Thanks to our London Heathrow Chaplain, Steve Buckeridge for providing the below suggestions from a Biblical standpoint.
1. Stick to a routine: this helps with a degree of stability and also makes it more likely that basic needs like eating and drinking take place. Even in the wilderness, God gave the manna and quails in a predictable way.
2. Spiritual: the daily reading of the Bible and spending time in prayer is essential for our good 1Peter 2v2, 1Thess 5v17-18. A key part of prayer is worship and thankfulness – and that focuses our attention on the greatness and goodness of God. Also praying for those in considerably worse circumstances gives perspective. Verse memorisation and meditation (perhaps especially at this time on God’s peace and presence) will be helpful Josh 1v8,9
3. Socialise: As a general principle “it is not good for us to be alone” Gen 2v18. Ring & use video as well as messaging when it isn’t possible to meet.
4. Stop things that will be harmful: a brief exposure to the news (once or twice a day?) is likely to be sufficient. Worry about the future doesn’t change anything and was not God’s intention for us Matt 6v25-34. What we feed (or sow) is what will grow Gal 6v7.
5. Social media: use with discretion! It can be helpful but there is plenty that is not true or is discouraging. We should not let the world overly influence our thinking Rom 12v2. Our mind is crucial and where it is focused matters Col 3v1,2.
6. Service for God: even in restricted circumstances God will have something He wants us to do Eph 5v17. Don’t be swayed by human perception of the size of the action Mark 9v41.
7. Smile: humour helps us feel good! Prov 15v13, 17v22
8. Sleep: most of us need a typical number of hours and are more prone to anxiety if we are tired. Rest has its place Matt 11v28, Mark 6v31. The principle of sabbath (putting aside some time each week specifically for God) also links with this.
9. Sport: well at least a stroll anyway! Exercise has a place in relieving anxiety and as God has made us body, soul and spirit we need to look after all three. It can be overdone but it does have some profit 1Tim 4v8
10. Shower and sort/ “self-care”: personal cleanliness and a degree of home tidiness can bring a sense of order. People’s characters do vary on this but a degree of care for our bodies and homes comes out of the general principle of stewardship (looking after what God has entrusted to us) and honouring God in all things 1Cor 10v31.
11. Slow down: when we are used to running our lives at a fast pace it can take an adjustment to be ok at accepting a different way of things during this time. Enjoy the stillness of God’s presence Ps 46v10
12. Something different: curiosity is a powerful spark. Is there a long term project, something around the house or a new interest/area of learning that we can spend a bit of time on that will be beneficial? There is plenty of scope in Phil 4v8,9.
13. Singing and music: uplifting music can be powerful Eph 5v19. Behind good hymns there are often difficult circumstances the writer passed through that remind us that we are not the first to go through trials and also that good can come from them.
Steve Buckeridge LHR Chaplain