Faith and self-care can see us through tough times

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We are starting the new year of 2022 with an acceleration of COVID-19, specifically the omicron variant.  Many of us thought we would be further along in subduing this virus at this point, especially with vaccines and boosters available to most. But we should not despair, because we are not helpless.

In her article “COVID-19 and the Messiah,” on Aish.com, Sara Yoheved Rigler writes, “Judaism’s response is always hope, because we are assured that all roads, however rough, lead to the Complete Redemption .…

“The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the speed of humanity’s train. We, all of us, are barreling toward the Complete Redemption. Whether we will reach the destination next week, next month, next year, or in a decade, no one knows. But the only way to be ready is to yearn for that period of peace, harmony, and universal God-consciousness, so we will recognize it when it – when we – arrive.”

Self-care, especially during this time of uncertainty, can help us feel connected, safe and hopeful as we wait for better times.

Exercise is especially essential since it releases serotonin into the brain, giving us a natural high, an emotional boost and energy for both our body and brain.

Having a healthy diet is also a crucial component to keeping your energy levels high, improving brain function and warding off diseases.

Sleep is another key factor in health and wellness. It allows your body and mind to recharge, helps the body remain healthy, and helps the brain to function properly.

Deep breathing is another strategy for wellness, relaxation and stress relief. It has been scientifically proven to affect the heart, brain, digestion and immune system.

Prayer can also be part of self-care – it helps us stay connected and safe.

In his book “Prayer is Good Medicine,” physician and researcher Larry Dossey writes that praying for oneself and others can have a scientifically measurable healing effect on illness and trauma.

Rigler wrote another article at Aish.com, “Feeling God’s Presence During COVID-19,” about rebbetzin Henny Machlis, who passed away five years ago without ever having heard of COVID-19.

Rigler writes, “But she left us a recipe for dealing with this difficult period. Her recipe has two ingredients: Emunah (faith in God) and personal prayer, and that the truth is that God is present always and everywhere ….

“The ‘hiddenness of God’ is a major theme in Judaism. But the screen that hides God can be pierced by the simple act of talking directly to God. That’s why all blessings in the Jewish liturgy start by addressing God in the second person, ‘Blessed are You.’

“Especially in these times of quarantine, isolation, and loneliness, the truth that God is always present and always listening can be life-saving.”

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is a media host, coach and award-winning radio producer and business owner. She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence. She is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award.