Sunday, April 26, 2020


(Portions taken from an article written by Aarti Gupta, PsyD at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Who would have ever thought when this year began that we would be facing a global pandemic; let alone one that would shut down the whole world in a matter of weeks.  This is unbelievable!  We are making history, friends.  Some day we will be able to tell generations from now that we survived the great Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and what a story that will be!

I know it has been hard, to say the least.  Being isolated under a mandatory quarantine can stir up a variety of unwelcome emotions.  You may feel alone, anxious, stir-crazy, lost, not yourself, afraid, or overwhelmed to name a few.  I want to challenge you, during this unexpected season, to make the most of your time of “waiting.”  Waiting for things to change and doors to open. Good things can happen while we wait!

We have all been granted a GIANT PAUSEto reexamine our priorities, make the necessary adjustments needed, and possibly attempt to simplify our lives. 

This kind of opportunity is rare and it doesn’t come around every day.  If you take advantage of it, it can be life changing!  We have all been given a chance to alter the course of our lives and make a fresh start.  What needs to change?  What do I need to stop doing or start doing?  What should I  focus my attention on?  What matters most?  
What COULD happen if we took time to assess our lives and pray about it?  Are we where we know we should be?  Are we doing what God has called us to do?  If not, this is a great time to make some changes.
These uncertain times (living with so many “unknowns” that change by the day) can unfortunately trigger unhealthy emotions to rise up within us.  When unchecked, they can lead to toxic thoughts, reactions, and behavior.  Processing these emotions and surrendering them to God is key to experiencing His peace that passes all understanding in the midst of these crazy days.  I want to share with you some tools that will hopefully help guide you, as you endeavor to push forward with God’s help during these difficult times.
How can I manage my time & emotions...

Start your day with God.  Before you do anything else each day, spend time with God. Share your heart with Him.  How are you feeling?  What are you worried about?  Who do you know that needs a touch from God today?  Tell Him… and then take time to LISTEN.  Listen to His heart. God speaks all the time, we just don’t always take time to listen.
Then after that, spend time in His word… the Bible.  The Bible is alive, active, powerful, and life changing!  It’s food for our spirits and a light that guides our steps.  When we read it, supernatural things happen!  If you have trouble being faithful to read your Bible, I encourage you to follow a Bible plan.  They have tons to choose from on the Youversion Bible app. (  You can even do this with a group of friends or family.  This option gives you the opportunity to have everyone share what stood out to them from what they read.  It’s very encouraging and a great way to keep accountable to reading daily.  
Another thing I would suggest you do during the day is spend time listening to worship music… you know, those songs you hear at church. I have noticed that when I play that kind of music (at home in the background throughout my day) that it feels more PEACEFUL in my house and inside my heart.  
The last thing I want to encourage you to do, when it comes to focusing your heart on God, is to write down a scripture each day. Choose a scripture that brings you peace and encourages you.  Find a special place to post them where they will be seen often.  This will help you focus your heart more on God when you are feeling anxious.  Here are a few of my favorites…Psalm 112:7, Psalm 62:1, Psalm 46:10, I Peter 5:7, Phil. 4:6-7, Matt. 6:34, Phil. 4:13, Rom. 8:28

Instead of thinking... “I’m stuck inside”, focus on the fact that... Now you have time to give more attention to your relationship with God, those closest to you, and those postponed needs of your home.
Whether you are working from home, doing school work, or managing your household, good things can come out of this frustrating season... if you change your perspective
Choosing to do one productive thing each day can lead to a more positive attitude. Set your sights on long-avoided tasks, reorganize, or create something you’ve always wanted to make.  Plan special family nights.  Play games, watch movies, and take walks. Get outside together and build memories that will last a lifetime!  Approaching this time with a mindset of feeling trapped or stuck will only stress you out more. This is your chance to slow down and focus on what is truly important.
When your family looks back on this season of their lives, what do you want them to remember about your time together?
Try to maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier for you with managing their school days.  However, for those that work from home, it could be very tempting to become lethargic and unmotivated.  This can open the door to negative thinking. A suggestion would be to wake up and go to bed around the same time each day.  Eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of those PJ’s. Do laundry on the same day as usual and continue to do the necessary household chores. Sticking to your normal routine will help keep you active and make it less likely for you to spiral into unhealthy behavior.  Not to mention, this will also help you be ready for when you are able to return to your previous commitments.


Freeing up your day from work or social obligations gives you plenty of time to obsess, and if you have a tendency to consult Google for every itch and sneeze, you may be over-researching the pandemic as well. Choosing only certain credible websites ( or is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.

With all the uncertainty happening all around us (outside of our homes), keeping the inside organized, predictable, and clean can bring a sense of calm to the crazy. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organize your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa (just as before), eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to feel uneasy and claustrophobic in your own surroundings. Keeping your home tidy inside and out can relieve stress and bring a calm to your heart.


With your newfound time, why not plan something special during these quarantined days?  You could start a daily journal to jot down thoughts and feelings to reflect on later. Or you could take a walk every day at 4 pm. Plan special video calls with your friends, family, or church group each week.  Or maybe you could start a weekly game night or fun competition. Having something special planned during this time will help you look forward to each new day.

Telehealth is an option when you need to talk to a professional.
Many licensed therapists are offering options over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. One such company I highly recommend is Pendleton Counseling Services.  They offer excellent quality counseling and addiction help. They just opened a new office and are currently taking appointments online.  Please see the additional resources listed below for details and assistance.  If your anxiety is reaching proportions that are unmanageable without professional assistance, please reach out for help.
We are in this together friend!  YOU are not alone! You got this!!!
Living to leave a legacy,


Pendleton Counseling Services 
(765) 221-9495
Kelly Ricer, LCSW 
Lindsey Lawrence, LCSW, LCAC

Reclaimed Counseling
(317) 537-7906
(They offer individual, couples, and family counseling)

National Treatment Centers
Call 1-866-745-2140 for IMMEDIATE treatment assistance. 
24/7, 365 days (confidential)
Find a treatment center near you on the site.

Aspire Indiana
24 HOUR CRISIS: 1-800-560-4038
Make an appointment: 1-317-574-1254
Division of Mental Health & Addiction: 1-800-901-1133
(Sliding scale fees available)

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