I know what you’re thinking. This is the biggest game of cooties you’ve ever seen in your life. Hungry for some social interaction? Glue a coffee cup onto the top of your car and see how many people wave at you. Lol.

So exactly how are you dealing with this stress, while you’re desperately itching for things to go back to “normal”? Bet you never knew that combating frustration or boredom would be life skills you really needed – badly. Not only that, but you’ve diagnosed yourself with a severe case of cabin fever, which can only be treated with large doses of chocolate and Häagen-Dazs. After all, nobody knows the truffles you’ve seen.

The only running you’re doing is chasing the ice cream truck. Trust me, I get it. So you think others have it so much easier? Please don’t let your ice cream melt while you’re busy counting somebody else’s sprinkles.

Feel like you’ve cooked 450 dinners this month? How would you describe your current mood? Restless, irritable, trapped? Let’s be honest: Some of us have bigger cabins than others. I mean, it’s one thing to be cooped up on a rainy weekend, or even during a winter blizzard; but this? Some of your friends are just diving into those puzzles and projects like they are the next big thing. But you may feel like you can hardly manage the “day to day.”

Trust me on this, sweet friends. Spending some time outdoors and with Nature will surely boost your mood. If you can’t go out right now, at least crack that window open and allow the breeze to wash over you.

How’s that eye strain from staring at your computer screens all day long? Still disinfecting your groceries and afraid of those cardboard boxes? And there you go wiping down those doorknobs again. My favorite time to clean is: later. And don’t you wish your bank account filled as quickly as your laundry basket? Sheesh. It’s like being caught in a revolving door.

Sure, social media showers you all day with the call to learn that new language or take up tap dancing like you always wanted to. And you’re like: “I’m just trying to figure out how to exist, dude.” Your home, which once upon a time felt like a safe sanctuary, now feels a bit like a prison you yearn to escape.

Believe it or not, if you’re not at least a tad emotionally exhausted or anxious, there may be something wrong. Your daily life has been utterly uprooted, after all. Then again, you may have a wellspring of coping skills, which somehow haven’t disappeared fully yet.

And who doesn’t love those preachy proposals to just “take up a new hobby.” For those of you who can’t wait to go to that class at the gym, or your favorite salon, you’re fresh out of luck. But if you love running alone, or have your own built-in swimming pool, you just may be able to stay sane without working on that masterpiece puzzle of the United States. Hey, not to brag much, but – I just put a puzzle together in one day, and the box said “2-4 years.”

Of course life can feel like a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle right now: all sky. You may not feel much like conquering the world at this time. That’s okay. But do set some mini-goals for the day. Can you think of any? Keep your precious mind occupied, please. Then again, give yourself some down time, too. Not every second has to be productive. Bear in mind that quarantining is far from a natural state for us humans. We are social animals, after all.

Oh, no. You have inadequate supplies again. Sure, go shopping for those basic necessities, but wait…there’s still a three-hour line outside of the store. You just spent $30 on apples at Costco, and then dropped both of them. Good grief. You know you’re deep into quarantine when a recipe calls for five eggs, and you’re like, “Heck, no.”

We continue to receive conflicting reports and information from the so-called experts. What actions should we take? The guidelines have changed 17 times already. You can’t receive regular medical care, even though every cough feels like the end of the world as we know it. That, sweet friends, we cannot control. But please stay connected with those you love. No need to be shoulder-to-shoulder with someone to feel soothed or to dream up the amazing places you’ll go to after this wave passes. No one handed us a blueprint for this challenge, so please go easy on yourself.

You may be having unwanted feelings like anger, impatience, or even indifference. Your aim is not to get rid of all negative feelings or thoughts. That is not even possible. Your aim is to change your response to them. Ride the waves of those emotions instead of trying to command them. They will come and go. As they say: Let the ocean worry about being blue. The quickest way to change that mood is to change your activities and thoughts. Try to remember that you are keeping “physical distance” but still staying “socially” connected to your family and friends. Just think: Every day that passes, we are closer to this all ending. Fear is contagious. But so are faith, hope, and love.


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.