Church of England Diocese of Canterbury High Downs

Sustaining your spiritual life and 10 tips to help your mental health & wellbeing during Coronavirus

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Five Things to Pray in a Global Crisis

Prayers that Change Things in Times of Trouble

Rachel Jones

Description:

The coronavirus pandemic has left most of us feeling unsettled, concerned and very aware of human frailty. It has driven many of us to our knees, but it is such an overwhelming problem that many of us are unsure how to pray, or what for.

This little book has been written specifically to help Christians in this season. Each spread takes a passage of Scripture and suggests 5 things to pray from it so that we can pray in line with God's will. When we pray in line with God’s priorities, we know that our prayers will be powerful—they really will change things.

These prayer prompts will help you to pray for such things as comfort in loneliness, peace in anxiousness, patience in frustration, wisdom in uncertainty and hope in grief. They will also help you to pray for family who you cannot visit, those who are sick and those looking after them, the vulnerable members of your community, your church, your government and the opportunities that this crisis presents for God’s kingdom to grow.

Let the Bible help you pray positively and powerfully during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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EVERY DAY WITH JESUS - A classic book of daily devotional readings and reflections on our daily walk with Jesus.

By Selwyn Hughes. Paperback: Eden Press: ISBN 9781789511802 - ISBN-10 1789511801 - Product Code 5147954

* Your guide to the daily walk of faith

* These readings helps you see more of God in everyday life

* You'll find reflections that encourage you hold steadfast to God's word

Make this devotion the start to every day, especially at this time when you may be experiencing the effects of the Coronavirus and wanting to hear God more deeply as he guides you in your daily life and sustains you.


Most importantly......

Pray each day for the Church, those in Government and the World

Prayers of thanksgiving and intercession


For the health workers tending the seriously ill

for the scientists working on a vaccination

for the researchers analysing data and identifying trends

for the media outlets working to communicate reality

for the supermarket workers, hygiene and sanitation providers

for the good news stories of recoveries and effective planning

for the singing from balconies by locked-down communities

for the recognition that isolation doesn’t need to mean loneliness

for the notes through letterboxes offering help and support

for the internet and telephones and technology that connects

for the awakened appreciation of what is truly important

Thanks be to God.

For those who are unwell and concerned for loved ones

for those who were already very anxious

for those immune suppressed or compromised

for those vulnerable because of underlying conditions

for those in the ‘most at risk to coronavirus’ categories

for those watching their entire income stream dry up

for those who have no choice but to go out to work

for those who are afraid to be at home

for those who are more lonely than they've ever been

for those who are bereaved and grieving.

God be their healer, comfort and protection,

be their strength, shield and provision

be their security, safety and close companion

And raise up your Church

to be your well-washed hands and faithful feet

to be present to the pain

to respond with love in action

if even from a safe distance.

God, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Here are 10 tips that can help to improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus outbreak. For specific tips and advice while staying at home, read our advice on maintaining your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

You can find more information on this NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-anxiety-tips/

It is important to follow the latest official guidance on staying at home and away from others to keep everyone safe.


1. Stay connected with people

Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing, so think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while needing to stay at home.

You could try phone calls, video calls or social media instead of meeting in person – whether it's with people you normally see often or connecting with old friends.


2. Talk about your worries

It's normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.

If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.


3. Support and help others

Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people's concerns, worries or behaviours at this time.

Try to think of things you can do to help those around you. Is there a friend or family member nearby you could message? Are there any community groups you could join to support others locally?

Remember, it is important to do this in line with official coronavirus guidance to keep everyone safe.


4. Feel prepared

Working through the implications of staying at home should help you feel more prepared and less concerned. Think through a normal week: how will it be affected and what do you need to do to solve any problems?

If you have not already, you might want to talk with your employer, understand your sick pay and benefits rights, and get hold of some essentials for while you are at home.

You could also think about who you can get help from locally – as well as people you know, lots of local and community help groups are being set up. Try to remember this disruption should only be temporary.


5. Look after your body

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse.

Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol.

You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for 1 form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make you keep a safe 2-metre distance from others. 

Try a home workout.


6. Stick to the facts

Find a credible source you can trust – such as GOV.UK or the NHS website – and fact-check information you get from newsfeeds, social media or other people.

You could also use the GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. This automated chatbot covers the most common questions about coronavirus. Message the coronavirus chatbot to get started.

Think about how possibly inaccurate information could affect others too. Try not to share information without fact-checking against credible sources.

You might also want to consider limiting the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media, and think about turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone.

You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to a couple of checks a day.


7. Stay on top of difficult feelings

Concern about the coronavirus outbreak is perfectly normal. However, some people may experience intense anxiety that can affect their daily life.

Try to focus on the things you can control, such as your behaviour, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information.

It's fine to acknowledge that some things are outside of your control, but if constant thoughts about coronavirus are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed, try some ideas to help manage your anxiety or listening to an audio guide.


8. Do things you enjoy

If we are feeling worried, anxious or low, we might stop doing things we usually enjoy. Focusing on your favourite hobby, relaxing indoors or connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings.

If you cannot do the things you normally enjoy because you are staying at home, think about how you could adapt them, or try something new.

There are lots of free tutorials and courses online, and people are coming up with inventive new ways to do things, like hosting online pub quizzes and music concerts.


9. Focus on the present

Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions and improve our wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people deal with feelings of anxiety, or you could try our mindful breathing video.


10. Look after your sleep

Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it is important to get enough.

Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep up good sleep practices – like avoiding computer or TV screens before bedtime, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. 

You can find much more information on our website, given above.


There are plenty of things you can do and places to get more help and support if you are struggling with your mental health. Our pages on stress, anxiety, sleep and low mood have lots more tips and specific advice. If you are a parent or caregiver for a child or young person, Young Minds has guidance on talking to your child about coronavirus.

The NHS mental health and wellbeing advice pages also have a self-assessment, as well as audio guides and other tools you can use while staying at home.

We also have guidance and information to help others if someone you know is struggling with their mental health.

Remember, it is quite common to experience short-lived physical symptoms when you are low or anxious. Some of these, like feeling hot or short of breath, could be confused with symptoms of coronavirus.

If this happens, try to distract yourself. When you feel less anxious, see if you still have the symptoms that worried you. If you are still concerned, visit the NHS website.


KEEP WELL, KEEP PRAYING, KEEP CONNECTED


Keeping people well

keeping people praying

Keeping people connected


Please keep an eye on the Church of England website and our own site for the latest information - and if you have specific queries you need help with, or you're in need of support, please speak with your Archdeacon.

Please make sure that you keep an eye on the Church of England website for all the latest guidance for churches and parishes relating to Coronavirus.

If you'd like to receive the latest updates from the Diocese on this issue, there's a special mailing list you can sign up to here (but, of course, we'll continue to highlight any key information in the weekly Briefing mailing).