How to cope with Omicron stress

Practical advice from a Christian psychologist

Note from the Eternity team:

Christmas is only a few days away and the news is filled with reports of rising Omicron cases. Friends are being tested and stuck at home isolating until results come in. Events are being cancelled and pared back. Christmas and holiday plans are in jeopardy. 

Like many Australians, our Eternity team is feeling the stress of Omicron’s outbreak. Between us, our plans for the next couple of weeks include: an interstate trip to see adult children we’ve been separated from for months and desperately miss; a daughter’s wedding scheduled for January 4; a family Christmas celebration that is to be held at a parents’ retirement village; and several sets of summer holidays that are booked and paid for. The idea that any of it might not happen – especially after the last two years – seems almost too much to bear.

“What can we publish that can help us all deal with all this uncertainty and stress?” we asked each other today. “What is the best way to remind us all to trust God – while taking practical steps to be wise?”

Then we remembered this article.

It was first published April 2 last year – when COVID was new enough that we were still calling it coronavirus and had never heard of Delta (not including Delta Goodrem!), let alone Omicron. Written by Sue Bartho, a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist with extensive experience helping people with anxiety, it contains practical tips and godly wisdom.

Simply put, it is exactly the article our team needs – and we suspect it might be the same for our Eternity readers.

So if you are feeling uncertain, overwhelmed, or even just mildly concerned, grab a cup of tea and settle in for a read. 

How to cope with anxiety – even during a pandemic

I’m a passionate Christian and a clinical psychologist. For many years now, I have been speaking publicly about and treating in my private practice, a range of anxiety conditions – which frankly come out of my personal journey with the thing!

While anxiety is a common issue, it is has shifted up several gears with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is fear in the air, fear in the news, fear on our faces.

In these extraordinary and challenging circumstances, I still like to keep things simple. At least, I like to boil them down to their fundamental components. So, my working definition continues to be: Anxiety = Listening to Fear. Fear about the future and fear about myself.