Whether you’re the calm and collected type or someone who lets worry get the best of them, suffice to say, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re all feeling some level of anxiety. Between the 24/7 alarming news headlines, constant uncertainty, and stress, we all need a reprieve so I’ve compiled a list of anxiety quotes and Bible verses to help you feel a bit more at peace.
But first, let me tell you about my struggle with anxiety and what has worked for me these past few weeks.
As a mom with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), I was well prepared for the racing thoughts, rapid heartbeat, and desire for control to be in full force when the coronavirus outbreak first hit the U.S. in February.
Yet it didn’t exactly unfold that way because anxiety is a tricky thing.
Often times, when something in my life needs my immediate attention, it’s all hands on deck. I’m in combat mode, hyper-focused on what needs to be done. Although I may be worried, I put all of my energy on the task at hand. In the early weeks of the outbreak, my husband and I were doing home improvements. I put all of my energy on that and keeping our kids on a normal schedule as possible, even though I knew the threat of coronavirus was imminent.
Of course, panic started to set in at regular intervals, like the day my husband told me that the first person in New York City—the closet location to our home—was diagnosed.
Then, when our kids’ schools were initially closed for a few days, then weeks, and then for more than a month, I started to worry even more. As the emails from the school district came through, I prayed.
I immediately texted “My Crew,” a group of friends from my church that I meet with every two weeks to share our faith, our struggles and our joys. One friend pointed me to a list of scriptures our church had sent out that day. I immediately printed it out and after reading and re-reading them, I felt peace wash over me.
As the weeks went by however, I still experienced anxiety.
I started to grow concerned when I saw store shelves empty of bread and wiped out of cleaning supplies. It wasn’t the coronavirus and the threat of contracting it per se, that was making me worried. Rather, it was the fact that everyone else was freaking out which made me feel like I should worry too.
One evening I was in Target and I overheard a woman and her daughter laughing about the lack of dish soap and glass cleaner. Did people not clean their homes before?, they said. I struck up a conversation with them and took it as an opportunity to share my faith: God is in control, I am not, I said.
This became my mantra over the next few weeks. I prayed that I/my husband/my kids/my extended family would stay healthy but at the same time praying, your will be done.
Although I knew that intellectually, when you have clinical anxiety, it’s hard to break free from the hamster wheel of thoughts.
As the weeks went by, I worried about getting soap, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper. I wondered whether I, like many other people in the U.S., should start stockpiling food.
Then the coronavirus hit close to home. On the same day, my sister-in-law was tested for coronavirus (thankfully, she’s negative) and my cousin was diagnosed with it. She was became very sick for 2 weeks, but is better now.
I decided that I must keep my news consumption to a minimum and I watched shows that highlighted something promising—a vaccine, a treatment, etc. Yet even that too, became too much at times.
Add to that concerns about getting work done, holding onto work, and helping my two kids through distance learning—it’s enough to make anyone experience anxiety, disorder or not.
Last week, my anxiety worsened to an all-time high, when 10 minutes after my husband left for the grocery store, my phone rang. “Babe, there’s a line and they’re only letting a few people in at a time.” It was 8am in the morning.
He put me on FaceTime and sure enough, people were standing around the perimeter of the shopping center with their carts, 6 feet apart, most with gloves on, some with masks. The what if’s were in full force.
Yet anxiety is like a roller coaster—some days are better than others and you continue along for the ride.
To cope, I continue to eat healthy (albeit with chocolate thrown in), take supplements to boost my immune system, exercise most days of the week, and meditate. Most of all however, prayer, devotions, and reminding myself of the Truth has helped me cope with anxiety.
ANXIETY QUOTES & BIBLE VERSES TO HELP YOU COPE WITH WORRY
During this time of uncertainty and stress, anxiety is inevitable, but I hope this list of anxiety quotes and Bible verses will help you find some solace and feel more at ease.
1. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” — 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
2. “Worry, regret and anxiety are all mental illusions that distract you from this truth: you’re OK right now.” — Marie Forleo
3. “…distorted thoughts, not realistic ones, cause anxiety.” — David D. Burns, M.D.
4. “God is moving even when we can’t see Him. God is in control even when things seem out of control. God is good. God is for us even when things turn out differently than we expected.” — Sheila Walsh
5. “Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” — Jodi Picoult
6. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
7. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
8. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” — Anne Lamott
9. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” — Mother Teresa
10. “Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’re strong. You got this. Take it day by day.”. — Karen Salmansohn
11. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” — Psalm 46:1-3, 10 NIV
12. “The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” — Oprah
13. “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” — Psalm 9 NLT