Resources during the Isolation Period
Below are a few resources submitted by the Grane Hospice Bereavement team related to coping with the effects of the COVID-19 virus outbreak:
Practical Ideas for Dealing with Heightened Stress and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Crisis
Tom Laird, MABC, Director of Counseling Ministries/Director of
Christian Counselors Collaborative at Allegheny Center Alliance Church
“While it is true that we don’t need to look far to find practical ideas to deal with stress and anxiety during this difficult time, I want to provide you with a combination of universally recommended suggestions and some scriptural recommendations. Let me start with a few scriptural recommendations:
- Be honest about how you are feeling and what you are thinking. The Psalms are full of heartfelt transparent prayers from David as He communicated to God all that He was feeling. During this challenging time, if you are fearful or anxious admit it to yourself. Guard against denying how you feel or pretending that you aren’t concerned.
A very helpful step to lessen fear and anxiety is to admit when you are fearful or anxious.
- Talk to God about how you are feeling – God loves you and wants to hear how you are feeling. Set aside time to be transparent with Him about what you are wrestling with. He wants to hear about your fears, worries, and concerns. The nearness of God will be a great comfort and source of peace.
- Let God speak to your heart during this time- Proverbs 12:25 says “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad”. Anxiety and fear certainly bring our moods and spirits down. How about the second part of this verse? “but a good word makes it glad” God has a good word for you in the midst of these days. Take time to ask and listen.
- Meditate – There are many different forms of meditation that are available in our culture. The meditation that I am recommending here is to take time to meditate on God’s character, promises, and creation.
There are 5 ways to take the word of God into your heart and mind: reading, listening, studying, memorizing, and meditating. Each is valuable, but during this stressful time, let me suggest that you take a few minutes per day to often repeat to yourself a scripture verse. Here are few that I have used. Isaiah 41:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Isaiah 26:3. Feel free to pick your own, but this spiritual exercise will help you draw near to God and lessen fear and anxiety.
- Talk to a friend about how you are feeling – This is another way that your anxiety and fear can be lessened. I love this quote from Mr. Rogers and think it is very applicable:
- Practice gratitude – In this time of uncertainty, being deliberate about being thankful is very wise and helpful.
- Reach out to people from a distance – Most likely, many people are more limited than you are. Reach out with a note to say you are praying for and thinking of them. Leave a meal for them on the porch. If you head out to the store, call and see what you can pick up for them. Leave a note in their mailbox to say that you are available to help.
- Set a routine – If you are spending more time at home it is important to continue with a regular routine. Maintain a regular time for waking up and going to bed, eating at regular times, and getting ready and dressed each morning.
- Stay mentally and physically active – When you plan your daily timetable have a go at activities that keep your mind and body active.
- Notice and limit worry triggers – As this health situation develops, it can feel like we need to constantly follow the news or check social media for updates. However, you might notice that this triggers your worry, fear, and anxiety. Try to notice what triggers your worry and limit your exposure.”
Additional Links to Consider:
Did AIDS Set Us Up to Handle COVID-19? by Barbara Karnes, RN
This Pandemic of Grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., National Grief Specialist
For more helpful resources to help with the coping process, please contact your local Grane Hospice for more information.