Right now nothing is certain, unemployment is at an all time high, the economy is crashing, and the wellness of our country is up in the air… and many of us are afraid. But in this mountain of mayhem I’m choosing to shift my energy from fear to focus.

In my latest video I explain how and why …

Here’s 5 things you can do right now to find balance and remain calm

You are not alone

This experience is a breeding ground for anxiety. Stats from the National Institute of Mental Health show that in a given year 18% will struggle with an anxiety disorder and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 7% will have at least one major depressive episode.

1. Don’t Judge Yourself

Right now it’s important not to judge yourself for how you’re feeling or for behaviors that’s appearing from your heightened emotional state. Doing so will only add to your anxiety ( trust me I know). Instead, practice self-compassion and know that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling and experiencing, everyone is unsure, afraid, and on edge.

2. Adjust your coping mechanisms

Before this pandemic you probably went out with friends or attended a yoga class to let off steam or refresh from a tough week. But now those options aren’t available. Take a second to adjust how you “destress and cope” and find whats works for you. can’t do coffee in person? Do a FaceTime chat, can’t go to Yoga in person? Do the workout at home through an online platform. It’s going to take time for all to adjust, but its worth trying.

Or maybe this global pandemic has shown that you don’t have a way of coping with stress and now is a good time to explore an activity or hobby that will help you destress.

3. Take a digital detox.

I’ve been in media my entire career and have become accustomed to having my devices on me at all times. However, this experience is forcing me to choose silence over social. I’m remaining informed and read only whats important for me to know, but I’m not feeding into the hysteria or allowing myself to be a vessel for it. So whether you’re limiting the amount of time you spend on social media or doing a full on detox, do whats best for you and your mental health.

** also to note, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many insurance plans are accepting telehealth as a way to conduct therapy. Check with your plan to see if this is covered. Also, for your own privacy and protection, make sure your provider is using a secure HIPAA-compliant platform for the telehealth session.

4. Maintain a routine

Some are adjusting to the new normal of working from home and others are suddenly finding themselves out of work , but either way, experts say, making the effort to maintain some sort of routine is helpful.

This doesn’t mean you need to give yourself a rigid schedule, instead when you wake up in the morning set small goals for the day.

For me I make sure of my time, by embracing new skills, completing creative projects and celebrating little victorious during the day, it’s priceless.

I once had full on anxiety attacks from this pandemic, but instead channeled that energy from “why me” to “why not now” … why not meditate? why not start a new course? or learn a new skill? or finally practice a mantra that lowers your heart rate? You have the time, why not now?

5. Self soothing & grounding techniques

  • Grounding: While seated, take your shoes off and plant your feet flat on the floor, breathing deeply while imagining that you’re putting down roots. “You’re literally breathing yourself back down to earth,” experts say.

  • Anchoring: Find a physical object that you can carry in your pocket or keep on your desk, and reach for it when you’re anxious. This works particularly well if the object has a special significance to you.

Speaking of grounding, this is a Mookaite Jasper bracelet that I wear often. I got it from a local shop months ago because I would find myself in situations where I felt uneasy and unable to rebalance myself wearing the bracelet is a physical reminder that I am in control. It’s all a mind thing.

Mookaite Jasper is know as a physically stabilizing stone that’s said to provide stability to one’s perspective of life, helping them make the right decisions based on objective knowledge.

And again if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious don’t hesitate to call the NAMI COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline (800) 950-6264.

Stay safe and healthy. We are in this together.