5 self-care tips to combat anxiety

Hi friends,

I hope that you are well. And I hope that your year is starting well. Can you believe that the first month of the year is practically over? This year is moving quickly. I’m coming to you today to address something that many of us have experienced at one point or another. It creeps up out of nowhere and rears its ugly head, oftentimes leaving us in tears, feeling frazzled and scared. This monster is called anxiety.

In the last year of my life, I have had to battle anxiety linked to stress. As someone who can only remember one anxiety attack in the first 25+ years of life, this was something that confused me. However, I was fortunate to quickly find some self-care tips that have helped me tremendously. Scroll down to learn more.

Write scriptures & affirmations

I was home one weekend back in December on the phone with my fiancé and I felt my anxiety try to pull a surprise attack. I let him know what was happening and decided to get off the phone. I felt tears coming and did not fight them, while quickly pulling out my journal and Bible. I began to write down every scripture I could find about peace and mental health. Although my journal was soaked with tears, I quickly realized that which every scripture I wrote, I felt the weight lifting. In total, I jotted down around seven scriptures before I felt calm. In that moment, the power of God’s word was more real to me than ever. I went on with my day, which meant going to church where I was able to worship God. This worship was a soothing balm to my weary mind just when I needed it. There are several websites that make compilations of these scriptures if you find yourself wanting to read or write them as well.

Pray out loud

Another great strategy I have is praying audibly. This has been especially helpful for me when I have been feeling anxious while driving in the car. Heavy traffic and long commutes are so bad for me. I learned this in the car one day after work, while driving to go handle something for my wedding that had to be done by 6 pm. I was driving for over an hour when I finally began to cry. I had a lot on my mind and I finally started to feel it. I turned off the radio and began praying to God for relief of these feelings. I reminded God what His word said about keeping me in perfect peace. I thanked Him for his ability to do this and for the sound mind He had given me and I thanked Him for being my safe place. The longer I prayed, the less anxiety I felt. After a few minutes, I was back to normal.

Take an hour long, uninterrupted bath

As someone who has always found joy in doing something productive, the last few years have been about learning to relax. My roommate still tells me that I don’t know how to rest. Even when I don’t feel well, I find myself reading, watching something educational, etc. However, I have learned that relaxing helps to keep my anxiety at bay. One of my favorite ways to relax is to simply take a hot bath for an hour. This means phone off, light music, essential oils and dim light. There’s nothing significant about the amount of time, except the fact that it is my time and no one else’s. This bath always leaves me feeling refreshed physically, mentally and emotionally.

Set strict “no work” hours

I am a recovering workaholic. I have been in my job at ungodly hours consumed in work. And for someone like me, this is easy because I love to work. However, I’ve learned that too much work creates real issues. I have always subscribed to the idea of the Sabbath, because God rested for 24 hours on day 7 while creating the Earth. If it’s good enough for Him, it is good enough for me. But I’ve realized that just resting during Sabbath hours is just the minimum. In order to keep my anxiety low, I need to leave work at a decent hour daily, go home and do something for me. This could be sitting down and eating a healthy dinner, exercising, watching a show I like, reading a chapter in a book, reading my Bible, listening to a podcast or talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter what I do. What matters is that I do not give my entire day to someone else’s dream. I matter more.

Talk to someone you trust

Everyone should have a safe place to take their thoughts and feelings. Humans are likened to a steaming pot that has a lid on it. If the lid is not lifted, it will explode from the pressure. When I felt myself under pressure, I was blessed to have people who encouraged me to get help. With the encouragement of my fiancé, my sister and a counselor friend of mine (Love you, Courtney!), I saw a therapist for the first time in October. My therapist has been the single best investment I have made into myself in a very long time. She has taught me to give myself credit for things, to look at situations differently and that my feelings about certain situations are valid. She has also helped me to not cripple those around me by pouring all of my feelings into them. My family and friends love me deeply, but they are not trained to handle any of the problems I was having. It would have likely hurt them to help me. Many of us walk around with wounds that we don’t even know we have until they are discovered by someone who has been trained to help heal us. Forget about what other people may think and do what will help you live an abundant life. If you have ever considered talking to a therapist, I would highly recommend doing it.

