How to calm and relax your mind

This isn’t an overtly “theological” post. I’m not going to get into the larger-yet-daily peace we can have with God.

In the wake of COVID-19 I’ve noticed that a lot of people are feeling anxious or stressed. Many are on mental high alert for longer than they’re used to.

So here are some simple-but-effective suggestions for relaxation and calming your mind.

1. Download an app with relaxing sounds. An example is ‘Relax Melodies.’ It’s free and there are sounds like rain, a river, wind chimes, and birds. As I write this I’m actually listening to waves lapping on the shore at a beach!

2. Turn your phone off for at least an hour before bed so that you mind has time to calm down before you (try to) go to sleep.

3. Watch a fun movie that doesn’t include stressful plot-lines or violence.

4. Listen to some relaxing and/or inspirational music. I mostly listen to the local Christian radio station. But recently I also tuned in to a classical station—and liked it! You can also personalize listening preferences on various other platforms.

5. Read the Psalms, one per day.

Related post: “Coronavirus, Fear & Faith”

6. Read a book, maybe that classic piece of literature you’ve always wanted to read. Since you can’t go to the library or book store, purchase a downloadable copy.

7. Go for a walk or run (while practicing social distancing).

8. Don’t check your phone for the first hour of your day.

9. Turn off your notifications for random, unimportant apps.

10. Read some comics or find some stand-up comedy videos.

11. Write about how you’re feeling in a journal.

12. Have you ever wanted to write a poem or song? Now might be the right time.

13. Stretch.

14. Turn off the news and surf over to that channel with the live fire place. Ahhh.

15. Play a board game. If you’re alone, do it online with a program or app.

16. Take a bath. A long one.

17. Sleep in. Or, go to bed early.

Related post: “6 ways to be loving in a pandemic”

18. Call a friend who haven’t talked to in a long time. And don’t spend the whole time talking about coronavirus.

19. Colour or paint. Yes, even if you’re older than 10.

20. Pray. I can’t stress this enough. A helpful guide is to start by slowing saying the Lord’s Prayer, being thoughtful about the meaning of the words. You can then pray by (a) praising God for his goodness, (b) thanking God for all the good things he has done for you and others, (c) asking for his forgiveness for the ways you haven’t honoured him or loved your neighbours as yourself, and (d) asking for help with various concerns in your life or in society in general.

Things are tough. And for many people, there is stress. Maybe you’re one of them.

So leverage some of these simple-but-effective suggestions for calming and relaxing your mind.

Further resources:

CLICK HERE to sign up for ‘Up!’, my free 1-minute email devotional, delivered to your inbox five mornings a week (Monday – Friday).

CLICK HERE to receive an automatic email reminder every Sunday morning to connect directly to the YouTube live-stream at Westminster Church where I lead worship and preach.


  1. I watched your sermon yesterday on live stream and it was exactly what I needed, it made my day much easier and enjoyable, thank you


  2. I have just watched your sermon on God is in control; He is on the throne. It made a lot of sense – but then, again, you do not usually talk nonsense. It helped me a lot! And, I thank you for that. I will be able to keep it to watch when things seem to get out of control. We know our investments have thanked and that is not a happy thought; we have health issues; but, on the whole, we have to remember that God IS IN CONTROL! Thank you for letting me see and HEAR this.


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