Not exactly livin’ la vida lockdown, eh? Fine. Don’t buy a 2021 planner until you see the trailer. You Googled your symptoms. Turns out you just need a vacation. People from all parts of the planet share the same sentiment. The world feels awfully heavy right about now. Is it weighing down on you? Instead of it feeling safe and peaceful, it seems as though it’s about to implode. Our faith in government leaders and even some so-called medical experts has taken a beating that some may never recover from. How do you get out of the mental rut? It’s no simple feat calming the chaos in your head.

Do you feel as emotionally stable as an Ikea table right about now? Yes, we have all been warned to limit our intake of news. Some networks have become a cesspool of ugliness and the epitome of grimness and gloominess. How can you preserve your faith in humanity while seeing the venom and vitriol being spewed?

You’re trying to contain your crazy, but the lid keeps popping off? Many of us have developed an addiction to misfortune and melodrama, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. We are bombarded with social media, which feeds off our addiction by creating scandalous or eye-popping headlines. The latest death toll. The most recent number of “cases.” Trust me, sweet friends: Consuming these distressing and disturbing reports does you no good at all. Wouldn’t you rather hear soul-stirring and uplifting stories about people doing remarkable things? Because, believe it or not, that is happening daily, as well. It’s been said: “Life is a tragedy full of comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.’ You realize that comedy is really a funny way of being serious.

Sure, misery loves company. Let it find its company somewhere else. Dwelling on crises or tragedy is just as unhealthy as ignoring them entirely. So you spend half the day having heated disagreements and dust-ups about wearing or not wearing masks, lockdowns, or liberty. Did you really accomplish anything other than make the ones who disagree dig their heels even deeper? Personally, I refuse to argue with anyone born after 1995. They don’t even know how to write in cursive. But truly, what have you done today to change your life or anyone else’s for the better?

The bad news: Nothing lasts forever. The good news: Nothing lasts forever. If what you’re doing is soul-crushing and bringing you down, I beg of you: Go back to basics. Bathe in the beauty of simple things, sweet friends. Better yet, can we just skip to the part of my life where I travel the world?

My secret? I always peek out my door or window just as the sun is setting below the clouds. The sky is either fiery orange or cotton candy pink with shades of blue. As gray as the world’s forecast is right now, Nature has that magical way of grounding you and even healing your aching heart. Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets? They both have their ups and downs.

Your path may look like a spider web these days. But the truth is that the best way out is always right through. Try to do as much good as you possibly can, and you will get through this. Give everyone around you grace, as they have way more dimensions than the ones you see.

What’s that? Your neighbor’s diary said you have boundary issues? Uh, oh. But truly, feel free to create boundaries for yourself. Helping is not the same as enabling. Not everyone earns the right to have a seat at your table. You know what they say: If you don’t have a seat at the table; you’re probably on the menu.

Trust me when I say that being given a “typical” day in our life is an extraordinary gift. Please try to be present for it and extend yourself to others in whatever form that takes for you. No one can exist in a state of perpetual hysteria. We all have a finite number of heart beats. Please don’t waste any of yours. Sure, life is tough; but it beats the alternative.

Your Pinterest is more organized than your life right now? Remind yourself that you are not going through anything in this life that someone has not overcome. And you will, too. Dial down some of your expectations of yourself. Ask for the love or tenderness you need. Move your body in any way that feels good, even for just ten minutes. Get through five minutes at a time if you need to. Ask yourself what you need to do next. Now do it. Then go ahead and ask yourself again.

Do what I do: Look at photo albums of the ones you love. Make sure to establish some relaxing evening rituals before bedtime. Your mind doesn’t just wander. It leaves entirely? I get it. Pay attention to your thoughts, sweet friends. My mind works like lightning: one brilliant flash and it is gone. But seriously, be compassionate to yourself and avoid personalizing whatever is happening to you. Remind yourself: “I can do this.”

Wrap yourself in a toasty warm blanket and have some comfort food. You know what Julia Child said: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” And just remember: Anything that can be made with raisins can be replaced with M&Ms.

Get off the Hot Mess Express leaving at the Dysfunction Junction. I’ll see your hot mess, and raise you a walking disaster. Instead, never stop doing things for the first time. You know what they say: The bad news is that time flies. The good news? You’re the pilot. Take it easy, my friends, but don’t forget to take it.

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