By Anna Lynne Frazier
Six weeks ago, I moved from my office to my living room and prepared to work from home. As I settled in and got organized, I put my 2020 planner on a shelf near my workspace. I haven’t touched it since.
On one hand, having free weeknights and weekends has been an unexpected relief. It’s sad to miss out on things I looked forward to, but the open days on my calendar are refreshing. On the other hand, it’s tough to shake that nagging feeling that I should be doing something. (Even though everything is canceled).
I know I’m not the only one experiencing this sense of restlessness. Many of us are wrestling with the seeming paradox of clear schedules and anxious hearts. This proves for us that our busyness doesn’t cause our anxiety.
We don’t feel anxious because we have a lot to get done. We feel anxious because of some deeper issue in our hearts.
Maybe this means it’s actually the other way around. We’re not anxious because we’re busy. We keep ourselves busy to stave off that pervasive sense of restlessness and unease. So even when everything gets canceled, the anxious feelings stick around.
As we draw to the end of the stay-at-home orders, it’s more important than ever to dig down deep and get to the root of that anxiety. Otherwise, we’ll find ourselves in the same place we started. With full schedules and anxious hearts. Longing for a break even though we now know it won’t actually help.
Last fall, before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, Patrick and Keith recorded an episode 3 Ways to Fight Anxiety for Ten Minute Bible Talks. In this episode, they talk about how anxiety generally isn’t caused by external factors (though certain circumstances don’t help).
Instead, we are deeply influenced by our habitat, our habits, and our hearts. All of these will lead to anxiety if we’re not careful. And all of these affect us inside and outside quarantine.
Create intentional space in your schedule to think about what in your life might be contributing to your feelings of restlessness, discontentment, and worry.
Sign up to receive this Reflection Guide to process how “3 Ways to Fight Anxiety” can apply to your life. Use it alone in private reflection or discuss with family and friends.
Listen to the accompanying podcast episode below or on your favorite podcast streaming service.