How to Cope with Anxiety

CortneyApril 28, 2020

We are living in a time like never before. Even people who do not normally suffer from anxiety, could be experiencing it at some level. With all of the schools closing, toilet paper gone, food shortages, sickness, financial responsibilities, possible home renovation delays and just a lot of uncertainty, I began to feel it happening and coming on fast! Luckily, I taught myself how to handle these fears head on and how to cope with anxiety.

Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with as long as I can remember. Most of the time it’s even over things that most would consider unrealistic fears. But, in the moment the fear is definitely real and can be paralyzing!

how to cope with anxiety

I used to feel anxiety would control every decision I made. It would look like going to Walmart, but not being able to walk in because I was scared of being abducted. Sitting in my car scared to go inside my home, because what if someone was inside. Pumping gas, what if someone kidnapped me or stole my car with my kids in it. I would count my locked doors at home often and “keep everyone safe, inside” I was scared of doing the wrong thing. Disappointing others. Failing. Being a failure. But my fear was holding me back from so many things – joy, experiences, memories, relationships and peace. 

How to Cope with Anixety in 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Take a Break – Stop what you’re doing, especially if it is the reason you are feeling anxious. Take a break for a minute and find something else to get your mind off of things.
  2. Take a Deep Breath – Often, when you get anxious, your breathing is affected. Make sure you are inhaling slowly and deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes.
  3. Change your Enviroment. Set your mood! Light some candles, open a window, turn on worship music- or any music that calms you.
  4. Turn Off. Especially during this time of unknown, the media, news and social media can be very overwhelming. Turn off your phone or at least put it away for a minute. If you know these outlets make you anxious, limit the time you are on them. If it gets too overwhelming, try deleting the app or limiting when you look at it (not before bed, etc.).
  5. Turn to God. This is my most important step in my list of how to cope with anxiety. You can’t live in fear and faith at the same time. I do believe the Lord gives us wisdom, but not fear! By definition, anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. When we have faith that God is in control of our future, and his plans are greater than our plans, our fears get smaller. Praise for what we know He has done and what He is doing, taking it one real moment at a time.

Anxiety still creeps up on me, just like it did earlier this month. It’s overwhelming and for a moment I may have to take a deep breath, get some fresh air, self talk that everything is going to be ok, pray, praise, light a candle, put on worship music, or let out a deep sigh. But ultimately I have to remind myself He is in control and that I trust God enough that I will not worry about circumstances I can’t control. The freedom you have when trusting Him is that instead of anxiety controlling you, you can take control by no longer living in fear. Make the little choices, it may be uncomfortable, but it gets easier each time.

How do you cope with anxiety? Be sure to follow along on my Pinterest, I’ll be pinning my favorite bible verses for anxiety and trying times. You can also check out this post with 10 Inspiring Quotes for Tough Times.

Comments (35)

  • Anita West

    April 28, 2020 at 9:49 am

    You are an Inspiration to so many. Thank you for being vulnerable… and real.

    1. Tracy Smink

      April 28, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      So thankful we have a God in Heaven, who is touched by our infirmities. What a joyous thought! The God that knows when a sparrow falls, cares so much more for His children. My husband had been out of work this whole time, no unemployment, it’s constantly giving excuses, my sons laid off, no unemployment yet. I have been baring the financial load. I suppose I’m an essential worker, my daycare is for those on the front line. It is my privilege and love to care for these sweet babies. Our bills will wait, we are warm, clean, and not hungry. Praise the Lord!

      1. Cortney

        April 29, 2020 at 2:25 pm

        Absolutely! Praise the Lord! Thank you for what you do for those babies so their parents can do what they have to! ♥

