How the Pandemic Helped Me Learn to Overcome the World
November 2023

How the Pandemic Helped Me Learn to Overcome the World

The chaos of the world can drag us down at times, but with Jesus Christ, we can rise above it.

woman looking happy with clouds behind her

The year was 2020. I set goals, my motivation was high, and I was ready to take on the beginnings of a new year. But little did I know that 2020 wasn’t like any other year. The COVID-19 pandemic hit, and my country, Jamaica, was put into quarantine like the rest of the world.

At first, it almost seemed like taking a vacation at home. I was able to spend time with my kids and plan out my days. But when August came around, many things changed for the worst.

The pandemic made every aspect of life hard for me—work, finances, and emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual matters. I was so exhausted that I started to feel sick all the time.

With all the chaos happening, I didn’t feel like myself at all. I felt like my relationship with Heavenly Father had dwindled and that I was hardly the person He wanted me to be.

Steps toward Healing

I was tired of feeling terrible, so I started praying to Heavenly Father with sincere questions. After doing research and getting therapeutic help, I realized I was experiencing severe anxiety and depression for the first time.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to do. I had never faced poor mental or spiritual health before, and the challenges of the world and my life seemed so overwhelming. But as I turned to Heavenly Father for guidance, He helped me figure out what steps I could take to feel like myself and reconnect with Him and Jesus Christ again.

Here are a few ways I worked to lift myself toward Them and overcome the troubles of the world:


I decided to take up journaling for the first time. A journal can be a record for your kids and future generations, but it also can ease your mind and help with a positive outlook on life. Doing this helped me clear my thoughts, have more hope for the future, and connect with the comforting truths of the gospel.

President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “People often use the excuse that their lives are uneventful and nobody would be interested in what they have done. But I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations.”1

Thinking Positively

This might seem small, but it isn’t! Our thoughts affect our life and our mental health. President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) once explained how “the mind is like a stage. During every waking moment the curtain is up. There is always some act being performed on that stage. It may be a comedy, a tragedy, interesting or dull, good or bad; but always there is some act playing on the stage of your mind.”2

So, for example, if I submit an application for a job and I get rejected, there’s a tendency to have negative thoughts rush in.

One way to bring more positivity and optimism into our lives is to focus on Jesus Christ. As President Russell M. Nelson taught:

“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.

“When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy.”3

Prioritizing Health

To help relieve my anxiety, I began taking daily walks. I found relief being in nature and pondering Heavenly Father’s creations. Soon, walking turned into running. I started exercising every day, which helped motivate me to eat healthier. Exercising also got me eating healthier. Taking care of my body helped me better cope with the depression and anxiety I was experiencing.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that “keeping the Word of Wisdom will improve your physical and spiritual well-being. Although you are still subject to normal health challenges, obedience to this commandment will help you have a healthier body and mind.”4

We are taught to treat our bodies like a temple because they are gifts from God (see 1 Corinthians 6:19–20). As I have prioritized taking care of my body, I really have felt my spiritual and mental health improve so much.

Doing the Simple Things

When I made daily scripture study and prayer a priority, I felt a greater abundance of the Spirit each day. Learning from the scriptures allowed me to feel closer to God and to learn more about how Jesus Christ can strengthen me in my afflictions with depression and anxiety.

I testify that there is nothing more peaceful, calming, and reassuring than an intimate relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As President Nelson recently taught, “When you yoke yourself to Jesus Christ and do the spiritual work required to overcome the world, He, and He alone, does have the power to lift you above the pull of this world.”5

We Are Never Alone

I know that we are never alone in this world. And I know we can receive Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s divine help. They will be there for you in your weakest moments as well as your strongest. They will make Themselves known as you seek Them and keep your covenants.

The major challenges from the pandemic might be over, but the lessons I learned will stay with me. With each step and change I make in my life to learn and grow from my challenges, I continue to deepen my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They guide me toward the peace, joy, and healing that come with lifting ourselves above the world.

I know They will do the same for you.