October 29, 2021
“Andito pa rin tayo. Pagod na ako . . .”
“Kailan ko kaya sila makikita?”
“Nakakalungkot, paulit-ulit na lang . . .”
“I want to pause. Please give me a break . . .”
“This is not healthy for me anymore . . .”
Do these sound familiar?
This pandemic has taken us into its toil and doesn’t give us any hint that the end of the tunnel is near. Bumababa na yung cases, tapos eto na naman tayo uli.
Yung makakalabas ka ng onti tapos lockdown uli.
And then we are forced to circulate our life around only the online world again.
Posible pa kaya na magpatuloy sa buhay kung alam mo na hindi dapat ganito ang pamumuhay? The online world gave us a new perspective on this new normal. But because we have easy access to the world, it can also be very toxic, draining, and heavy for most of us.
Can you relate?
Yung sana kayakap mo yung buong pamilya mo kapag may birthday or Christmas. Pero dahil sa pandemya, video call na lang muna.
Yung sana nakakapag adventure ka with your friends, pero dahil sa restrictions, vlog watching na lang muna.
Yung sana nag-aaral at grumaduate ka kasama ang mga klasmeyts at buong pamilya mo, kaso online na lang muna ulit.
Nakakapagod na ’di ba?
If this will still last any longer, how will we keep going? What if this will continue to be our normal? Can we keep thriving?
Though the internet has given us unprecedented and almost unlimited access to the world, it’s still essential that we connect to our only source—God. We can learn some godly rhythms that can keep us both healthy and excited despite life in the online world.
Minsan charger na dapat tanggalin kapag full batt na, pero madalas sayo dapat.
Minsan kapag hindi gumagana yung WIFI mo, pero madalas gawin natin sana.
Unplugging doesn’t mean disconnecting from your community. It means pausing. It means trying to create a good rhythm of rest and work so you can have a healthy you.
Despite the demand of the online world, how can we even UNPLUG?
Understand that you don’t need to feel that you’re missing out on something when you try to rest from going online.
Since the majority of our milestones are being updated online, we feel like we’re going to miss a lot in life if we choose to take a break. The offline life can give so much rest to our eyes (and the rest of our bodies) if we try to disconnect once in a while.
The reality is we will not be updated all the time and we don’t really have to be. It’s really okay!
Actually, if you think about it, missing out sometimes makes room for more meaningful and fruitful catch ups.
Never push yourself to the limit.
Be kind to yourself. It is quite hard to study online, especially as no one chose this to happen. The demands are higher than usual, but having the right mindset and rhythm can free us from negative emotions.
The kindness we can extend to others, we should be able to extend to ourselves, too.
Know when to stop. Know when to cry. Know when to pause.
We don’t need to push ourselves when we’re on the verge of breaking down. While God created us to work, His original design included a healthy rhythm of work and rest in mind.
Practice the 20-20-20 rule.
There is a time to work and there is also a time to rest (especially for our eyes). Even when we’re in the middle of work, we can try doing the 20-20-20 rule.
Eye strain can become a problem for people who need to focus on a computer screen all day for work.
The 20-20-20 rule helps ease eye strain. The rule is easy but takes time to apply:
“A person needs to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes while working on a computer.”
The more we effectively rest, the more we can effectively work.
Leave in only the essential apps.
Think about what you browse on the internet that you deem worth your time. You don’t need to engage in everything. You can keep some apps that are important and rest from (and even delete temporarily) some that are not helpful for you this season.
Sometimes maintaining a social life on the internet can be more draining than ever. That’s why, you can still fill a part of your social life by making time for your family at home and talking to them off-screen.
While sometimes we experience challenges with our family, spending time with them will help us learn more about them so we can love and serve them better and vice versa.
Unburden yourself through exercising or moving.
Online life has definitely lessened our physical movement. Our physical state also affects our mental well-being.
Staying seated for 8 hours straight is just as unhealthy as other practices. Our muscles tense up and our blood circulation gets affected. Physical stresses piling up eventually become mental and emotional stresses as well.
So, try standing up for some time after each class. Try some morning exercises. Do some stretches in the afternoon. Bike if you can. Walk around in the evening.
Moving can get us into a rhythm that helps our mind eventually think more clearly.
Go to God.
We know that most of the life we have with the church is online, but don’t let your personal time with God be replaced with all the activities we are doing online.
Take time to connect with our Father. Take time to cry your heart out to Him.
Why? Because even when we have all the tools online, nothing can ever replace our personal time with God.
Even Jesus understood the value of “unplugging” and communing with God.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
But beyond just pulling away, Jesus knew that a healthy rhythm of unplugging is key to being continually strengthened in faith and in the body.
As we unplug every now and then, especially from our academic rhythms, may we be refreshed and strengthened in faith and body as well.
UNPLUG, world changer! Enjoy the life and season God has placed us in.