Ten Emotional and Spiritual Survival Tips during the Pandemic

Maryann Joyce, director of the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center, offers some suggestions for our heart and mind to stay grounded in God one moment at a time, as we bear through the suffering of this pandemic.


  1. Stay in the Moment – Our minds spend much of their time in the future or the past: thinking of what we want to happen, or don’t want to happen; or regretting, blaming or hurting over something in the past. Come into the moment by moving your awareness to your breath – in and out, one moment at a time.
  2. Limit your intake of news programs – watch or scroll only as much news as you need to be aware of issues and increase your compassion for people who are suffering. If it starts making you anxious and overwhelmed, cut back or stop watching for a few days.
  3. Set regular routines – especially if you are home. Set regular times to get up, eat, work on projects, exercise and sleep.
  4. Pray set a regular time to just be with God and open your heart with all you are feeling and thinking. Find a Psalm to help express feelings, sit in quiet, and pray for others. All this opens our hearts to love others and be loved by God.
  5. Touch the Earth nature is very healing. Getting outside and walking in the sunshine can do wonders for our sense of well-being. Feel your connection to the earth and thank God for all that sustains and supports your life.
  6. Gratitude – remember to give thanks daily for the blessings and graces that God gives you. This helps you focus on the positives in your life and has a powerful effect on our psyche and nervous system to promote feelings of well-being and happiness.
  7. Reach out – call a good friend and have an old-fashioned phone conversation – especially if you live alone. Reach out to someone you haven’t connected with in some time, and/or someone you know who lives alone.
  8. Bodywork – Become aware of where your anxious feelings are manifesting in your tissues. Once you are aware, you can bring your breath to this area and release some of the tension.
  9. Self-acceptance and self-care – We are all hurting and need to practice a deep sense of acceptance and compassion for whatever we are feeling and experiencing. When you are hurting inside or out, ask yourself, “what do I need?”
  10. Consider speaking to a trained spiritual companion to share deeply about what this time of unraveling and uncertainty is doing to your spirit. The diocese is collecting a list of these resources.