Author: Crystal Specht, LMHC (retired)
Although no strategy can miraculously take away all our stress and anxiety, I hope that these encourage and provide support to you during this difficult season.
Read your Bible, starting with Psalm 46. If you don’t have a Bible, you can find free versions online. The NIV, NASB, or the HCSB are versions of the Bible that are fairly easy to read.
Take a break from the news and social media. If you can, limit yourself to checking in once a day.
Go outside and take a walk. Get some fresh air and sunshine. “Exercise, schmexercise!” I like to call it “physical venting.”
Take a deep breath. Breathe SLOWLY in through your nose to the count of 5, then slowly out through your mouth. Repeat the process three times.
Keep your daily routine as much as possible. This is especially important with eating and sleeping.
Journal about what you are thinking and feeling. This helps you get things off of your mind and out of your head.
Make a list of things for which you are grateful to the Lord. Add something new every day.
Read a book. (Avoid conspiracy theory or other fear-provoking books).
Listen to calming, uplifting, and fun music. If you can sing along, out loud, that helps. In Spokane, the radio station Shine 104.9 has Christian praise music. KMBI 107.9 has messages and music.
Connect with other people. Call a friend or family member. Talk and talk,, but talk about life, not just COVID 19.
Watch a funny video. Laughter is good medicine. Some good clean comedians you can find online are Michael Jr., John Crist, Tim Hawkins, Chonda Pierce, and Patsy Clairmont.
Avoid mood/mind altering drugs and alcohol.
Limit caffeine consumption.
Do something. Paint something. Build something. Color something. Bake something.
Help someone in need. Deliver groceries to them if they can’t get out.
Pray. Praying is actually the MOST important thing we can do. It puts us and our needs at the feet of the only one who can do something about the situation we are in: Jesus Christ! Pray for yourself, and pray for others, too!
If you need more help, call your pastor, a good counselor, or your family doctor. They can provide support, encouragement, and resources (sometimes that includes medication) to help you through this rough time.
There are many other strategies that you can find online. While this site is not Biblically based, one good place to start is the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml