There are many of us trying to deal with the frightening situation of the Coronavirus, and coping with fear and anxiety.
Whether you’re a health-care worker going to work, or an older person who just wants to go to the grocery, it is likely that you’ve experienced anxiety during this pandemic.
Coping with Fear and Anxiety in a Healthy Way
Normally, in a crisis, I have been able to cope with fear and anxiety and find solace in helping others. It is what I do. On the Enneagram personality test, I register as a two, “The Helper”, consistently.
However, during this time of isolation, I was having a hard time being a helper to others.
This free Enneagram personality test will show you which of the 9 personality types suit you best. See how you score for all 9 Enneagram types, and understand where you fit in the Enneagram personality system.
Coping with Fear and Anxiety After a Diagnosis
My fear was further heightened when my brother tested positive for the virus. When I received the news, it was a very sleepless night.
My mind wavered between being depressed because my siblings and I have been plagued by health problems and the nervousness of our future. The what-ifs shuffled out any peacefulness.
The next morning, I was able to spend my prayer time processing my fear and anxiety. It seemed my devotional, Jesus Calling, spoke directly to me and had some great advice.
“This is the time in your life when you must let go of loved ones, of possessions, of control…you need to rest in My Presence”. I realized this was exactly what I needed to do.
The Power of Prayer when Coping with a Crisis
In response, I wrote a prayer in my journal, “Lord, help me with this crisis. To stop and seek your graces. Help me to find ways to serve you.”
That day, I was able to regroup, and my siblings and I made a plan to help our brother who was ill. We had to figure out how to get another brother out of the condominium where my infected brother also lived.
I was going to be in charge of signing them up for grocery delivery. Another brother was reserving a hotel room. My younger brother was able to get some incidentals to the hotel.
Because I was not focusing on fear, I was able to take action and be the helper I am called to be.
I now have a mantra to repeat to help block out negative thoughts: “I am His daughter, I am His daughter.” If I look to God, it keeps me in the present, and I am able to rest.
My brother successfully recovered from the virus and when I look back at my prayer journals, I am always amazed how God has answered my prayers. He has answered my prayers and taken away many fears.
God Showed Me Ways to Serve
Walking through this crisis, God showed me ways to serve.
I decided to call and check on as many people as possible to see how I could help. It was a bit emotionally draining, but again…. there’s a prayer for that!
Out of these conversations with other people, I was able to glean some needs.
I was able to donate a little money to a friend who is helping out with the homeless. I did a couple of drive-by parties for friends.
We fixed some meals and picked up groceries for a family. I commiserated with a friend when her husband was stuck in Honduras for a couple of weeks.
I cleaned out some closets and was able to donate the goods to someone who needed them.
I am not telling you these things because of how great I am, but because of how great God is. All of these things wouldn’t be possible without God-given opportunities and my ability to step out of my fear and anxiety.
Take the Steam out of Fear
When we serve others, we take the steam out of fear….it’s prayer in action. And I think that’s what God wants for us. He wants us to not only cope with fear and anxiety but be free, so we can be there to encourage others.
It’s simple: to serve is to love. And if you’re serving you’re too busy to be afraid.
For further reading by Kay: Keeping Christ Close while Facing your Worst Fear
“My command is this: Love each other, as I have loved you.”