From the School Counselor
Hello BAIS Family!
It’s been a hard few weeks. With the resurgence of COVID in our area, and it impacting our BAIS family directly, there has undoubtedly been an increase in fear, anxiety, and frustration. These are natural feelings – the unknowns, the “what-ifs,” and the burdens of logistical things like working from home are a heavy weight and present very real concerns. It’s OK to feel these things! As Sven the moose says in Frozen, “You feel what you feel, and your feelings are real!” However, it’s what we do with these feelings that is important. Below you will find a few ideas on how we can manage fear, anxiety, and frustration in a healthy way during this season.
- Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)
- One of the most common commands that we see in the Bible is “fear not” (or some variation of this). This is because God knows that we will experience situations and circumstances that will cause fear! He knows our first instinct is fear, but he does not solely tell us to just stop being afraid… he provides a way out of fear: Trust in the Lord. Lean not on your own understanding. Cast your anxieties on Him. Abide in Him. This is the most important thing to do when we feel fear gripping at us – grip on to the Lord by spending time soaking in His truths in scripture! (1 Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10, Prov. 3:5-6,
- John 15:4).
- Stay connected
- Many of us have a tendency to isolate ourselves when we begin to feel fear and anxiety creeping in. However, we were made to be in community so that we can support, encourage, and spur each other on. If you find yourself pushing others away, take a moment and choose at least one person to reach out to, whether in person or through video/phone. Human connection is vital to mental health! On the same note, if you notice a friend or family member who seems to be distancing themselves, check-in on them in a gentle and loving way. They may just need someone to show them “I see you, and I care for you.”
- Getting sufficient sleep is huge, particularly when we feel stress and frustration. Make sure you and your children are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night (many children need 9-10 hours!). This may mean taking a stronger role in monitoring screen time at your home, particularly in the evening hours. It may mean implementing a calming bed-time routine at the same time every evening. Whatever it is, do what you can to ensure that sleep does not get deprioritized in this season.
- Focus on what’s most important
- It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the news, the “what ifs,” and the bad things that are happening. We can have a tendency to “ignore the good.” It helps to take time each day to recenter your thoughts on what is most important, and on what you are thankful for. I encourage you to take at least five minutes every day to think through these questions: 1) What is going well right now? 2) What am I thankful for? I have been using the app called Lectio365 recently, and have found it to be a way to calm my anxious mind in the evenings. One of the questions it asks every evening is “Where did I see God working in my life today?” Let’s keep in mind Philippians 4:8-9, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, thinking about such things… and the peace of God will be with you.”
If you are feeling overwhelmed in any way, please reach out to me or someone you trust. If you are a student, I would love to talk and listen, and for families, we have resources in our community that I can connect you with for counseling and support. You are not alone, and TOGETHER, we will make it through even the toughest of seasons!
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:15-16