Our world, country and community are being shocked by shutdowns, illness, and fear right now.  In an effort to manage my anxiety and fear, here are some practical ways I am trying (while in isolation at home) to draw closer to God to steady my concerns.
1.  Seeking Gratitude.  Even in the midst of fear and anxiety, God wants us to remain grateful.  We can find small (and big) things to be grateful for each day.  I have started a gratitude log to help me focus on finding the good in a sea of fear.
 
2.  Be Intentional.  I am purposely listening praise and worship music.  It helps me to stay in a worship mindset and keeps me calm.  I am currently listening to Hillsong United and JB said “this is a Sunday song… it’s Friday”.  Get used to it, buddy 🙂  I am also reading “The Women of Easter” as part of my Lenten routine.  My family is planning to watch our church’s worship service on Sunday morning.  Here is a link to our church youtube site where you can watch past services anytime.  (Side note:  I can’t say enough great things about Rev. Beth LaRocca-Pitts sermon on February 16, 2020.)
 
3.  Self Care.  Right now, I am trying to soak up as much sun as I can.  I recognize that self care may be a privilege for many right now.  But, I encourage us to sneak it in any way we can right now… a hot bath instead of a shower, listening to happy music on the way to work, etc.
 
4.  Donate.  As the commerce world is being affected, we know that needs are going to go up for many with no/small margins.  Throughout history, the church has been a wonderful resource in helping during times of need.  The Atlanta Hunger Walk was supposed to take place on Sunday, but has been canceled.  Nonetheless, our dollars are needed more now than ever.  Local ministries to consider supporting:
 
5.  Cheer for the helpers.  Our healthcare workers are overworked, tired, and overwhelmed and we still have a ways to go.  I have texted JB’s pediatrician to say thank you and told friends in person (until we self isolated yesterday).  To anyone working in the health world… thank you all for what you are doing! I am praying for you daily!
6.  Reach out.  Just because we are isolated doesn’t mean we can’t call, text, FaceTime nor email.  I think staying connected, checking on others, and processing together can all be helpful.  Also, if you need something, reach out to your community.  
 
7.  Pray.  This seems like an obvious… but I am trying to do it more frequently.  Anytime I share a concern with a friend or Peck, I am trying to communicate it with God too.  He loves us and wants to hear from us.  
 
8.  Try to keep things in perspective.  Yes, our spring break plans being canceled sucks, but we were/are lucky to be able to afford travel.  And, I pray that we recognize our stir craziness as a blessing in the coming weeks.
 
9.  Limit news consumption.  I can’t stayed glued to the news.  It is bad for my mental health.  I stay informed, but seek the news myself.  Consider turning off updates/alerts so that you are in control of the timing of reading news.
What are you doing to stay calm during this time?
xoxo, Brooke

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