Perspective | People | Protection :: 3 Ways to Manage Worry & Stress about COVID

It starts with a simple email: “Confirmed COVID Case” in the subject line. Your heart starts beating fast and you hold your breath. You open it and wait to see if it’s a confirmed case in your kid’s classroom. If it’s not, you breathe a sigh of relief. If it is, you now have two new worries: will your child exude symptoms, and what will you do with them at home for the next 10 days, especially if you work?

This is life right now for so many of us parents. Whether it’s school, a birthday party, or even a trip to the park, we are now in a constant state of anxiety over potential COVID exposure, especially regarding our kids. I feel like the first round of COVID hit differently for many of us parents with young children. We sheltered them at first, thought this would pass in a few months, kept them home with activities, bubbles, and mounds of sidewalk chalk. Eventually, we learned that things weren’t eradicating as quickly as we would have liked, and thus we had to “settle in” to some normalcy where our kids could leave the house.


You didn’t hear about as many kids’ cases with the first round of COVID-19. I tested positive for COVID in November 2020. I was broken and emotional when I found out after being so very cautious. I walked around with the virus for seven days, thinking I had my usual sinus infection before testing positive. While those seven days were filled with daily kisses and snuggles from my little boys, neither of them tested positive, which was a great relief. Due to such close proximity and still not catching the virus, I began to wonder if it was even possible for them to get it. Then came the Delta Variant.

The Delta Variant is unlike the COVID we first began hearing about in March 2020. Today, there are more and more rising cases of children suffering from this pandemic, which again creates a level of uncertainty. According to the CDC, cases have risen by five times in children since the Delta Variant.

This pandemic has made even my most relaxed friends nervous when it comes to their kids. We are all cautious, many of us following “the rules” and yet, we can’t control everything. I can be careful and cautious, but right now, this is life, and I can’t control it. As a Christian, several Scriptures have brought peace to me as a parent:

  • John 14:27  
  • Proverbs 19:21 
  • Isaiah 41:10

Realizing that I don’t have complete control of this situation has been a huge relief, understanding that as a parent, I’m doing the best I can with the current circumstances, but I am not in control.

My children have had no idea of my worries or fears, other than me scolding them for not washing hands or using hand sanitizer, or pulling off a mask in public. They don’t know the real fear. They are only 4 and 2. They are bright, full of life, joy, and hope. They learn what we teach them.

So what do we do? How do we stop some of this anxiety, stress, and fear? I’ll be the first to say that I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for much of my life. Before I can remember, I’ve also been a Christian, so I believe in prayer, God’s Word, and His peace. I also know that sometimes we need specific steps and more HELP as I’m a big advocate for therapy as it has also helped and healed me.


So I reached out to Eric Wooten, Licensed Professional Counselor, author, and founder of Altared Marriage, to give some tips, ideas, and overall insight on what we can do during this season of our lives, with young children and how to deal with our fears as it relates to the pandemic:

“Let me start by saying that COVID is both a virus that nobody seems to fully understand or have a grasp on and another reminder for all of us that we don’t really have control over anything the way we think we do or want to. Part of what has been so stressful about COVID is the conflicting stories and reports we get on a daily basis,” Eric says.

“Masks don’t help. Yes, they do. The vaccine will mutate your DNA. The vaccine is safe. Kids can’t get it. Yes, they can. It’s only deadly for people with pre-existing conditions. Perfectly healthy people are dying as well.

“Can someone make up their mind, please?

“Let me share three thoughts on what we can practically do to manage our worry, anxiety and stress with COVID, and any season that weighs heavily on us.”

  1. Perspective

“My belief is that God loves our children more than we ever could and He’s concerned about us as well. As parents, we are merely “stewards” of our children for the season that God has decided to entrust them to us. This may seem subtle, but a stewardship mentality is much different than an ownership mentality. Because we are stewards and not owners we can immediately release the ultimate sense of responsibility for their well-being to their owner and creator, God.

“Simply do your best with the knowledge and resources entrusted to you to make sound or wise decisions when it comes to your children. That applies to every area of their lives, not just with respect to COVID. Bed times, nutrition, health decisions, friendships, freedoms, activities, sports, entertainment, and on and on. Just do your best to help your children become their best and trust God with the rest. You are in complete control of your perspective when it comes to a stewardship versus ownership mentality in your life. I think a stewardship perspective is key to reducing our stress and worry.” 

2. People

“Another area of your life that you are actually in control of is the people you decide to surround yourself with. I know you can’t control the fact that your boss put you in the cubicle next to the annoying loud breather or you didn’t get to pick the new neighbors that moved in, but you do get to decide who has access to your thoughts and emotions. If you decide to surround yourself with people who are over thinkers, worriers, conspiracy theorists, and doomsday prophets, your time and energy will be filled with conversations that keep you stressed and worried. If you watch the news channels all day, you will develop unhealthy biased opinions about what’s going on around you.

“When dealing with stressful situations, it is important to control the voices and people that have access to your thoughts. Spend more time with people who are positive, encouraging, and uplifting. Control what you read, watch, and listen to so that you aren’t filling your mind with discouragement, doom, and false narratives about COVID. Many people say that we are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with, so who are you surrounding yourself with in this season of difficulty, change, and uncertainty?” 

3. Protection

“You are also in complete control of any protective measures that you decide to implement in you and your children’s lives. It’s up to you to choose the appropriate protective measures for you and your children, whether that’s vaccines, masks, virtual school alternatives, and even extensive hand sanitizing.

“Part of being a good steward is being diligent in knowing as much as you can about COVID and how to prevent or minimize your possibilities of getting it and passing it on to others. Do your research. Learn about the virus and then make decisions for your family that reflect wisdom with the knowledge you have gained. Eating healthy, strengthening your immune system with things like Vitamin C and zinc, and getting good rest are all simple and effective ways to maintain a healthy immune system. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to catch any virus and the more likely you are to be able to fight it off if you do catch it.

“We all have to make lifestyle decisions that fit with our values and concerns, so get the knowledge you need and then protect yourself and your children in practical ways that fit the lifestyle and values you hold to. This may look different than your neighbors or your friends because they are operating from a different set of values. Stay true to your priorities and protect your family the best you know how. These thoughts apply in our current season, but will also apply to different stressors and difficulties in the future.”


About the Author: Amber Anderson is caught somewhere in the middle. She’s both a stay-at-home-mom and a career woman of sorts. Amber, a former marketing strategist, still uses those skills to help grow her family’s business, and is a full-time boy mom to sons Demetrius II and Richard Glenn. The mom of two has traded her love for cooking gourmet meals and watching independent films for less time-consuming pleasures like stolen moments for hot showers and daily Starbucks runs. Check out more of Amber’s work here


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