Stay hopeful and take the time to take care of you.

This has been a difficult year, full of anxiety, stress and so many uncertainties about the future; so our tendency is to fall into unhealthy habits.
Anxiety is a normal response during challenging and difficult times but you can’t let it overwhelm you completely.
The question is what have you been doing to relieve some of your anxiety and stress?
Also, is what you’re presently doing decreasing your stress or adding to your anxiety?
We have to be intentional about guarding our hearts and our minds and our bodies when we are trying to decrease our anxiety.
We have to be practical and decide that we are going to make good choices.
We need to focus on the things that are in our control and focus on the things that we can change like our attitude, our responses to certain situations, what we eat and drink, exercising, getting enough rest, prayer and meditation, getting some fresh air, drinking water, limiting our exposure to the media or any negative input.
I know that I tend to always go back to the basics, but some of you have not wrapped your minds around the basics as yet. So, I feel compelled to keep reminding you.
In order to build a strong foundation we have to start with the basics.
These unprecedented times are calling us to step out of our comfort zones and do something that we might have never done, so that we can continue to grow and remain as healthy as possible.
I’ve really been embracing the basic yoga practice these last few months to improve my strength, flexibility and to just quiet my mind.
Although I know that I don’t look as graceful as the video instructors, I see improvements every week and that’s what counts.
Improving your flexibility, deep breathing, being still, meditating and prayer and just learning to be patient are all great stress relievers.
We also have to make the decision to limit unhealthy coping strategies such a drug use, overuse of alcohol and overeating and any unbalanced activities that can be disruptive to your well-being.
Remember:
Don’t isolate yourself from everyone, everyday.
Stay connected with friends, family and community even if it’s just through texting or video chatting.

Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
And last but never least…

gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
We have to maintain a grateful heart and remember all of our daily blessings.
An attitude of gratitude is proven to relieve anxiety because you’re focusing on what you have and not worrying about what you don’t have.
These are definitely times of uncertainty. We have to look to God for solace and trust him with our fears and then do what we can to alleviate some of the stress in our lives.

Philippians 4:6 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Stay hopeful and take the time to take care of “you.”

Bev