A man prepares come sleep in the chapel Sept. 7 in ~ Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles. The Jesuit-run church"s Guadalupe Homeless Project offers housing and social solutions to homeless men and also women. The vast bulk of the shelter residents are Latino, plenty of of whom room undocumented. (CNS photo/David Maung)

When i was a tiny girl, my dad would tell me, “Don’t take her troubles to bed through you.” ns was one inveterate worrier. I want the hallway light left on near my bedroom in ours old farmhouse.

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Monsters seemed to lurk, not just under the bed yet in every nook and also cranny. My creativity was, and remains, lively. My mind sometimes won’t shut under for the night.

When i was very young, i slept in a large bed v my small brother Tommy ~ he succumbed his crib come the newest sibling. I mostly took comfort from his presence, but sometimes I would certainly lie, sleepless and worried, staring at his toddler profile together he slumbered alongside me.

I would imagine his image becoming fuzzy and also indistinct. Was he my baby brother? Or in the darkness can I imagine that morphing into one more threat? It’s funny now, yet the feeling escaped me then.

What’s ironic is the my dad, v his homespun advice around worry, suffered from extreme anxiety and depression, which eventually led come his death. However perhaps that’s not so ironic.

We desperately hope our children can be spared the difficulties from which us suffer, therefore if we have the right to offer castle advice, also advice we ourselves can’t follow, we try.

Effie Caldarola writes because that the Catholic News service column “For the Journey.” (CNS photo)

This has actually been an anxious year for plenty of people, and also just since we’ve gained our vaccinations doesn’t typical the tension magically disappears. What comes next? some of the decisions we face now increase our anxiety.

I have actually never totally overcome my nighttime fears. Ns still hear my dad’s advice, and often it functions well until around 3 or 4 a.m. That seems to be the hour at which my internal alarm occasionally wakes me and my tummy seizes up v worry.

I know I am no alone in ~ this dark hour, as a cohort that insomniacs are out there in the universe through me. Tiny comfort. Yet I am likewise not alone in that God is there together well, fuzzy and also indistinct perhaps, however stronger and also kinder than any of the unseen troubles the assail me.

The website pray-as-you-go.org is run by the Jesuits in Britain. They have day-to-day prayers and meditations available, however they likewise have distinct retreats and series that covering topics favor depression, aging and also insomnia. One is called Mental health Awareness Exercises, and includes a short piece on anxiety.

It certainly doesn’t purport to it is in a cure-all, yet it help by walking us v Matthew 6:25-27: “Do no worry around your life. … Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”

The advice is good. Because that example, take into consideration the lilies of the field, maybe by taking a day-to-day walk to observe nature and God’s gifts. Day-to-day exercise relieves stress and anxiety.

During this strange year, counselors and also therapists have had actually long wait lists. If we’re yes, really anxious, we could need to call a hotline or seek instant help. However at the least, find a friend through whom you feel complimentary to share. Be open. Go ahead and cry.

Consider what girlfriend eat in ~ night. I discover overeating have the right to lead come sleeplessness, as deserve to an overly warmth room. Remember that alcohol, which might seem to make you drowsy, additionally has stimulant effects and is an unreliable friend.

Perhaps perform your issues on a piece of paper and give them come God right before bed.

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Sometimes praying, “Jesus, child of God, have mercy top top me, a sinner,” helps me loss asleep.

And Jesus’ advice sounds a small like Dad’s: “Do no worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take that itself.”