Anxiety and Coronavirus
Anxiety and Coronavirus
You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. You are surrounded by one thing—the coronavirus. It seems as if every channel you watch has 24/7 coverage. Social media platforms are full of everyone’s opinion, and if we are honest, the majority of them are doom and gloom.
Because of the constant negative information being poured out around you, something may be happening in your body. Panic is creating hysteria which turns into fear and anxiety. Your heart is racing out of your chest. Breathing has become difficult. Thoughts are speeding through your mind. Sleep has become a distant memory as you contemplate all the WHAT IF scenarios looping in your brain. Fear has frozen every muscle in your body.
Anxiety has become great within you and that is a scary feeling. I know this because I was gripped with anxiety and depression nine years ago. Pictures were inserted in my brain that were not legitimate, but they appeared very real to me. Going into grocery stores became the movie set for my anxious thoughts to play out. Fear paralyzed me. Living in a state of panic was exhausting and debilitating.
As a wife, mom, worship leader, and business owner, I was crumbling inside and felt as though I was failing everyone and everything. The crushing blows of anxiety were stealing my life—taking my joy. Maybe you are feeling these very same punches to your mind, body, and soul.
God in all of His gentleness was right there with me. He is right next to you. The Lord took my face between His two loving hands to show me the one thing I desperately needed to see: HOPE
Yes, these are uncharted waters for us right now with the COVID-19, but God is telling us there is HOPE. There are ways to cope with the anxiety trying to suffocate life around us.
- Get in God’s Word: He has given us incredible scriptures from men who dealt with the same fearful and anxious thoughts we are. These life-giving words show us how to lean in on His comfort and power. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us He has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind! Psalms 94:19 tells us when anxiety is great, His comfort will bring us joy.
- Practice Media Distancing: As we all are doing our best to practice Social Distancing, maybe it is time to distance ourselves from something else. Instead of consuming the news and social media the majority of the day, begin to use your time differently. Turn off these distractions and turn on worship music. Go outside for a walk. Find a fun family activity to do that a full schedule has not allowed until now. Look for ways to help others who can’t get the supplies they need.
- Have an Attitude of Gratitude. We can starve the fearful thoughts by making a shift in our perspective. Focusing on the good things we have in our lives will make our brains look at the world around us differently. Take those fearful thoughts captive and change them to thankful thoughts. Scientific studies show that our brains cannot physically think in an anxious manner and gratitude-filled way at the same time. When anxiety or worry tries to enter in, begin to list in your mind or on paper everything you are grateful for.
- Move from WHAT IF to WHAT IS: You have those WHAT IF scenarios playing on repeat in your mind right now which stops you from living your life. Instead, focus on WHAT IS. God gives us clear direction on this in Philippians 4:8. It tells us to think on WHAT IS true, noble, lovely, pure, excellent and praiseworthy. By focusing on these things, it keeps you from chasing fear down the rabbit hole it wants to trap you in.
Put these tips into practice and allow God’s HOPE to permeate your soul. He is good and never-changing no matter the circumstances that change around us. He is with you, friend. Place your trust in Him.
Caris is the author of Anxiety Elephants 31 Day Devotional. She travels and speaks to people of all ages and stages of life on the hope we have in God as we overcome fear, shame, anxiety, and depression. She is passionate about bringing faith and mental health together.