There’s no easy way to say it – times are tough right now. It seems that uncertainty and fear are not just knocking at the door, but downright pounding on it. So, what can we do now…TODAY…to help maintain our peace? I asked HPA mom Shannon Lane to help us with a list of some practical things we can start doing right now to protect our peace and maintain our mental health. Here’s what my favorite Christian counselor had to say on the issue:
We are certainly living in circumstances which are unimaginable to most of us. Here in Tennessee, we are recovering from tornado trauma and figuring out how to walk through the Corona Virus. While it is true that each of us responds differently to crisis, all of us can find peace and a level of comfort by being intentional with how we spend our time. Since we have been given an abundance of time during this season, my prayer is that we use it wisely so that we emerge having grown closer to Our Heavenly Father.
1. Seek God. He promises never to leave you. He knew we would struggle with fear so in His word there are 365 directives addressing fear. If you are especially anxious during this time, do a word study in the Bible on fear. Write down the verses and place them around your home. Feeding ourselves with God’s truth is key to the level of peace we can experience.
Also…Pray. You are His beloved child whom he adores. Think of how you love your own children. He loves you more and desires relationship with you. It is good to verbalize your thoughts and feelings to Him… “God, I am afraid and I do not understand…”
2. Go outside. Walking in the fresh air releases endorphins and gives opportunity for refocusing our vision. Listen for the birds! They continue to sing no matter the circumstances. : )
3. Turn off the television. Please give yourself daily periods of time without media of any type. Television, especially, has been shown to increase levels of anxiety which feeds on fear.
4. Make music/Sing/Dance. Get silly with music. It is therapeutic to let loose and music can help you to do that.
5. Create. Paint. Take pictures. Try new recipes. Which creative experiences have you always wanted to try? You can learn most anything on YouTube.
6. Write out a gratitude list. How have you been blessed through this experience? I am cooking more, reading, writing, and resting more, spending quality time with the people I love. Most importantly, I am spending more time with Our Father.
7. Intentionally bless someone. Whomever God has placed before you is an assignment. How can you bless them today? The added bonus is the joy that comes to the giver and the recipient. My elderly neighbors (who I ashamedly have never met) are an assignment to me. I am reaching out with groceries and invitations to help with whatever they need.
8. Reconnect with people. We are created to be in relationship with others. This is a wonderful time to reach out to people you have lost contact with or would like to get to know.
9. Sleep/Rest/Relax. Resist the urge to hurry. Give yourself permission to nap, to sleep late, to lay in the grass and look at the sky. How often do you truly rest your body and mind? Try resting as a solitary experience instead of something you do while you are doing something else.
10. Get professional help if you need it. When your sleeping, eating, or feelings have become unmanageable, it can be helpful to speak with a therapist who can help you determine the next right step.
-Shannon Lane is a grateful HPA mom. She has a Christian counseling practice in Hendersonville and enjoys reading, home renovating, and real conversation with people.-
What great advice to help us refocus our energy on what really matters! I want to challenge you to choose one thing off of this list to start doing today. I chose number 4 (make music). I’d love to hear what you are doing to take care of yourself and others. Please feel free to share some encouragement in the comments below. God bless! 🙂