If there’s anything this pandemic has taught me, it’s the value of people and healthy, strong relationships. Men and women were not created to do life alone, which makes this long and drawn out season of distancing and limited gatherings an extremely challenge time for so many people in our communities.
It’s no wonder the depression rate is on the rise and the suicide rate is skyrocketing. It should be no shock that substance abuse and addiction diagnoses are greater now than in recent history. Loneliness is driving so many to lengths they would never normally go.
Marriages are falling apart. Friendships are being broken down. We’re highlighting problems more than solutions. Compliments have turned to complaints. Love has turned to hate. All we see is the negative in other people.
The spirit of men and women is being broken. It’s being broken by our inability to be around other people. We need to be surrounded by others who can challenge us in a healthy way and encourage us in a loving way. I fear the longer this forced distance goes on the more long lasting harm is going to be done to whatever is left of our relationships.
This distancing is causing loneliness in so many people. And that loneliness is leading to anxiety the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety.
- Physical activity – Do you workout? Are you a runner?
- Mental distraction – Do you have a hobby? Love to craft? Is coloring or video games your release?
- Rest and relaxation – Enjoy napping? or vegging with a movie or video games?
- Relational release – Find someone you can talk to. Find a friend to lean on emotionally. Who can you call to talk through the difficulties? Who’s already in your life as a constant source of encouragement and grounding?
- Spiritual connection – An aspect of life we all too easily overlook is the spiritual needs we have. Take time to be in prayer. Take a walk and list the things for which you’re thankful. Spend time reading the Bible. Join with others who believe the same way and study together. Ask someone whose opinion you respect some hard faith questions. Try fasting (who hasn’t packed on a couple pounds since covid started?) Experiment with meditation.
Whatever it is, we all need to find a healthy and nondestructive way to release some tension. Take time to focus on self care. Relieve stress. Rebuild relationships. Restore the basics of your faith system.
These are a few ways you can handle the loneliness and anxiety that are infiltrating our communities and families. What have you found most helpful to help relieve stress? How do you show those around you that you value their friendship?