So many people today are suffering from anxiety and even depression. This pandemic has brought out tremendous insecurity and fear. But within all anxiety, there are hidden layers. It is very important to identify what your true anxieties are. For example, many people are worried about making a living because of the pandemic. This is, of course , a valid concern. But what in particular are you worried about? Is it because you lost your job and are not sure if you can find a new one? Is it because you are working from home and not sure how long your company will keep you? Or is your anxiety based on imagination too? Are you imagining what will happen if the coronavirus goes on much longer and you are unable to open your business properly or pay your expenses? Usually anxiety is because our imaginations tend to exaggerate our fears and worries, thinking into all possible negative scenarios.
What shall we do to help ourselves ? First of all, do not allow your imagination to run wild. Do not imagine what will be in future. Just live moment by moment. What can you do right now? How can you function right now? The future is in the hands of the Almighty. How will our worries help? We need to control our imaginations and reign in our thought processes.
Remember to pray. Prayer can literally change things and resolve problems. So do not assume the coronavirus will be here for years and do not take at face value every negative thing the media writes. Do your part to social distance, wear a mask in public and wash your hands. But do not be FEARFUL. Fear fuels anxiety. And anxiety actually can lower one’s immune response. So keep a healthy optimistic outlook.
Trust in God. He brought this virus for a purpose. He wants us to learn from it, get our priorities right and correct whatever needs to be corrected in our personal lives and relationships. Pray He should take the virus away…. but at the same time, do not panic. God is not limited. He can provide for you during these times as well. Our work is only a vessel for the blessing that gives us our livelihood. If we are being prevented from working as we usually do, look at it also as a blessing and become creative with your time and resources. Perhaps you will even find you are more successful working from home and you have more time for family, Torah study etc. Perhaps you will find a new channel of blessings and new opportunities for business or work. Never despair . There is always hope for a brighter day.
If your anxiety is because of being quarantined and isolated, be thankful you are not in quarantine for years. Prisoners are in quarantine all the time, locked up with no freedom . Be grateful for your blessings. Take time to thank the Creator for everything, even the problem you do NOT have .
If your anxiety is because your children are at home, learning on line instead of in a school, try to enjoy having them around. Start appreciating them and also realizing they also may be going through some insecurity and stress and you, as a parent, must help to alleviate their worries and help them to feel happy and secure. Anyhow, if the children are at home, at least some things are less stressful (no more race to get dressed and out of the house on time; no more exhausting car pools; no more frantic rushing to pack lunches). Try to see the good in everything; the silver lining in every cloud. And even if at times you find it hard to see the good, know that everything is ultimately for the good.
Give extra charity. Charity truly protects and increases blessings.
Say extra tehillim (Psalms). Tehillim brings mercy.
And most importantly: try to keep a positive mindset. Utilize these difficult times to repent and beg God to send Moshiach to redeem the world because that is all that really matters in the long run. That will solve all problems immediately!