  • Marnie

    April 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Absolutely LOVED this!!!
    Perfect timing for me….as I suffer from anxiety and OCD.
    I had a dream last night that I had to keep erasing a list of five things on a marker board because I had not written them “near enough”. Over and over and over I erased them, and would try again. Anyone who understands OCD knows that this is a horrible condition to have and you are completely controlled by it.
    Mine gets really bad when my anxiety is at an all time high, which it obviously is right now. So the dream didn’t surprise me. The OCD will start to emerge in little ways, checking locks, making sure candles are blown out, washing hands continuously, insomnia, etc
    And I understand completely irrational fears. Anxiety can be crippling.
    But I learned at a very early age, that prayer is SO POWERFUL. You can almost physically and spiritually feel when you give it over to God.
    One of my friends and I were just discussing yesterday how it’s so important to watch for the signs and messages from heaven that we are never alone. God and his angels walk among us always.
    Thank you, Cortney, for always being so open and honest. Just two of MANY characteristics that really make you such a special human being. 🌸💗🌸
    We’re all here to love on each other and lift each other when we see someone could really use some kindness. 🦋

    1. Nora

      April 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm

      You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out

      1. Cortney

        April 29, 2020 at 2:21 pm

        Thank you so much! ♥

    2. Gina

      April 28, 2020 at 5:56 pm

      I love this post. It is me right now. I suffer from anxiety and sometimes feel I control my OCD. Often times I think they both control me. Talk to god ! It’s the only thing that seems to help.

      1. Cortney

        April 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

        Yes! Talking to God is always to best way for me to get control of the situation. ♥

    3. Lori Roark

      April 28, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Love you sweet girl! You’re such an inspiration not only to the girls your age but also to us 40 something year olds too. You are wise beyond your years. God spirit shines through you so bright. So glad you’re using all of these platforms to teach about Jesus. You and your family are so blessed. ❤️❤️

      1. Cortney

        April 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm

        Thank you so much! ♥

    4. Sarah

      April 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Hey I just wanna say I’ve also dealt with bouts of ocd especially postpartum and I send you love! It’s a nasty beast but I’ve learned through accountancy therapy the more I can just let negative thoughts, urges, compulsions BE (although uncomfortable) the better off I am. Sitting in the unknown. Sitting in the uneasy feelings. Sitting in the what if’s. Without having closure or answers is hard but over time has helped me tremendously! I hope that helps you as well.

  • Marnie

    April 28, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    “neat enough” not near enough
    True story….one of my OCD habits, I’ve bought multiple birthday cards before, the same card, because I may not like the way I sign them the first time
    It’s not fun, and not enjoyable
    Your brain just tells you you have to
    Just like irrational fears, unrealistic fears.
    They can be paralyzing. My prayers go out to anyone suffering from all of these things during this uncertain, and beyond stressful, moment in time.

  • Debra Vazquez

    April 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    I suffered with panic disorder and anxiety for years. It worsened every year until one day I just could not breath and my chest felt so tight and heavy I called 911 because I was sure I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t ,praise God, but my fear got so bad I could not leave my home or be by myself. I would try, but my poor husband would barely get to work and I would need him to come home. I couldn’t go in the car because I didn’t know where the ERs were. It was horrible. I was blessed to take some therapy for almost 1 year. In that time I learned about breathing, stopping the ‘looping’, dealing the fear and doing it anyway. It does get easier each time you do it. Mostly, I was reminded that we are not in control of events on this earth. Only our reactions to them. God is in control at all times. Now that’s hard for us type A’s and ‘ tough people to accept, but accept it we must. We can only control what WE do with situations and what we choose. Folks, I choose to fight.
    This doesn’t mean I don’t get my ‘champagne bubbles’ in my chest. Sometimes I feel the fear coming on strong. But I choose to stop, breath, pray, and take control of my reactions.
    I encourage anyone feeling these symptoms to turn to God and get some therapy too. It’s not easy but it is worth every minute to regaling your strength and your life. God bless you. 🙏🙏♥️♥️🌹🌹

  • Delayne Hunter

    April 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Great advice, I struggle with anxiety as well and this has been a time of back and forth Thank goodness God leads me!! When I remember to put him first every thing else seems to slowly get better.

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      Absolutely girl! I am the same way!

