Let’s be honest. This generation is better prepared for a zombie apocalypse than an hour without electricity. But here comes that heaviness on your heart again from the latest horrific event in this upside-down world of ours. Sure, we have faced hard times before; but have things ever looked quite this menacing and morose in your lifetime? Daily reports of damaging, devastating events beyond your control. Perhaps your heart breaks a little every day; or maybe you have hardened it and feel almost immune to the latest horrific headline.

I know. Insanity used to run in your family. Now, it’s strolling through, getting to know each one of you personally. Can your mind even keep track of which tragedy to point your attention to? And right on schedule, the finger pointers emerge to criticize, condemn, and censure anyone who disagrees with their alleged morality, or how you are dealing with this debacle. Please count to ten before you respond to something you don’t agree with. Better yet, stay silent. Even a fish can avoid problems if it keeps its mouth shut. Remember, most of what you hear are opinions, not facts – and people’s personal perspectives, not truth.

You’ve been switching between the same three apps for hours. Well, you’re certainly not outside searching for Pokémon. And no, that stress ball is not for throwing at people who stress you out. Right at this minute, countless numbers of our loved ones and complete strangers are enduring undreamed of suffering, rage, sadness, and soreness. Are you trying to make sense of all the misery, misfortune, and evil in the world?

Please have realistic expectations of yourself and those around you, as well. Another home-cooked meal? You read those recipes the same way you read science fiction. You get to the end, and think: “Well, that’s not gonna happen.” Me, too. If at first you don’t succeed – order pizza. But truly, be as empathetic as you may possibly be. Do what you can. Think of ways you can help. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

Every day, people show extraordinary courage and kindness at times like this. Always look for the helpers when you’re down and out. And make sure your compassion includes yourself, as well. When you read the latest update or news story, please be certain as to who is doing the reporting. Feelings are not facts, no matter how heated they are.

Don’t automatically believe or share stories that affirm your preconceived notions or fears. Entire world movements are predicated on lies. And by all means, limit your exposure to relentlessly bleak news reports. Any negativity that comes to you today should be “Returned to Sender.” And whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel. That means more laundry. Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure the laundry breeds while we’re asleep.

The words you choose change your entire perception of happenings and events. Do you use hyperbole a lot? How often do you say: “Always” or “Never”? Are you an exaggerator, embellisher, and a catastrophizer? Didn’t your mother tell you a million times not to exaggerate? If you constantly make sweeping statements about how awful people and the universe are, then trust me, your worldview will be despairing, defeatist, and dark. Yes, we have taken a gargantuan detour, but a bend in the road is not the end of the road, sweet friends.

Pay attention to your feelings. Can you describe how you feel at this very moment in one word? Are you angry, scared, sad, or perhaps happy? Honor yourself by acknowledging what you feel. If you’re uneasy, queasy, or anxious in the pit of your stomach, please communicate it to someone caring. Your closest friends know exactly how to distract you. Find something to laugh about to lift those spirits and calm that racing, worrying mind of yours. Every time you’re able to find some humor in the middle of a difficult situation, you win. And we all have that one friend whose laugh is funnier than the joke. Believe this: There are some things in life that are so serious; you need to laugh at them.

Many have collectively lost their faith in government and self-proclaimed “experts,” while others never had much to begin with. Don’t steal. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. The government hates competition. Some of us are walking around with our eyes wide shut – afraid to see the end of this movie we have all been cast in. Please stay positive. Tell that train wreck this isn’t your station. If you still see your glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass.

The odds of being attacked by a shark are about 1 in 12 million. Yet aren’t we all terrified of sharks? Be aware of what you fear and why. Let your faith always be bigger than your fear.

Yes, our world has been upended and literally everything feels surreal. Truthfully, lessons tend not to stay learned. But if every single one of us acted on what we believe would make a difference, it would. Be joyful with others. Tell him it’s been declared National Day of Happiness when he walks in the door. Ask the next person you see how you can make her day better. Joy is portable. Why not bring it with you? Smiles are contagious, sweet friends. Be a carrier.


To read more articles and access past issues, please visit www.queensjewishlink.com.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.