There’s No Time
Like the Present
for Digital Coping Strategies

Last month I gave you a couple of old fashion resources—two colorful flyers—to stick on your refrigerator.  Both concerned coping strategies for grief and one for coping particularly with COVID-19 grief.   This month I would like to share with you a couple of digital resources for the same purpose.  Now, don’t go numb on me just because you’ll need to use a computer.   I promise if I can do it you can do it too.  Even if it means me coming to your home to show you how to access these resources.  I am willing to do this because I believe these resources to be powerful ways of helping us better understand—and express—our personal struggles with this pandemic.  They are also creative coping strategies for dealing with world tragedies of all kinds.  Remember, it takes a village.

Both resources came to me through the podcast On Being, a radio/podcast program that explores the intersection of spiritual inquiry, social healing, and the arts. Krista Tippet is the program’s consummate facilitator.  I listen to her interviews every Sunday at 7AM (FM 89.1) without fail.

On March 18 Krista interviewed a clinical psychologist, Christine Runyan about what is happening in our nervous systems as the result of a year of stress from COVID-19.  Runyan explains how breaking reports of this new virus immediately activated our sympathetic and parasympathetic stress responses, sending our nervous systems into an overdrive which continues today.  The light at the end of the COVID tunnel, says Krista, is tenuously appearing, yet we feel as exhausted as at any time in the past year. Memory problems, short fuses, sudden drops into what feels frighteningly like depression, and fractured productivity that alternately puzzles and shames us. We’re at once excited and unnerved by the prospect of life opening up again.

To bring clarity, Runyan offers listeners a deeper understanding of how the human nervous system responds to threat and how that response can lead to social polarization even when we need each other the most.  To find this very helpful, hour long broadcast go to https://onbeing.org.

On April 8 Krista interviewed Bryan Dorries, director of Theater of War, a public health project that uses dramatic readings of ancient Greek tragedies to confront topics like PTSD, domestic violence, suicide, and police and community relations.  Each play is followed by a town hall-style discussion that speaks to these social issues. These guided conversations allow virtual audiences to share personal perspectives and experiences which—right before your eyes and ears—help to break down stigmas, foster empathy, and develop a deeper understanding of today’s complex issues.  On May 6 from 7:30-10PM (EST) Oedipus at Colonus will be performed, addressing the tragedy of homelessness.  These live but never recorded productions, by well-known artists are FREE! All you have to do is register for the Zoom link at https://theaterofwar.com.  Remember, I said I would help you.

We all need extra resources to help us cope with this crazy world we find ourselves living in.  As the author of Hebrews says… Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (4:16).

Perhaps until now you haven’t considered digital resources as a source of God’s grace.  Well, there’s no time like the present!

Blessings, Rev. Jami