Updated: Sep 15
This year started off like any other year. Normal stuff like resolutions and tax preparation. We never could have guessed back in January, and even in February, that things were about to get more...interesting. And then, it happened! Before we knew it, everything was closing down and the media was reporting that this COVID virus was a new plague, destined to end all life on the planet! We all managed to adjust to things, and we thought we had it all figured out until a new fire smoldered into a raging inferno. This new inferno took the form of civil unrest to include riots, and all kinds of vandalism. People driving to the store and work were being yanked out of their vehicles and assaulted. Gun sales have soared nationwide as your average citizen feared for the safety of themselves and their loved ones. The future seems uncertain without even mentioning the coming firestorm of an election year.
We are all experiencing different levels of stress right now. For some of us, it is the virus causing anxiety. For others, it's the riots or the political climate. Either way, we are all experiencing high levels of angst. It has been reported that people all over the world are experiencing high levels of depression and suicide cases are on the rise. What can we do to calm ourselves? These problems are not going to magically dissipate all at once, so what can we do until the issues subside?
Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
Prayer & Meditation. It is o.k. to let God know that you are fearful! Tell Him! Ask for guidance on how to respond to everything happening. Open up the Psalms and meditate over them. Consider how King David (one of the human authors of Psalms) dealt with anxiety and uncertainty. Scripture really does have a claiming effect.
Soothing/relaxing music. I would forego any kind of pop or rock music. Something instrumental and/or spiritual. I love listening to more ancient-sounding music; Gregorian style, etc.
Incense. Hear me out on this one. I am NOT talking about burning incense to put you into some kind of cultic trance, etc. I have always found incense to be calming; relaxing. It gives your senses a distraction as well, which can be beneficial. I personally like the granular type of incense. I think it has a more pure smell to it, however, be careful not to smoke everyone else out of the house!
Exercise. I think this one is the most obvious, but worth mentioning. Do make sure to consult your physician first. Emergency Room visits will only ADD to your stress.
Give one, or more, of these ideas a try. And remember, these stressful times will pass. Yes, it may be some time before some of these issues go away, but they will subside.
I leave you with this closing verse from the Book of Isaiah:
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10