It Is Still Not Time To Panic – Part 2

It Is Still Not Time To Panic - Part 2

Disclaimer: There is no actual cursing in this post but there is implied cursing. There is also probably some snark and some humor. This mental health professional believes that there is some healing in being able to laugh and that sometimes a good curse word articulates how you feel better than anything else can.

We are now into the 5th (or 25th I can’t tell anymore) month of this COVID-19 crisis here in California.  I’m holding to my previous statements that is NOT the time to panic because it is NEVER time to panic.


It is ok to be anxious. It is OK to be freaked the F out! It is ok to want the uncertainty to end and to be angry with the process or lack thereof.

It is ok, it is normal and you are not alone. 

Hell, I’m right there with you.

Yup, you read that right. This mental health professional who holds space for others all day, providing tools to calm anxiety, is anxious AF.

We are in this crazy COVID mindset together.


We don’t have to be in it all day and we don’t have to let it win.

So do I think I will get to a point anytime soon where I don’t feel some anxiety every day? No. More accurately I don’t think it is possible during this time of uncertainty to not have an anxious thought pretty much every day and for some, multiple times a day.

What I’m doing my best to make happen, and what I want for all of you as well, is to not let those anxious thoughts win.

Here’s what I mean.

Picture your negative thoughts, not as part of you, but as something that happens to you.

They invade your brain and you defend against them and kick them out. Are you a visual learner? Me too. I like to picture my negative (anxious in this case) thoughts like the Mucinex cartoon mucus bug who invades your sinuses (in this case brain) and then gets blown out by the Mucinex (in this case tools I’m about to talk about).

When I start to feel an uncomfortable amount of anxiety about the situation I stop take a deep breath and pay attention to what thought I just had.  Then I try and correct that thought to a positive. I’ll give an example.

“Is it going to be safe to send my kids to school?”

So what often happens is that thought is followed by ten more of the same or worse degree of anxiety. “I don’t want them or someone else I love to be sick but what if they stay home, how will I manage distance learning and work?”, “How will I know what the best choice is? Who do I listen to? What if….” The anxiety is higher than comfortable and really hard to bring back down.

But if I/you catch one of those first thoughts or feelings and can correct it, flood with positive and distract. Then the anxiety can be kept at bay.

“Is it going to be safe to send my kids to school?”

  • Well, that feeling makes me feel uncomfortable. (deep breath) I tell myself something more positive. “I have time to learn more before a decision is to be made. Most people have our children’s best interest at heart. I don’t have to make a decision alone.”
  • Then start the positive thoughts about right now (because most of our anxious thoughts are when we analyze the past or predict the future). “Today my family is safe and my kids appear happy. I have their best interest at heart always and they feel my love.” (more here and now) “look at them playing together without fighting and smiling right now.” (deep breath)
  • Now distract. “I’m going to go play with them.” “Listen to those birds outside that’s a nice sound.” “I’m going to start dinner, it is so nice to not be rushed and enjoy a new recipe together.” The distracting thoughts have nothing to do with the original topic and sometimes they aren’t thoughts at all but an activity. Taking a walk, calling a friend, playing with your kids etc.

This cognitive exercise might sound exhausting at first but I guarantee you will have more energy at the end because it will reduce anxiety and worry and anxiety are exhausting.

I mean aside from the thought of my kids playing together without fighting are you buying it? Are you onboard?

Ok, stay with me here.

Try to be in the moment whenever possible.

This is getting harder as this drags out.  I sometimes worry about lasting effects or how long I can deal with this worry and uncertainty but then I remind myself life is hard, it has been hard before and there will be new hard things in the future.

This is a weird hard time but I am resilient.

You are resilient.

Our kids are resilient.

Don’t judge where you are at.

This is hard. It doesn’t feel good. But be your own advocate. Change your thinking so it feels a little better. Engage in self-care that clears your mind and makes you smile. Be patient, this is new for everyone. Breathe. Breathe a lot and with intention.

We are going to be ok. Tell yourself that once a minute if you have to.

We can do this. We are doing this. We can do it better, and we will. Our mental and physical health depends on it.

Stay safe and calm.

It Is Still Not Time To Panic - Part 2

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I grew up in Orange County then went to Los Angeles (with a short detour in Santa Barbara) for college and spent the next 12 years there thinking that was home until I met my amazing, now husband on and moved back here to start our life together. I have a young son and daughter that are two years apart. They are thick as thieves and keep us laughing. I worked in Hospice care for 15 years and now I take Working Mom to a whole new dimension with a private mental health practice I worked hard with many jobs hustling for many years to grow my own business. I'm proud to say I'm helping people in my own office full time. The decision to quit my full time job working for some one else and to work towards creating much needed grief, trauma and self esteem support in Orange County fills my soul. I may not spend 24/7 with my kids but I plan to be role model to them and the time we have is all about quality not quantity. I'm working on a life/work balance but I find this is much easier when I love all aspects of my life and work and self.