STABILITY IN A CHAOTIC WORLD
There is no shortage of stress, anxiety, and conflict in the world around us. You turn on the news, it seems like the world is falling apart. In all the chaos, confusion, stress, and anxiety, it can be difficult to find a sense of peace and stability. Unfortunately, being a person of faith does not exempt us from these struggles. Each year, nearly 20% of adults in the United States will experience a struggle with their mental health. Sadly, only 40% of those will receive help.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue, you are not alone. When you experience these struggles, don’t fall for the lie that you must carry the burden on your own. Others share your struggles, and God gave us the Body of Christ, the Church, to help support and encourage one another through the struggles. In a world full of chaos and confusion, God can be our Rock, our safe harbor to ride out the storms of life. It all starts with entering into a relationship with Him and allowing Him to be Lord of your life. (If you have questions or want to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, watch one of these short "God's Story" videos: click here.)
Even if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are not immune from experiencing a mental health struggle. Take solace in knowing that you are not alone. People struggle with mental health every day, including Christians, and the great lie is that it is something to be ashamed of or something that needs to be hidden. The first step to finding healing is to admit that you are struggling and to ask for help.
As a church body, our goal is to be mindful of everyday mental health struggles in all walks of life, to equip our ministry leaders to provide support for those who are struggling, and to connect those needing additional help to professional resources when necessary. If you need support or encouragement, please reach out to our church office and let us get you connected with one of our local resources
Here are a few recommended online resources:
For those going through grief or loss, we have a care group meeting Thursday evenings at 6:00 PM, Bastrop Campus, Room 201.
Questions, contact the office.
5 Easy and Practical Tips to Improve/Maintain Good Mental Health-
Tip 1: Eat Healthy and Get Plenty of Sleep.
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When people get stressed or anxious, often one of the first things to suffer is our sleep and our eating habits. The unfortunate side-effect of such poor habits is that we cause physical stress to our bodies combined with our mental stress. One frequent trigger for some major mental health events is when people stop sleeping. Make sure you are not adding additional stress to your life by stressing out your body with bad habits.
Tip 2: Adopt an Attitude of Thankfulness and Prayer
“The Lord is near all who call out to him, all who call out to him with integrity.” – Psalms 145:18
Praying regularly and giving thanks may sound like a Christian cliche, but there are some very real and practical benefits. Spending time in prayer and giving thanks becomes a time when people can stop focusing on their problems and struggles and be reminded of a much bigger world. Prayer reminds us that we do not struggle alone. And an attitude of thankfulness and prayer helps us to keep perspective, by helping us to be mindful of the good things in our lives and not being blinded by our problems.
Tip 3: Live in a Regular Rhythm of Bible Study and Prayer
“This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.” – Joshua 1:8
Along with taking the time to pray regularly, keeping a regular Bible study time is important. Making both of these a regular part of your routine forces you to spend time focusing on something outside of your own life. Also, studying scripture and trying to apply it to your life helps to give a sense of purpose, meaning, and unity/connection with others in the world.
Tip 4: Maintain A Good Support System Around You
“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
Having good friends that support and encourage you can be extremely important. If you surround yourself with people that drain you and bring you down, you may want to consider how important it is to maintain those relationships. Try to foster relationships with people who uplift, encourage, and support you, such as a church small group or Sunday School class.
Tip 5: Give Yourself Time to Rest
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalms 46:10
Just like how it is important to get sleep, taking time away from work is equally important. In the year 2018, it was reported that 768 million paid vacation days went unused in the United States, and more than 50% of Americans report losing paid vacation days every year due to not being used. Taking time off is important because it allows us to rest and recharge, but also helps us maintain perspective. One of the most reported reasons for not using vacation time is being too busy or feeling guilty about not working. Taking time off helps us to remember that the world can continue to function without us. If your work is incapable of functioning without you for a time, are they burdening you with unreasonable and unhealthy expectations? If you take time off and the world does not collapse without you working, what does that say about the pressure you are putting on yourself?