The car in front of you has been cruising at 15 mph for four blocks already. How tightly is that anxiety gripping you right now? Anger, grief, depression, and resentment are your new daily companions? You feel as though you’re either going to burst, or fly apart and fracture into a thousand pieces.

Yes, people have become suspicious of one another. Speaking of which, my bank called, because they noticed highly “suspicious” activity on my charge account. It was for a gym membership. But seriously, what one calls hard facts, another calls hysteria. Mask. No mask.

The government’s public opinion is a permeating influence with non-stop so called “updates.” At this time, it is exacting obedience to itself. Everyone around you suddenly became a disease expert – some opinionated, but barely informed. You politely try to tell them that their viewpoint is not necessarily your reality. But they judge and glare at you over their face covering, tempting you to want to hide from others altogether. I mean how much thicker can your skin get?

We are all responding to our own personal history and to that critical voice inside our heads. Try not to get stirred up by what everyone around you is doing or not doing. Get off the “coronacoaster” of mood swings. Cultivate a more compassionate, inquisitive attitude toward others.

I sat quietly with my thoughts today. Remind me never to do that again. But truly, try not to let the media hijack your rational brain and substitute it with unending fear. Do your own research and allow yourself to assess the situation.

We all want to manage our emotions in a healthy way, do we not? But the truth is that most of us feel overpowered by them at this time. Repeated circumstances of stress make it nearly impossible to regulate our feelings or remain calm. Not having our faces seen, not being held by loved ones, and feeling scared 24/7. How can you possibly develop emotional immunity? It isn’t the stress, sweet friends; it’s your reaction to it. How are you reacting?

Try not to hype yourself into an overreaction when someone accuses you of handling or not handling world events as they see fit. If you plan on blowing a gasket, make sure you have a spare. If you pick fights with those around you, chances are you are externalizing your anger. If you worry obsessively, you are internalizing your symptoms. Reflect on the past few days and all the times you got disturbed or dismayed. Perhaps you were hyper-focused on yourself or your feelings.

Someone disagreed about politics or the pandemic ordeal. Uh, oh. You’re dangling precariously close to the point of no return. Take a moment. Observe the tension in your body. Did your heart rate just elevate? Is your neck or back stiff now? Breathe and please drop those shoulders and relax.

Do not let others’ judgments threaten your happiness, sweet friends. Every single thing you say or do in this life has the power to influence others. No one wishes to be the target of someone’s outburst. Be supportive. Ask him: “What part of this problem can I help you with?” Try to be fueled by love, not by fear. Yes, we all have buttons we don’t want others to push. Well, now it seems we are being forced to wander dangerously close to those triggers for days on end.

Do your hobbies include overthinking everything and winning fake arguments in your head? What’s that? You don’t run away from your problems? You just sit on your couch, play on your phone, and ignore them like all other adults. Heck, whenever I have a problem I just sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

But do try to re-channel those feelings to something positive, please. Ask yourself: “What can I do differently?” Please resolve any emotional leftovers you may have lying around from the past. If you don’t get out of your own head at times, you will find yourself in a constant state of anguish, sweet friends. Acknowledge when your thoughts are not productive or exaggeratedly pessimistic. Don’t keep asking “why” it happened. Ask what you can do about it. If you’re ruminating or worrying endlessly, please change the channel.

Coronamania hasn’t canceled everything. Sunshine is not canceled. Reading, naps, and music are not canceled. Imagination, kindness, and love are not canceled. But mostly, hope is not canceled. Life is a one-time offer, my friends. Please use it well.

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