Keeping Perspective in Stressful Times

Would you agree our mental health has been tested for the last eighteen months? The presence of stress, worry, and depression can come to even the strongest people. What can be done to take care of our mental health? In my role as pastor, I am learning in this unique time how to manage my perspective and also seek to maintain a non-anxious presence to those in our congregation. What are ways to maintain good mental health?

1. Pray honestly to God about matters that make you nervous, afraid, and are beyond our control. God is a very present help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
2. Exercise several times a week. Running works for me. When I run, my stress becomes so much more manageable. What works for you? Walking? The Gym? Something else? Make exercise a part of your plan.
3. Make sleep and good rest a priority. Disengage from bad news at sleep time. Count sheep. Do what you need to do to get the worries out of your head. One secret remedy I have is to find the most “boring” tv show possible. This works for me every time. I am asleep in minutes. By the way, I have some old sermons on tape I can loan you too!
4. Talk honesty with a friend about the things that trouble you. Doing this always seems to help keep perspective. Friends are our most valuable asset when our burdens become too heavy.
5. Reach out for help. Do not try to carry the “weight of the world” on your shoulders alone. In our congregation, we have pastors, trained Stephen Ministers, and friends willing to walk alongside you and listen. Most everyone has burdens these days. The good news is we do not have to go solo. Reach out for help.
If you ever need to call and talk, I am glad to listen. These are exceptional days. We will likely look back in a few years and marvel at how many challenges we had to navigate. The beauty of the church is we have the Good Lord and each other through these times. God is also shaping His Church in such times so that greater ministry can proceed forth!

Shalom,
Philip

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