Many of us are feeling overwhelmed with what is taking place in the world today. Watching the news brings about fear and unsettles us. It would be so easy to become negative about the situation and see only the worst and the bad. This isn’t helpful. Negativity breeds negativity and pulls us down into despair. For people who have mental health issues it would be very unhelpful to pass on the negative comments that appear on Facebook or the negative news items.
Personally I have banned news at home except for once a day and that may only be headlines. It seems to be healthier that way. But I am aware that some people are watching the daily bulletin from 4 to 6 and then the news and I have to ask WHY? A friend who is a counsellor wrote that she is advising her clients to stop watching so much news. We need to keep up to date but too much is just that, too much.
It’s important to recognise the immense efforts people are putting in to helping our communities. It’s amazing to see people coming together to help those who cannot leave their homes and who are keeping in contact with people by email or phone or by the internet.
No matter who we are, we are all experiencing changes in routine that make new demands on us and we need time to adjust to new pressures that are put on us. Amidst adapting to daily changes, new shoots of goodness emerge. We hold loss in one hand and gifts in the other.
It’s great that church hasn’t stopped, but it isn’t necessarily easy and so we owe thanks to all those involved in getting church in to our homes on Sunday, and our small groups during the week. I won’t name people because I’m sure to miss someone out and I would hate to do that.
Maybe we need to learn to give thanks. Giving thanks for even the smallest thing can be helpful to keep us seeing the positive and is good for mental health. I try to write down three things to give thanks for at the end of each day. Some days it could be very profound while mostly it’s quite simple things; a particular song on a CD, a special bird, a call from a special friend or it may be giving thanks for the people around me.
We may be isolating, staying away from family and friends but we still have things to be thankful for.
A blessing for today
When you feel that you are at breaking point, may you always remember that you are held in the grip of grace. When pressures mount around you and fears rise within you, may God be the one who soothes your soul; whispers peace to your spirit, and gives you the courage to rise to fight another day. May you be given the wisdom to know when you need to pause and when you need to press in.
Lord, we pray you would hold with those who feel they are falling. Give them strength when they feel weak and hope when they feel despair is swamping their hearts. We come in simple faith acknowledging our weakness, our frailties and our fears, but asking for the gift of faith to be released in our hearts once again. Give hope to those who feel they are losing their perspective and peace. Let grace be our guardian and hope our shield. Amen