Mental Health During This COVID19 Time – Seventh-day Adventist Church

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March 22, 2020 | Loma Linda, California, United States | By Carlos Fayard, PhD, associate professor of Psychiatry at Loma Linda University School of Medicine

The current pandemic is bringing out all kinds of psychological challenges: death anxiety, social isolation, uncertainty, worrying about having access to basic necessities and keeping our jobs. The words isolation, confinement, imprisonment and the like, carry a powerful mental weight. Not only the mind, but the body, both pay a substantial price.

There are many and good recommendations out there as to how best to cope with this pandemic, particularly if you are confined at home. Let me here remind you what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-34):

“I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating? Aren’t there more important things for the body than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?  Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?” (Read until verse 34).

Now, if anyone tells you just “don’t worry”, would you stop worrying? Most of us would have a difficult time following the advice. But Jesus gives us 5 recommendations:

1. Observe natures in detail (v. 26, v. 28-30). This is not just a “mere look”, but a detailed observation of beauty. This generates a sense of awe. The sense of awe has a positive impact on your emotions and take you to appreciate the hand of the Creator. If you are not able to step outside, be sure to look for pictures of nature. Spend time observing the colors, imagining the texture of what you see and “smelling” with your mind what it might be like to be there.

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