Care Resources

Resources to Manage Anxiety and Stress

If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety during these uncertain times, that is normal. Your body sends you information to alert you whenever it senses a threat. Know that you are processing your anxiety in healthy ways when you’re able to stay relaxed and make rational decisions without feeling overwhelmed or withdrawing. Anxiety can push us to take care of ourselves, but too much anxiety can become problematic. Below are some resources to help you manage your anxiety and stress levels. We’ve also included some information about how to determine when it might be time to ask a counselor or pastor for help.


Six Healthy Tips to Help You Cope During the Pandemic

  1. Create a routine.​ Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. If you’re working from home, establish a start time and an end time. This can help create a sense of normalcy and predictability.
  2. Stay connected to others.​ Use technology to stay connected to friends, family, and co-workers by calling, texting, emailing, and videoing with one another. Connect with people who will be present, compassionate, and good listeners.
  3. Stay connected to your community.​ Actively seek ways to stay plugged in. Use technology to watch church services online. Support local businesses by buying gift cards for a later date or buying lunch for those on the front lines. Volunteer your time to help your local schools or nonprofits distribute food and essentials to your community.
  4. Take care of your body.​ Do things that help you feel better and relieve stress. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, practice stretching and breathing exercises, and move your body daily (e.g., yoga, exercise, walking, dancing).
  5. Access reliable media resources in small doses.​ Stay informed, but limit the amount of time you check the news to once or twice a day to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.
  6. Limit addictive behaviors.​ Distracting yourself and finding ways to seek relief from what’s going on around you is normal. However, pay attention to how much time you’re spending on television and social media. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.


When Is It Time To Ask For Help?

Often we are able to navigate life’s challenges by ourselves or with help from family and friends. However, there are times when we need to get help from a doctor or counselor. Here are a few indicators that it might be time to seek professional help:

  • Struggle is preventing you from functioning in a healthy way or is significantly impacting your quality of life.
  • It’s difficult to resolve an issue through your own ways of coping.
  • Your current coping mechanisms (e.g., overuse of alcohol or drugs) are potentially destructive.
  • You are overwhelmed to the point where negative emotions are dominating the way you feel.
  • You are feeling hopeless and/or losing interest in things that used to bring you joy.
  • Negative thoughts are preventing you from thinking clearly and making healthy decisions.
  • You’re experiencing heightened social conflict or a desire for increased social withdrawal that is difficult to control.

Note that thoughts of self-harm or the desire to harm others require immediate attention, including telling family and friends that care about you and contacting a suicide prevention center and/or other resources listed below. If you feel like you are in immediate danger or are a danger to others, seek immediate medical attention by dialing 911.


Counseling

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact many individuals and families, we want to help. For those of you with existing emotional health conditions: Please be aware of your symptoms, and keep in touch with your mental health professionals to stay on track.

If you would like to speak with a staff member about your emotional health or to request prayer, please contact our Care Pastoral Staff at care@thebayouchurch.org.


Additional Resources


Steps To Take If You're Concerned About Paying Bills

Budget

  • If you haven’t looked at a budget in a while, now’s the time to do so. Every Dollar is a great free app to use to get a budget together.
  • Get clarity from your income sources as to what the reality will look like over the coming weeks.
  • Cut spending to bare necessities. If you can’t pay all of your bills, Dave Ramsey recommends you spend your money on these four items first and in this order:
    • Food
    • Utilities
    • Shelter
    • Transportation

Defer Payments

If you’re still not able to cover all of your expenses, identify payments that can be deferred.

  • Call creditors to explain your situation. You can ask for temporary relief on your monthly payments. If you offer to still send some money, even if it’s a smaller amount than your typical payment, they might be more willing to work with you.
  • If you have federal student loans, you can forbear (interest accrues) or defer (interest doesn’t accrue on subsidized federal loans) your loan payments.
  • For student loans, use this questionnaire to understand what options are available to you.
  • If you’re paying extra on debt(s) right now and have less than one to two months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund, it might not be a bad idea to temporarily stop extra payments and then restart them once things settle down.
  • Enroll for health insurance, if you can.

We’d Love to Connect

If you have any questions or if there’s any way we can help you, please contact us.