Whether you are high strung or easy going, uncertain times create tension for everyone.
In this high-speed, connected world, that tension can easily become bigger feelings like anxiety, fear, frustration, anger and worse – panic and despair.
I have to admit that I can struggle with anxiety in normal, everyday life. So, of course, things like Covid-19 play hard on that inclination. Uncertainty leaves me feeling out of control. As someone who thrives on “always being prepared”, feeling unprepared is scary. And I have to fight against the fear and panic that threaten to set in. Do you? How about those you love?
When we listen to the fear, it is a short trip down the proverbial rabbit hole to losing our minds to panic, which can quickly become mass chaos. Think Lord of the Flies. Ugh.
In 2000, the British discovered posters designed to prepare the English people for the Blitz that was to come with WWII. Although 2.5 million were produced, only a few were ever seen publicly. The words, Keep Calm and Carry On, have re-emerged as memes across social media. But as the Brits knew back then, it is important for us to keep to our senses in times of crisis. To do otherwise seals our fate.
Personally, I am reminded of the following scripture:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”II Timothy 1:7
Did you know there are over 365 verses in the Bible that speak about fear? And they all point to two truths:
- Fear is not from the Lord and
- We need not be afraid because HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US.
(Check out a few of these here: Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 4:8, Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 41:10 and Psalm 23)
The truth is that in the midst of the Corona Virus or the Tennessee tornadoes or the dropping oil prices or the stock market crashes, He is still on His throne. And He gives us hope for our future.
So, what can we do to avoid the panic? How do we come together in times of crisis, instead of turning on each other? What do we do to take care of ourselves and our families? Here are a few ideas.
- Manage your own mental health. Keep a positive and hopeful perspective. Focus on what is true and not what the fear wants you to believe. Make an appointment with your counselor or coach. Most of these professionals are set up to do phone or video appointments, especially now.
- Prepare. Just as Joseph prepared Egypt for the coming famine, we should use our sound minds (as Paul wrote) to have the things our families need, should we become ill or need to be quarantined.
- Love each other. Don’t succumb to hoarding things that you don’t need. Leave some for others. Give generously when others don’t have what they need. Care for families who are ill or have tragically lost loved ones. Pay attention to those in your sphere. Remember that the people who are sick are not to blame for this pandemic. Separate your criticism of governments’ decisions from the people who inhabit those countries.
- Be informed. Know what is true. Do your homework. Follow credible sources at their origin.
- Keep yourself healthy. If you aren’t healthy, how can you help your family or do your important work? Cut down on sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Fear and hard feelings draw us to these things – be mindful and resist the urge. Exercise. Take Vitamin C. Stay home when you are under the weather. Wash your hands.
- Breathe. Find ways to stay calm. Pause before speaking or acting when you are feeling afraid or angry. Pray.
We have a responsibility to care for ourselves, our families and our community. I challenge each of us to find practical ways to do that very thing.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:37-40
There are a few professionals I am following for wise counsel and helpful tips on how to prepare and take care of myself until Covid-19 passes. I’m including two resources below for your convenience. Although lots of medical professionals are sending emails with valuable information, these two have dedicated web pages they are updating regularly. The important thing is to find someone you trust, who is giving wise counsel and not promoting fear.
The truth is, it will all be OK. We just don’t know what OK looks like, yet. There will be suffering. People might die. Our conveniences might be disrupted, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I’ll let you know if my opinion changes on that. LOL.
Know that I am walking with you in the journey. If there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me directly at [email protected]