Out of 7.8 billion people no one on earth could have seen this coming. No one has been through a pandemic like this. The COVID-19 has crippled our economies, our daily routines, and our mental health. Those that struggle with anxiety may have heightened symptoms and to be personal you may feel paralyzed being at home. I want to help you lower your anxiety with three powerful concepts “Simplicity”, “Solitude”, and “Silence”. This is not a step by step formula or a self help quick fix. These concepts create a lifestyle that chases away anxiety.
We’ll begin the journey of change with simplicity. Simplicity is the inward focus of having and living by conviction. The inward focus creates outward habits of resolve. In the book Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster writes “Simplicity is freedom. Duplicity is bondage. Simplicity brings joy and balance. Duplicity brings anxiety and fear.” During this time of being quarantined and even if you are one of the heroes still going into work there are ways you can simplify your life. The first step is actually believing that there are things and activities you don’t need. I take into account that married or unmarried couples will have to do this inward reflection individually and together. However, each of us have the time to sit still, breath, and think about what we can let go of. We all have a chance to let go of unnecessary objects and activities. We are in a moment where we can come out of this worldwide chaos with a lifestyle of balance and joy. As you take time to self reflect the second goal is to ask yourself, what is my focus? The last question to ask is, am I living out of focus and truth? You will have to rely on God’s direction while asking these questions. The beauty of the whole process is that you can use mindfulness techniques to help calm yourself. As you calm yourself using music, deep breathing, etc., your brain will allow you to hear more clearly. Take time to write down your thoughts so you don’t forget. During this process of noticing the simple parts of your life you may find peace instead of anxiety.
Saying “NO” and not feeling guilty is hard for those that battle anxiety. During this time guilt and shame of not being able to help loved ones or people that are suffering with COVID-19 is real. Nevertheless, a balanced simple life calls to stay true to your capacity. Being kind is shown to decrease depression and anxiety disorders, but that does not mean saying “YES” to everything. With simplicity in mind think of one or two people you could help. Take time to pick what you want to do for the people you chose. If you are going to help multiple times, make sure to look at your calendar before agreeing. Helping people will be easy because of your balanced approach of doing the best that “YOU” can. In times of chaos, the world needs people that will do what they can to the best of their ability. Anxiety will not stop you from helping others this time.
Last thing to remember is that simplicity is all about prioritizing what really matters in your life. When you live a simple, balanced life, you will find that the small treats in life seem more fascinating and enjoyable. The quality time getting that drive through food or going to the park with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. These simple yet very important activities give us a sense of accomplishment if we do them within simple living. Simplicity helps bring balance and freedom from racing thoughts because you’re simply not tied to as many objects and activities. Have fun living your most Simple Life now.