Tips for Staying Focused in Difficult Times by Sharele Hatfield

Having a crisis- a global one like COVID-19 or a more personal one- can send us into a state of unfocus. Many people report a “brain fog” for months following a crisis. For most of us, life still needs to happen in the midst of or following a crisis. So how do we maintain our focus and continue to take care of ourselves and our families even when we feel like we can’t think about anything else? 
When a national or global crisis is happening, there is an information overload coming from all directions. 24-hour news channels, the newspaper, and social media keep us informed as to what is going on, but nobody can digest all of the news that is coming at them continually. To lower anxiety and retain your focus, consider unplugging or limiting the amount of media you are taking in. Get off social media for a few days, or resolve to only watch the news for ½ hour per day. Taking a step back from the barrage of information coming your way will go a long way to help restore your focus. 
Focus on What You Can Do 
Worrying about what you can’t control sucks up your mental capacity and leaves you little ability to do anything other than worry. Instead, think about what you can do and can control. Make a list if necessary. Can you send a care package to a friend who is sick? Can you make dinner for a family down the street who all has an illness? Can you go and sit with a friend in the hospital? Serving others always makes us feel better, grounds us, and helps us regain our focus. 
Be Still 
Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”. What does it mean to be still? It means taking some time away from the news, the worry, and the stress to sit with the Lord in prayer or reading Scripture. Find some Scripture verses about comfort and anxiety and reflect on them. You will find that even after just a few minutes spent in prayer and with the Bible, your anxiety will be less and you will be able to focus better. 

Unplug, focus on actionable steps to help the situation, and take some time to be still to regain your focus during difficult times! 

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