Today I write in response to what I've been experiencing, observing and hearing. In yesterday's sermon Fr. Dean told us that he depended on brothers and sisters as he shared and cried in a meeting last week. He isn't alone. I certainly have needed to share and cry lately and others are indicating that need as well.
A friend who spent years as a therapist pointed out recently that we can typically sustain 6-8 weeks of crisis. After that the adrenaline wears off. This crisis has outlasted that period, and many of us may need different tools and assistance than we've needed in the past (see below).
Yesterday's 1 Peter passage included this reminder: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Fr. Dean used the image of floating in water as a way to describe some of the passive elements of casting our cares. This image reminds me that I don't need to be flailing around - I can rest in God's care.
These passive images are important and helpful, and there are also active steps to be taken to cast our cares on God.
- find ways to play and laugh.
- develop a playlist to facilitate tears. Crying releases anxiety and toxins in important ways and can help reset our nervous systems.
- connect with people you love - if possible in person or by video so you can see their face. It's in our brothers and sisters that we experience the incarnate Christ.
- adopt contemplative practices
- ask for help if you're struggling with anxiety, depression, or have other needs.
If you'd like to learn more about these suggestions, here are a few resources:
1- Ruth Lawson-McConnell (Christian counselor) offers insights for all of us during COVID-19. She provides videos and PDFs.
2- Online Therapy Unit offers a range of services for anxiety and depression as well as some basic information and tools for coping with COVID-19.
3- Contemplative practices help us enter God's presence and release our anxieties.
Previously mentioned resources about prayer, lament, anxiety, colouring pages, music, etc. can be found in other posts on this blog.