If anxiety has found its way into your life, it doesn’t have to stay there. Give these tips a try and let me know in the Comments if they are of any value to you.

Until next time,

Brittany

life after God takes away

I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. – Isaiah 41:18 KJV

Two years and one week ago, I wrote a blog post called, “When God Takes Away.” When I wrote this, I was coming out of a dark season in my life following a difficult breakup. When referring to the breakup in previous blog posts, I shared that I was deeply hurt, but I never conveyed how hurt. Continue reading “life after God takes away”

Bring Back Our Girls Prayer Call

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. – Luke 4:18-19 KJV

Good morning, friends.

Few things disturb me like kidnapping. Someone who doesn’t know you comes into an area where you feel safe and steals your dreams,  sense of security, and whatever else they want from you. How frightening to think that we live in a world where this can happen. And not only can it happen, but it can happen to hundreds of people at a time. This was the case in Borno State, Nigeria. Over 200 girls taking exams at school, probably very nervous about them yet excited about being finished. Then, a group of armed men comes in to abduct them, forcing them to leave. Some of the girls escaped, but most didn’t. Many have likely been married to men older than them that they do not know. The group that has stolen them has said that they will sell them. It’s deplorable, disgusting and scary. This is something that these girls will never forget. In situations like this, I am reminded that Jesus is a champion of freedom. The evil one comes to kill, steal and destroy, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is one who restores, redeems, rescues and sets captives free. Although this situation is bleak, it is not without hope. At 9PM EST, I will be holding a prayer call to pray for the safe return of the girls. There will be several prayer foci tonight and people from many places joining us on the line.

Tonight’s Prayer Foci 

Safe return of the girls
Safety of those trying to rescue them
Peace for the families
Protection for the girls as they are captives
That people would come to know Christ through this situation
Restoration of peace in Borno state and other areas of northeastern Nigeria
For the end of sex and human trafficking

If you would like to stand with us in agreement for the safe return of the girls, please call in. I have seen the power of prayer in my own life, and more than anything, I want to see God turn the ashes of this situation into beauty. To enter the prayer line, simply dial 530-881-1300 and enter access code 121413#. If you are outside of the US, check out Free Conferencing’s website for details about how you can join in.

Brittany

It’s a labor to…

It’s a labor to love the unlovable,
it’s a labor to forgive the unforgivable,
it’s a labor to be patient in an extremely impatient world,
it’s a labor to be kind to mean people,
it’s a labor to be gentle in an extremely harsh world,
it’s a labor to give in a world that’s all about taking,
it’s a labor to wait instead of trying to run ahead of God,
it’s a labor to be joyful when there’s a whole lot of suffering going on around you,
it’s a labor to remain pure in an extremely impure world,
it’s a labor to stay married in our culture,
it’s a labor to raise Godly children in our culture,
it’s a labor to stay loyal in a world where self-interests prevail,
it’s a labor to be humble in a culture that celebrates pride,
it’s a labor to be selfless in an extremely selfish world,
it’s a labor to be peaceful in the midst of a world full of turmoil,
it’s a labor to trust when all you’ve known is betrayal,
it’s a labor to be self-controlled in a self-indulged world,
it’s a labor to be hidden in obscurity and anonymity when everything in our world screams fame, and accolades and being out there, and being on social media,
it’s a labor to not lie, to not cheat, to not steal, to not gossip, to not slander.
It’s not easy; it’s a labor of love.
It’s a labor to maintain our spiritual disciplines in a world that says “just do whatever you want to do,”
it’s a labor to serve others and not be served,
it’s a labor to not get sucked into the lie of acquiring, accumulating and amassing,
it’s a labor to put people before things,
it’s a labor to put people before technology,
it’s a labor to put people before yourselves,
but God says,
“I invite you into the greatest work, the very work for which you were created. You are my workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared before you ever got here. It is a privilege and an honor to be a co-laborer with Christ Jesus, himself.”

An extremely inspiring quote from Christine Caine’s message “No One Ever Drowned In Sweat” at Celebration Church of Jacksonville. What an incredible blessing to be a co-laborer with God!