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Let's talk about anxiety...

There’s been a lot of negativity and fear displayed in the media lately. Though it’s important to pay attention and to stay informed about what is going on, it’s equally important to take care of our own mental health.

As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder, I know what’s good and isn’t good for my brain. One thing I know ISN’T good for my brain is perseverating on the same thought over and over. Though I sometimes can control this, and sometimes I can’t, it is important to at least try to think about something besides whatever is making me anxious.

To the people worrying about COVID-19 and the unknowns of life at the moment, I GET IT. It is very worrisome. BUT, constantly scrolling through our newsfeed, reading more articles, watching more news segments is only going to feed on this anxiety. Please understand that I am NOT saying to blindly ignore what is going on: it is incredibly important to stay informed and to protect the vulnerable populations. But, I also think that we need to take care of ourselves and our mental health.

So, let’s protect ourselves from some of this anxiety, shall we? Here are some ideas:

-Facetime a friend and talk about something OTHER than the scary stuff going on.

-Write a note to a loved one that you really appreciate.

-Go on a walk or a run!

-Listen to some good tunes or a favorite podcast (I personally love "Whoa That's Good" by Sadie Robertson).

-Work on your schoolwork.

-Play a board game.

-Read your Bible!

-Play with your pet! (If you don’t have a pet, look online at local humane societies).

Let’s try to spread some positivity amongst all this fear and anxiety. I want people to be aware of what is going on and to stay informed, but I also believe that checking the news every hour of the day may possibly be “adding fuel to the fire” so to speak, especially for people with anxiety and other forms of mental illness.

Lastly, Proverbs 12:25 states, “Anxiety in a person’s hearts weighs him/her down, but a good word makes him/her glad.” Though sometimes anxiety is not something we can control, I also believe if we lean on God, our family and friends, and the things we can control, it can make it easier to deal with. Let’s fill our hearts with good things and good words amidst all this fear. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Stay informed, but don’t fuel the fire of anxiety.

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