I think everyone can agree that 2020 is not what anyone expected. If you, like me, have experienced anxiety in all this, it’s ok. In fact, it is completely normal to experience some level of anxiety when we are in a season of uncertainty.
Here are some practical ways to help us find peace in the midst of anxiety:
1. Meditate on truth
Author and speaker, Danny Silk, says “worrying is like praying really hard for what you don’t want.” We should absolutely bring our worries to the Lord in prayer, but we shouldn’t meditate on them. Renewing our minds takes work. It’s something you have to choose every day. Focus on replacing the lies or fears you have about the future with the promises God has given us in Scripture. You might not understand what God is doing right now, but we can rest in His promises.
If you are struggling to find ways to meditate on truth consider placing Scripture in places you will see it regularly. Maybe write it on your mirror so you can see it as you get ready in the morning, write it on a post-it note to put on your desk, or even set a reminder on your phone that will pop up every day with Scripture that will encourage you. Another great way to mediate on truth is to listen to worship music.
2. Be intentional with your time
How are you spending the majority of your time? I have noticed that my instinct is to be on social media more because it feels like a way to stay connected. It’s also easy and mindless to just sit and scroll when it doesn’t seem like there is much else to do. There was a noticeable shift in my anxiety level when I started putting time limits on my phone. There is a lot of information and opinions being thrown at us at once, and it can be overwhelming to try to sort through it all. It is important to stay informed but be intentional with how you are doing it.
Choose news sources you can trust and that are sharing facts, not opinions. Consider limiting yourself to 1-2 articles each day. Pay attention to how social media and the news is making you feel, and step back if you notice it isn’t helping your stress level.
3. Create rhythms and routine
This will look different for everyone but try to create some sort of schedule for your day. This will give you a sense of normalcy and productivity to your day. For me, that has looks like making my bed every day, getting ready for the day, having my quiet time with my coffee, and having a daily morning meeting with my team to make sure we are all on the same page and know what our priorities are for the day. In the evening I try to get some sort of workout in. I keep consistent work hours during the week to help keep a healthy work/life balance. You might not have the ability to keep a really rigid schedule every day and that is ok—offer yourself grace— but try to find something that gives some structure to your weeks.
4. Stay active and move your body
I have loved being intentional with my time spent outside. I try to go for at least one walk a day, and it has been such a good way to release some stress. I have started waving at neighbors I had never even said hello to before! If walks aren’t your thing, try an at-home workout, go for a run, or do some yoga.
5. Give people permission to speak into your life
Make sure you have somebody who knows you well and will check in on you to see how you are REALLY doing. Practicing social distance doesn’t mean we should isolate emotionally from our community. In fact, we should do the opposite. Lean in and be honest about where you are at.
Even uncertainty, God still has perfect peace available to us! I hope these few simple practices help you find some peace in the midst of anxiety.
Mercy Multiplied is a nonprofit Christian organization that equips people to live free and stay free through Jesus Christ. To learn more about our free-of-charge residential counseling program and Outreach Services visit our website at MercyMultiplied.com.