It’s scary to watch the news and follow social media these days. It seems like every passing hour offers updates and new information that only bring things closer to us and strengthen our fears.

Here are some positive affirmations to reduce anxiety, which you can recite throughout the day to help bring yourself some calm and relaxation:

As rabbis, our goal is to find meaning and offer direction during these challenging moments. Here are a few thoughts on how to deal spiritually with this new reality of COVID-19:

G-d is Here
I don’t know why all of this is happening. But I do know that HaShem (G-d) exists. I believe this with all of my being, and I know that there is a plan.

We must not lose track of this amidst all of our reading of articles and preparations vis-à-vis the virus. HaShem is here, and there is a plan. This is a message we take with us from Purim to Passover, and all year long.

Prayer
(File photo)

The Power of Prayer
Follow all of the advice of the doctors and the Centers for Disease Control, but remember that we have a strong weapon in our spiritual arsenal — prayer. Pray to HaShem for a successful cure. Pray that HaShem will heal those who are suffering with the virus as well as those who are anxious and having trouble functioning in their day-to-day lives due to this outbreak.

If we all pray for one another, we will get stronger as a community and, G-d willing, closer to overcoming the coronavirus.

Use Your Time Wisely
Those who are in quarantine or not in school, whose work is now closed due to COVID-19, use some of your newfound time for spiritual endeavors. Pray a little longer now that you aren’t rushed in synagogue, learn something you couldn’t beforehand due to the daily grind.

Set aside a bit of time to reflect (if your kids allow you to!). Many have written on this topic. We must never pass by opportunities for spiritual growth and reflection; this may be just that time.

Self-Care
Take care of yourself and your sanity. It’s OK not to check the phone all the time! Really. Take breaks. Pace yourself and let yourself know it’s OK. Take a breath.

Take time to do things that you enjoy, if you can, or just engage in a few non-coronavirus-related things. You owe yourself these quiet moments, many of them, of sanity and self-reassurance.

Rabbi Eli Yoggev

For all of those who are scared and unsure, who feel things keep getting worse daily and there is no end in sight, just know that you aren’t alone and you are recognized and loved.

Together, we will grow from this and, G-d willing, see much brighter and happier times.

Sending My Love and Daily Prayers,
Rabbi Eli Yoggev

Rabbi Yoggev is the associate rabbi at Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Pikesville.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Rabbi Yoggev shared some of his favorite jokes with preschool kids:

He also read, “The Rabbit that Listened”

Perhaps this can keep your children entertained for a few minutes!