Practicing daily self-care has become a lifeline for keeping my hope and spirit intact. And isn’t hope what our world needs most right now? We are better equipped to serve and share hope with others when we take good care of ourselves. The following are a few self-care practices that have helped me stay grounded. Set boundaries with news and social media. This has been a game-changer for me ya’ll. Turn the TV off. I know it’s hard, I know it feels safer to know every single detailed update...

A Cruel Cruel Villian

They call it the thief of joy. It’s a creeping, sneaking, dirty little snake, sifting into the dark corners of your mind when you least expect it. It starts as a tickle, then an itch, then a full on throbbing headache. It whispers lies to your soul. “You’re not good enough, why even bother?” “You’ll never be able to do this. You’re nothing but a failure.” “If only you were as smart as them, you would have gotten the job.” These lies that feel like truth and cut us to the deepest places of our cores. Those whispers of poison that slice our heart strings like knives. Comparison. It is a cruel, cruel villain. It will keep you running on a treadmill of despair. It will stop you in your tracks. It will indeed, steal your joy. Although malicious, comparison isn’t the most creative of beasts. It tends to attack the same places again and again. For me, I find comparison attacks my values. For example, I value relationships and creativity, and these are the areas where I compare myself the most. We don’t tend to compare ourselves in areas that we don’t really value. The same comparison that steals our joy can also steal our confidence in who we are and what we’re doing. We all offer valuable gifts in this world, but comparison convinces us that everyone else has something better to give. When we compare, we lose sight of who we are and become less passionate and purposeful in pursuing our values because we feel insecure. Comparison’s main agenda is to trick us into doubting our...

The Next Right Thing

I get stuck when I look too far ahead. My mind comes up with wonderful ideas, dreams, plans, and goals of lovely things that I hope to achieve. I make lists, collect resources, and even tell others about my magnificent ideas. The problem is when I try to get started. I know where I want to end up, but the gap between that place and where I stand today feels like a marathon that I don’t have the time or energy to race. I stand at the starting line, gazing ahead into the distance, wishing I had superpowers to zoom ahead to the finish. Whoosh! Pow! “And she wins the gold!! Unbelievable!!” Then I remember life’s not a comic book, and I’m not Wonder Woman, and unfortunately I’m just going to have to run the race or get out. And so oftentimes, I do get out, grabbing a sad consolation prize as I leave my goals in the dust. For many, achieving health goals can feel a lot like that marathon. We picture where we want to be, but the distance between now and the finish line seems insurmountable. Health becomes a fantasy that only the most disciplined can achieve. So many of us don’t even try. Or, we look for “superpowers” in the form of fad diets and restrictive regimes. These “powers” might work for a while, only to be sabotaged by Grandma Betty’s decadent chocolate pie that leaves us on the couch moaning, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” Our bodies can’t function with long-term restriction. We decide we’ve failed and leave the race, all...