Saturday, June 19, 2021

Recharge, Replenish, Renew for a Better You

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I move to a different beat. The effects of isolation and lack of human connection brought on by lockdown bit deep. I became inflicted with a self-centered concern about keeping myself safe—of preventing dark shadowy plagues from coming near. My world was now absent of hugs, obsessed with hand sanitizers, and filled with face-masked people devoid of facial expressions. As a result, a new me slowly emerged. Without even realizing the dark cloud had descended, it began to suffocate my life.

This new self lived with distressing fear aroused by the threat of impending doom. In an attempt to carve out a “lock down” life for myself, I chased my options in circles until I admitted that my world had changed drastically. In a reckless search for something to fill my aching soul, I began snacking at night and consuming highly processed foods containing few nutrients—comfort foods that temporarily consoled. To substitute for lack of fellowship with others I sought to replace that joyful connection with ice cream and mindless TV. I soon became a statistic—one of the forty-two percent of people who gained weight during the last year. I had trouble concentrating. Writing time became difficult.

Psychologists tell us that a new habit—an acquired behavior regularly followed until it becomes almost involuntary, can be formed in as little as three weeks. To break a habit takes twelve weeks or longer, often a daunting journey.

It was when my clothes became tight and my soul too heavy to carry that I sought a solution. We are no longer in control of that which we have become dependent. I had become dependent on desperate counterfeit measures to bring peace. My fortitude had shriveled under the stress of solitude. 

Dark days of the soul affect every area of our lives for our body, soul, and spirit are made to live in union with one another, strengthened by the Spirit of God. When one area of our lives are off kilter, all areas suffer. When our basic freedoms are restricted, our autonomy is lost. Our desire to nurture, both ourselves and others, becomes skewed as we fight for survival. After reading stories of other’s tragedies and the great adversity they struggled with during this time, I was grateful that at least I could make a few changes that could have positive results. 


To get rid of that tired, sluggish feeling, I began substituting my recent unhealthy diet of high carbs with healthy fats like butter, cheese, whole milk, grass-fed meat, eggs from free-range chicken, wild Alaskan salmon, fresh fruits, and vegetables. I’d snack in the afternoon with raw nuts like almonds or walnuts, and drink plenty of filtered water with lemon.

After a week, my anxiety began to subside and energy began to return. I learned that burning healthy fats for fuel are crucial for brain function, while overindulging on sugar and grains lead to impairment. Managing eating times so that our body fasts at least ten to twelve hours between dinner and breakfast can be accomplished easily by eating the last meal of the day earlier and not snacking at night. 

Adding exercise and journaling to my regimen rounded out my day. Exercise to release those feel good endorphins and journaling to release fears and concerns and allow God to give His perspective, which when absorbed always brings peace and eases anxiety. 


To grow emotionally, we were made to be connected to the divine as well as thrive in human relationships. Giving and receiving from relationship not only feeds our soul but allows us the joy of giving back. Isolation removes us from the realm of us to a life of me. I began meeting with three friends in a garden, where we’d study one of the Psalms and pray. By replenishing with God’s Word, we were able to take our eyes off our loneliness and reach out to others. 


Resting in God’s Word allowed His voice to break through the fog and bring truth and comfort that had been lacking during the woes of lock-down.

While restrictions are beginning to lift, many are still left with the residue of emotional destruction that can occur as a result of solitude. It will be easy to slack back and rely on old habits and coping mechanisms. But by recharging our bodies with healthy food, replenishing our souls by reaching out to others, and renewing our spirits with God’s perspective through His Word, we are better able to carry out our call to be that person He created us to be, as well as write the words and stories that He has uniquely prepared for us to tell.


Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel. 


  1. I'm so proud of you. You took control of your life! I did have some of the problems, and your Recharge, Replenish, and Renew help me tremendously. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Diane. God made us for fellowship with one another. During lock down that was denied us. I pray we never have to face that again. Still, those old habits like to creep back, but the more we persevere, the better we feel, and we are less apt to return to habits that rob us of a full life.

  2. I’m so happy for you! Nutrition is more important than I think many people realize.
    I went through much the same experience as you. Ended up with a crazy amount of pain from the inflammation the food I ate and decided to flip the switch for the better, like you.
    I’m now a strict vegan on top of eating gluten free because I have a gluten intolerance. Lost al the weight I gained plus another ten pounds. Dropped two sizes and feel great.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing, Kimberly. I too stopped gluten, as it does tend to cause inflammation. It's amazing how quickly the weight fell when I started eating healthy. So proud of you for continuing with your healthy lifestyle. I believe everything we do connects with walking in holiness before the Lord. Caring for our temple truly allows us to better serve the Lord in the gifts He has given us.