A Mess of Stress

Does life feel like a mess of stress lately? We’re living in a time of heightened anxiety, how do we find calm?

The top five major stressors of life – death, divorce, moving, illness and job loss – have come together to create the perfect storm. Even the lesser anxieties have blown in to join the whirlwind – workplace issues, safety, loneliness, fear of the future, and schoolwork. The pandemic has encompassed all of these and more – a mess of stress. How do we cope?

My friend told me the other day, “I feel down, but I just can’t put my finger on it.” She’s not alone. You’re not alone. Everyone seems to be saying they feel “off.” I have felt it myself. How about you?

My hope and prayer is that Del and I can bring you a glimmer of hope today on our radio show and through this short blog.

Seeds of Hope

Before each show we wonder how we’re going to fill a half hour. By the end of the show we’re talking about everything we didn’t get to say. So here’s a few points we were not able to fit in.

Ten tips to combat the stress of our times:

  1. Practice deep breathing. Seriously, breathe.
  2. Exercise or go for a walk in nature. Get some sunshine.
  3. Find a new happy place that doesn’t cost anything and visit it often.
  4. Watch funny movies or videos. Often.
  5. Snuggle with your loved ones. One way to do this is to get or visit a pet. If you cannot get a pet, go to a shelter and cuddle with them there. You can also offer to pet sit.
  6. Listen to calming music (praise and worship music is especially helpful).
  7. Journal. Writing your feelings out can be therapeutic, especially if written as a prayer.
  8. Work on a project or hobby for a sense of joy, creativity and accomplishment. Color.*
  9. Call a friend to encourage them, which usually encourages you too! (Or better, go visit someone who is lonely.)  “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25).
  10. Find a good church, in person or on line, if you do not currently have one.

In addition, here are some helpful supplements for stress and mood:

  • Ashwagandha is an herb that has a great relaxing effect.
  • Valarian root has a bit of a tranquilizing effect.
  • Kava-kava has a sedative effect that relaxes the body.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce anxiety up to 20%.
  • Essential oils such as Citrus, Ylang Ylang, Valerian, or Chamomile.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. What can you add? Let us know in the comments here or on social media. What do you do to make the mess of stress less?

And of course, pray – for others and yourself. In addition to the power prayer has over our circumstances, there are some surprising and amazing effects prayer can have on our life, which we talk about in the video.

Watch our radio show, Seeds of Hope, here.

God bless you, and stay calm!

Penny (and Del)


Here are our websites and Amazon links to the books we mentioned on the show.

Walking in a Minefield by Del Bates  delbates.com

Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World by Penny Cooke  pennycookeauthor.com

1000 Gifts by Ann Vos Kamp


* Sign up for my blog here and receive my FREE ebook download, Pursuing Prayer Devotion & Coloring Page.



  1. Karen on October 15, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    I am late letting you know I did listen to the radio show…so happy to know you:)

  2. Penny Cooke on October 15, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    You’re so sweet. Thanks so much, Karen. xo

  3. Del Bates on October 15, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    great post Penny! Only one thing to add, if you have Grandkids, go visit them… they somehow take your mind off of things and help you set yourself in peace! Love the list… So good!

  4. Loretta B on October 16, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Penny has a gift of imparting a Biblical truth to our everyday challenges. She brings the “cookies” down to where we can reach them so to speak. She’s a warrior. Following.

  5. Penny Cooke on October 16, 2021 at 1:28 am

    How sweet. Thank you so much, Loretta.

  6. Penny Cooke on October 16, 2021 at 1:30 am

    Oh, good one!! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that!! lol. Well, probably because mine are so far away. :/
    Thanks, Del!

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