  • Melanie Bryce

    April 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you for being such an amazing human ❤️
    Phil 4:13

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Aw, thank you so much! ♥

  • Amy

    April 28, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Yes!! All of this!! These last few months have been so rough. I too have always dealt with anxiety and panic. And this pandemic has really tested me. My oldest son should be graduating hs in a few weeks but we are unsure of if/when he will even have a graduation. We also had to cancel a vacation that we had planned to celebrate his graduation. The uncertainty of everything going on right now is so hard. Even my husband who is usually the “strong” one has recently had some rough days. We will all get through this and be so much stronger because of it, but it’s still really hard. We are all struggling in our own ways. We need to be kind to each other and try to stay positive and grateful for the silver linings that are coming out of this crazy time. Watching your fb lives and praying everyday has truly helped me cope though. Thanks for the great reminders here and for always being so open and honest. It truly helps so many people ❤❤❤

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Exactly! Staying positive and looking forward to the days ahead definitely helps! Thank you so much for watching and I’m glad I can be a light for you during this time. ♥

  • Lisa Baisley

    April 28, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    I needed it today. I have the ugly “A” word and OCD. I have been struggling with all that is going on in the world. I have been doing my devotionals and praying. I start doing alright in one area of irrational fears, then boom, the enemy gets back in there a different way to reignite the irrational fears, just towards something different. I explained to some one that it just moves and tries to find a different opening.The OCD is like, “is it sanitized enough?” , “No, now you have to sanitize the bottle you sanitized with” , etc. , you all know the rabbit hole it goes down. Thank You for sharing. Reading what you wrote and all of the comments, I know I am not alone. Praying for us all 🙏🏼❤️

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      You are not alone at all girl! Prayers for you!

  • Jennifer

    April 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Cortney, great post and so relevant right now. I also want to thank you personally, as you are helping me with my anxiety. Lately I feel like I am surrounded by stress and this COVID self isolation thing is the worst! One of the ways I “turn off” from the news, worrying about my future, my job, my weight, my love life is watching your hair and makeup videos and listening to your devotions. Oh and your hair cutting video… hilarious! I have also been trying to turn to God more (although sometimes I think does he have the right Jennifer, or does he have me mixed up with someone else) when I feel like surely there is nothing more than can go wrong, it must be my time. Anyway thank you for helping a complete stranger being able to escape for a few minutes and to get inspired to create something better. Thank you! 🙏 💕

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Oh I’m so glad I can help you by doing my videos! That’s so great to hear! God hears your prayers! ♥

  • Michelle Scott

    April 28, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    U are so inspirational..I suffer from depression and anxiety and it is a lot worse with what’s going on..I bought some inspirational books and I want to get back into reading the Bible..The hardest thing is trying to hide it from my 16 year old..I would love to be able to chat with u one day, I love how deep your faith is..

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve turned to your Bible during these uncertain times! That’s the best place to be when it feels like the anxiety and fears and depression are taking control. Much love and prayers for you! ♥

  • Brandie J

    April 28, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    #5 is key! I’ve struggled so much these last couple months. Just when I think I’m doing ok, a wave of what ifs wash over me and I’m on the verge of losing it. My biggest problem is thinking of what the future will be like, the reality of making the step to officially home school my kids if the schools decide to open, and thoughts of never letting them out of my sight. I know we can’t hide forever.
    I make notes to myself everywhere I can, even in marker on my mirror. “God is doing something with this” has been my chant. And yes, a lot of deep breathing.
    Thank you for sharing. It’s comforting to be reminded we aren’t alone.

    1. Cortney

      April 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      Absolutely! I love the notes you write to yourself! It’s such a great way to remind yourself of something positive even in the scariest of times. ♥

  • Michelle Carriveau

    May 1, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    You have no idea how much I needed this. You spoke life over this mama’s anxious heart. I truly believe God is using this time to get at those deep rooted places in my life where I wasn’t putting Him first. The Unknown is scary but I find so much comfort in knowing He is already there at the end of all this and nothing has taken Him by surprise. He is still on the thrown!

    1. Cortney

      May 7, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Absolutely! I’m so happy you found this post when you needed it! ♥

  • Jodi Sbiroli

    May 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Cortney
    I am also in construction in my house and was wondering what your cabinet colors are?
    What type of countertop did you decide.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Cortney

      May 7, 2020 at 11:09 am

      I’ll be sharing paint colors and more details very soon! ♥

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