The COVID -19 Pandemic is apparently still going strong world-wide, even after these several months. First responders, medical personnel, suppliers, police, parents, children – everyone around the globe is affected by this unseen enemy that has turned our world upside down. How do we respond to COVID19 fear, fatigue and the future?
Our immediate response was a quick reaction to the fear, learning how to protect ourselves and our families, how to provide equipment and needed personnel, trucking the supplies and circling the wagons in common defense. Monumental strides were made, millions received care, the people took care of other people. The response was quick, with seemingly everyone contributing time, brainpower and money to care for the masses of stricken patients and set up bulwarks of defense to thwart the spread of the virus.
COVID19 Fatigue is Real
Despite angry insults and strong disagreements, much of the need was provided. But the two months became six months, the quarantine threatened not only businesses but educational opportunities and resulted in a massive state of depression for so many. We could handle a blizzard of onslaughts of various types for a short while, but – hey – this long-term fear of illness, isolation, loss of income and interruption of plans is taking its toll. I want it over. We want it over. I want to be with family and friends. You want to be in school. We all want to work and receive paychecks. Many feel that they are losing a large part of their lives and are falling behind.
Fear is Very Real
Fear is very real. Long term fear causes a fatigue that is exhausting, depleting the energy level and pouring cold water on the innovation and creativity of the marooned. How do we handle this long-term fear? How do we respond to COVID19 fear, fatigue and the future?
We Need a Plan for Our Future
As in any crisis – maxi or mini – we need a plan. We need an anchor. We need truths. No fake news. We need hope – something to steady us, an anchor. In these troubled times, I need affirmation that God the Creator is also our Savior and Redeemer. That all things are in His hands.
Our anchor is Jesus.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.Hebrews 6:19
Just as we need our loved ones to say it over and over, God says it over and over – I love you! Through His provisions, through his coming as a man to earth to suffer, die and resurrect in order to provide Eternal Life for us who will believe. Let us dwell on those foundational facts. Let us rely on our faith in God and find peace in the midst of chaos. Let us rely on Him.
Read God’s Word
Remember that God’s Spirit works in conjunction with His Word. Whatever else you read, I encourage you to spend time in the Bible, God’s Word, and let the truth of the scriptures still your heart. Scripture – the words of the Bible – is what stills my heart. The true and living word. It gives me peace and anchors my soul.
“The words I speak will note return to me without producing results. They will accomplish what I want them to. They will do exactly what I sent them to do.” NIRV Isaiah 55:11
9 Ways to Handle COVID19 Fear and Anxiety
- Understand you are not alone. Understand that this is not the first major crisis the world has seen. Be informed. Talk with wise persons who have weathered previous storms. Listen to their words as they share their faith.
- Entrust to God your fears, your family, your hurt, anxiety and needs. God is not only Creator but Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Sustainer – to name a few. Keep dumping your fears and concerns on him – he will be you comfort and consolation.
- Seek opportunities for loving, sharing and ministering to others. There are many ways to help people while distancing and masking. There are many who are stranded, cut off from their usual caretakers, labeled as being in the most vulnerable group for morbidity – we can do ordinary things for ordinary people in an extraordinary way.
- Be aware, informed and a part of the war on fear and pain – without allowing it to consume your whole being. Where can you be used? But first, we must try to understand the situations, identify our abilities that can be used, and determine to serve with a fierce motivation that energizes others, exudes confidence and builds an army of volunteers. Leaders are made in the fire. Iron sharpens iron.
- Recognize your role in the army against fear. Be the Standard Barrier as we minister to those who do not know Jesus and His forgiveness. Create teams to work together, to encourage one another, to hike together, to laugh and sing together. Friendships are often forged in the bad times. Because we all need someone. We need a friend. Be a friend. Serve together. Feed the hungry together. Give thanks together.
- Form a (distancing and masking) small group that perhaps meets in the park where positive feedback is given, where encouraging words and helpful suggestions are the main course, where people can profess their concerns and fears, and where they can find a friend. Remember, some people are very alone – all the time. Not only during the pandemic.
- Understand that the Pandemic will pass. Be an example of fortitude, patience and strength. Mark off the days until all bans are lifted. Let this experience prepare you for a better you for the future. Your history of survival in a healthy manner will be a basis to make you stronger the next time your world is shaken by whatever it may be. There will be other bad times. Through the centuries there have been desert places and painful eras. We will be stronger, and with our history of survival and success, we will be able to weather future storms in a more exemplary manner. Our History with God gives us the courage to bravely live the life to which we are called. How do we respond to COVID19 fear, fatigue and the future?
- Spend a designated quiet time daily communicating with God. Read a few Bible verses, talk to Jesus about it. And, most importantly, be quiet and let him speak to your inner soul. He will fortify you for the day and make you strong and encouraging for your family and friends. We are not strong in our own strength; we all need a quiet time with God every day. Praise God for His faithfulness, His promises, His mercy and His grace.
- Pray for all those at risk in their efforts to fight the enemy. Pray for the decision makers. Let our heart cry out before the Lord. I pray that I will allow Jesus to carry my load. I am too week, but He is strong.
How do we respond to COVID19 fear, fatigue and the future? Let us depend on God, so that others may see Christ reflected in our trusting and willing lives – lives committed to Him and to our fellow man.
Caring for Self During Extended Times of Stress
It is of utmost importance during this time of fear, stress, and anxiety to care for oneself. It has been said that to violate the rhythm of work and rest eventually leads to chaos.
- Getting an adequate night’s rest is essential. Prepare for bed early. Turn off the TV. Make your room dim with soft light. Try not to get into serious discussions for the last waking hour. Perhaps an App on your phone of calming music or story time will lull you to sleep
- Waking in time to do stretching and some exercise first thing in the morning will prepare you for the day. Exercise induces structural and functional changes in the brain which benefit both cognitive functioning and well-being. Not only does it prepare you for the day’s demands, but it reduces stress. It is also thought to be one of the best things we can do to reduce the risk of dementia.
- Even under unusual circumstances, it is important that we eat healthy foods, exercise, and keep at least a loosely formed schedule. Orderliness, cleanliness and motivational challenges protect the semblance of normalcy and allows us to properly address our fear rather than give in to it.
How to Come Out of the Pandemic a Better Person
Our goal should be to come out of the mode of pandemia as a better and stronger person. We have found we can deny ourselves pleasures and freedom and still function. I hope we will be a kinder and more caring people. I hope that we will appreciate the little things more, such as family gatherings, coffee with a friend, the warm fellowship of the local church, dinner with friends, and business as usual. Oh, and wouldn’t a haircut, pedicure and nice massage just make your day? We have taken these things for granted until this microscopic enemy abruptly turned our world upside down. Let’s be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Referencing God, I am able to agree with the psalmist,
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walk along.Psalm 40:2
If you do not know Jesus Christ as lord and Savior, please watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page. There is unending hope for you today!