Cut out all that junk food. Stop procrastinating and clean up the clutter. Oh, right, you’re not a procrastinator. You just prefer doing things in a deadline-induced panic. Get some exercise, for mercy’s sake. You just saw three people jogging, so it inspired you to get up – and close the blinds. Eat your spinach. Get more fiber. Floss those pearly whites. It’s good for you. Well, ice cream is good for me, too. It happens to have a low glycemic index – and contains milk, which we all know has tons of essential nutrients and vitamins. So there. Want the inside scoop? It’s never too cold for ice cream.

Keep your kids out of that dirt, and no mud pies for you. Hmmm. Did you know that childhood exposure to viruses and bacteria boosts your immune system and makes you less likely to get sick when exposed to various bugs? You know what they say: A messy house is a sign of character. You should see the characters who live here.

A glass of wine perhaps? I used to think drinking was bad for me; so I gave up thinking. But seriously, red wine has antioxidants and polyphenols, which have been found to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease when used moderately. Have some chocolate with that glass, while you’re at it. Chocolate stimulates the brain, and whose brain couldn’t use a bit of stimulating? Cocoa has been known to reduce cholesterol, improve the circulatory system, not to mention boosting that mood of yours. If dark chocolate is less fattening, eat chocolate with the lights off. What’s that? You’re going to save your chocolate for a rainy day. Well, it’s raining somewhere.

So why is it so danged difficult to do all the things that truly are good for us? Shouldn’t we humans naturally do what is in our best interest? Is it because we simply can’t tell the difference between what is good or bad? Veggies or spicy fries? Plopping down on the couch and binge-watching or hitting the treadmill? See? We do know, after all.

You just made a resolution to stop judging others, complaining, or gossiping. And not a minute later, you’re doing some serious eye rolling about the driver in front of you who is actually driving at the speed limit. Then there’s the light change and you’re mumbling: “Are you waiting for a particular shade of green?” Here’s some advice: To all of y’all who got speeding tickets: Raise your right foot. You decided this is the day to eat healthy and exercise. Don’t you absolutely hate it when you’ve been running for an hour and the treadmill only says: 15 minutes? Sheesh. Think about all the folks out there running marathons while you’re on the couch, trying to lasso the remote control with your phone charger. Then there’s Weight Loss Problem #231: Oreos. And isn’t it cute how they make the Oreo bags resealable – like we’re not going to eat them all at once?

But truly, why don’t we simply do what is healthy and sustaining for us? There go your friends on the Gram with their inspirational quotes: “Just Do It,” then “Do It Again,” and you’re like: “Yeah, I’ll just ‘do it’ tomorrow, dude.” Think you will find the magic formula to stop craving those decadent chocolate chip cookies? If only you had more self-control? Every time you try to eat healthy, along comes the next holiday – Summer, Friday, or Tuesday – and ruins it for you.

The secret is not more willpower, sweet friends. It is…surrender. How or why would you do what’s good for you if you are inviting in negative, self-destructive thoughts all day long? No, ultimately you are not in control, no matter how many masks or gloves you wear. Instead of living in daily terror of something you cannot define nor see, place your trust in something larger than yourself: your Higher Power. Don’t get caught in the revolving door of fear, judgment, and anger. When was the last time you did an internal audit? Are you in a state of constant anxiety, or holding resentments or grudges against anyone who disagrees with you at this time?

So what to do? One of the biggest regrets of the dying is not having stayed in touch with family and friends. What matters more in this life than your relationships with your loved ones? Want to enrich your own life? Dedicate yourself to helping others.

Calm yourself down by taking a deep breath and focus on what is around you now. Notice the breeze coming through your window or how your soft cotton sweater feels on your skin. Ask yourself what is going right in your life now, no matter how small. Watch that posture of yours, even when you are sitting. Keep your head up so you can look the world straight in the eye.

Look at it this way: If we only did what we wanted to do, then laundry would never get done. Alexa, do my laundry. Isn’t having an empty laundry basket the best five seconds of the week?

But truly, how do you feel? Are you in the peak or the valley at this moment in time? If you’ve got that fetal position going on and feel like nothing but a victim of circumstances, chances are you won’t be discovering ways to help yourself or your loved ones. Go ahead and treat yourself to a caramel cappuccino, and leave a generous tip while you’re at it. You can’t buy happiness; but you can buy coffee.

Get rid of at least one thing that you don’t use today. Check your goals: “Is what I’m doing producing the results I want?” You don’t have a goal? Write a life list. Do one thing on it before your next birthday. Stop doing things that make you unhappy. Say “thank you” to someone today. Treat yourself, even if it’s to a tiny luxury. Wear a power color. Above all, reframe it all. You’ve got water, don’t you? Hot water on a cold day or cold water on a hot day? Think about it.

Right now, everything hurts. But everything can heal. You are literally the one thing in the world that you must never give up on. Perhaps these dark days are making you stronger. Or maybe you were powerful all along, and this “Rona” nightmare simply made you prove it. Just do the next right thing – one thing at a time, sweet friends. You know what they say: Sometimes the only available transportation is a leap of faith.

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