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If a trusted pastor could give you practical advice for coping with anxiety-whether short term or of a chronic nature-what would you hear? Jason Cusick says four principles guide managing one's anxiety: accepting that anxiety is normal but can become unhealthy; understanding and facing one's fears is doable; learning some new skills can help; and self-care means discovering healthy ways to experience God's love for you.

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In The Anxiety Field Guide: Healthy Habits for Long-Term Healing, Cusick shares his own expedition through sometimes annoying, sometimes paralyzing anxiety. Currently a pastor, Cusick is a board-certified hospital chaplain. He likens navigating and successfully managing anxiety to following a not-so-well-marked jungle path to a waterfall you really want to visit. There are stops and starts, sometimes a retracing of the route, pauses to reassess. When you finally arrive at the splendid waterfall, you know the journey was worth it.


Cusick's own experiences are the template he uses to share, in 30 short, readable chapters, how to recognize what's causing anxiety and then take specific, realistic action to face it and move on. For example, in Observe Before You Own, Cusick describes a situation with his wife that awoke strong anxiety. Before letting the emotional and physical results of the anxiousness engulf him, he considered the situation, then noticed that myths were spawning his fear. Myth #1: I can control all my thoughts; #2 my automatic thoughts represent the true me; and #3, if I feel it, it must be true. The chapter ends with three practical action steps.


Each chapter broaches a way or reason anxiety rises, including mental health diagnoses, spiritual struggles, fatigue, and personal triggers. The three actions steps in each chapter usually include biblical and God-focused means of coping, along with healthy physical, emotional, and mental practices that can be learned to manage anxiety healthfully.


This book is so readable and realistic, both for those who doesn't necessarily have struggles with anxiety and for those who do. Nurses can use the suggestions and examples for their own anxiety management as well as share them with friends and patients.


The Anxiety Field Guide: Healthy Habits for Long-Term Healing. (2022). IVPress.-Karen Schmidt, BA, RN, JCN Contributing Editor



Nurses working in community settings, home care, and ambulatory care have resources to share via the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Your Healthiest Self: Wellness Toolkits. These toolkits highlight evidence-based tips for living wisely and improving one's health. Useful as online materials, downloadable as printable pdfs, or available as free print publications by mail, there are checklists and articles arranged by topic: disease prevention, environmental, emotional, physical, and social. The toolkits also are available in Spanish.


Each topic also links to additional articles and information from the NIH, which nurses as well as patients can learn from and share. The toolkits can be found here:

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As U.S. healthcare differentiates palliative care from end-of-life/hospice care, nurses can promote and advocate increasing this type of care in many settings. The Center to Advance Palliative Care estimates that six million people in the United States could benefit from palliative care, possibly saving $6 billion annually. Less than two-thirds of hospitals with 50+ beds have specialty palliative care resources, so a patient's primary team is the best avenue to provide this care.


Training in palliative care is needed to grow this practice: A study of bedside nurses demonstrated that workshops and educational rounds significantly increased nurses' confidence in their communication skills related to this kind of care. Learn more about free tools, technical assistance, and training for clinicians on all levels at the Center to Advance Palliative Care's website: