Right now, we're going through some pretty crazy times. But, honestly, we have troubles and stressors every day of our lives. If you find yourself overwhelmed by what's going on, try these suggestions to relieve your worries.
1. Turn Off The NewsWhen something disrupts our normal lives, we want to soak up as much information as we can. This can lead to an obsession with the media, including broadcast news and social media.
I remember clearly being glued to the television and internet on 9/11. I was at work but there was no "work" being done because we couldn't believe what was happening. As the events unfolded, the broadcasters knew no more than us and yet we couldn't turn away from the meaningless yammering.
Nona Jones, the head of faith-based partnerships at Facebook, posted some wise advice the other day. A former newscaster, she knows that the media feeds the natural tendency for humans to focus on worst case scenarios, which fuels anxiety and fear. You can read her post here. The crux of her post is this: "If we aren't careful, the news cycle will replace prayer with emotional exhaustion. Which is why we must guard our hearts with a diligence. ... But, please, DO NOT allow your heart to be troubled by an industry that is designed to trouble it for ratings."
It's natural to want to learn as much as possible in a crisis, but when you find yourself unable to do anything else or when you're learning nothing new, it's time to end your screen time.
2. Change What You Can, Accept What You Can't
We always want to be in control. When there's a problem, we want to fix it. It's just what we do.
But, logically, there are some things we just can't fix. We either don't have the knowledge or the power to change some things. That's hard to accept.
But trying to change something we can't only leads to frustration and anxiety.
So, honestly assess what you can change and put your energy toward making positive change. And then accept what can't be changed. Worrying about it, talking about it, and obsessing about it isn't going to change it, but it sure can steal your peace.
3. Get Moving
When we are anxious, our bodies physically react, causing loss of concentration and fatigue, among other things. To combat those reactions, even just five minutes of aerobic exercise will begin to release endorphins, the "feel good" hormone.
So, get on your feet and do something physical. Take a walk, dance with your kids, try some yoga. Just get moving!
4. Read Your Bible
I have heard that the Bible tells us to "fear not" 365 times. A whole year's worth of "don't be afraid"! That's a lot of "stop worrying".
Why do you think that God talks so much about fear? Because He knows that it's our nature to worry and be anxious. And He wants us to know that He's got this. We just need to lean on Him.
I find comfort in reading passages like Matthew 6:25-34: