At a time like this, finding the right words to say isn’t easy. We are living in an unprecedented time. With our days full of uncertainty, deep concern and fear of what’s next, we are all trying to do our best to navigate through this COVID-19 pandemic.

Personally, I’ve been intentional about limiting the amount of “news” I consume.The more I hear and watch, the more I feel anxiety trying to rear its ugly head. I definitely don’t need that at a time like this.

The truth is that most people are panicking. Shelves at Walmart,Target, Sams Club and ShopRite (my local grocery store) are practically empty. I’ve never seen anything like this before. People have an underlying fear that the grocery stores may close and we’ll all be left to starve.

None of us really know what’s going to happen over the next few weeks and months to come. When things feel uncertain and out of control, it’s important that we focus on what we know is certain and what we can control.

I’m relying on my faith and reminding myself to trust God. He is in control no matter what. He said He will never leave us or forsake us. The Bible also tells us that we are not made with a spirit of fear (although things feel pretty scary right now). I know that God will take care of us. I know that worrying and living in fear won’t change this situation, but it will eventually impact our physical and mental health.

So, what can you do to ease fear, worry, stress and anxiety at a time like this?

I created a short list of things to support you while we navigate this pandemic:

1.Get some fresh air. Go for a walk and breathe in. This will help you clear your mind and gain a fresh perspective. If you can’t get outside, open a window to let fresh air inside.

2. Turn off the television and put your phone down. Stop consuming everything that’s on the news and social media. It’s important to stay informed, but don’t let the media consume you.

3. Get some mild to moderate exercise. Yoga is a great way to calm your mind and get your blood circulating. Going for a walk is an excellent way to get your body moving and to help you center your thoughts. Since most gyms are closed right now, work out at home if you have space or in your backyard. There are tons of free workout videos on YouTube that you can watch for inspiration.

4. Catch up with family and friends via FaceTime, Zoom or by phone. Now that most of us are home, we have some free time to reach out. Talking to my mom, grandmother, aunts, cousins and friends made me feel better this past week.

5. Pick up that project that you’ve been dreaming of doing but felt like you didn’t have time.¬† Is writing a book, starting a blog, or launching an e-commerce site on your wish list? Now may be the perfect time to launch those dreams.

6. Get a head start on your spring cleaning. I love turning the music on and taking my time to clean thoroughly. I feel happier and accomplished¬† when my house is freshly cleaned (by me because I know it’s done to my standards lol).

7. Spend more time with your immediate family. Now that the kids are home from school, gather together and play a family board game or watch a funny movie. Cook a meal together or ask them to keep you company while you cook.

8. Practice gratitude and think of all that you have for which you can be grateful. Remember – it’s impossible to be worried and grateful at the same time.

9. Take a nap and rest. When I’m tired and running low on energy, everything appears to be worse than it really is. Getting enough sleep (especially at a stressful time like this) is essential for keeping your immune system strong. Proper rest will also help you stay mentally and physically well.

Sidebar: Yesterday I went to my local health food store and bought a box of “Nighty Night” herbal tea. I drank a cup before I went to bed last night and I slept like a baby. That was the most restful sleep I’ve had all week!

10. Live in the moment. My son reminded me of this yesterday. He asked me, “why would you worry about something that hasn’t happened yet?” That came after I told him that I’m worried about him and his siblings getting the virus since they are still working.

After he asked me that, I paused and realized that he was right. I was creating scenarios in my head and causing unnecessary worrying about something that didn’t happen. If you’re like me, I encourage you to take a step back and assess your surroundings. If you and your family are not sick, then you’re good in this moment. All we have is the present and we’ll deal with the future when it’s here.

I hope this helps ease some of your fear, worry, anxiety and stress. This too shall pass and we’ll get through it together!

Love and Blessings,

Erica