When these thoughts get too overwhelming, I go to a quiet place. There, away from the world, I give myself a pep talk. My anxious mind doesn't want to listen, but I tell it the truth I don't always feel in my heart. "It's normal to feel upset and anxious. Times are hard, but these times won't last forever. I've been through trauma before, and I know that after each event there came a time of peace and happiness. I can do this. I am strong."
I'd love to be able to tell you that this little time out makes me feel instantly at peace, but I can't. It's just a step in the right direction. It helps me take my thoughts captive so they don't run amok. That's the first step. I also set boundaries, have a little fun each day, reach out for connection, exercise, and do something kind for others. All of these things help my emotional health.
But the one thing that helps me the most is prayer. It brings me the most peace, and it's something I can't explain to you adequately. If you want to stop reading now, you may. But if you're curious, I pray the same thing I'll pray over you now:
God give them all they need to get through the day — the strength to endure, a wisdom to make sound decisions, the ability to discover joy in the chaos. Give them an overwhelming sense of peace, one that comforts them to the very depths of their being. I pray today that as they read this, they will feel your presence in a tangible way and will discover the incredible love you have for them, a love so deep it can get them through their loneliest hours. Today I pray hope over them, God, as they wait. As we all wait. Together.