Due to intense brain fog, all of my thoughts have been canceled until further notice. There you are again, wading through that mental fog. I once tried to grab fog, but I mist. Truth is we need fog to remind us that all of life is not black and white.

You have no earthly idea how you’re going to stay afloat. I know. The best thing to do, first thing in the morning, is go right back to sleep. But you get dressed, make your bed, eat your breakfast, and, gradually, functioning becomes easier and easier. Why is that, you ask? Simply because when you take care of your own needs, your self-worth begins to improve. You have proven to yourself that you are worth the fight. Make up your bed, make up your face, and make up your mind.

If you tend to get anxious or sad, when does it manifest? In the morning, mid-day, or perhaps at bedtime? Now get a jump on those feelings. What works for you? A quick workout? Sure, life has its ups and downs. We call them “squats.” A walk outdoors? Think about it: A one-hour workout is four percent of your day. You did not wake up today to be mediocre and a sad face emoji. So exercise in the morning, before your brain figures out what the heck you’re doing.

Most of us have been forced by the way C.V. is being handled to live with huge emotions and downward spirals. The media with their crushing weight of pessimism can make it feel as though they are literally holding our heads under water. Do not allow their fear mongering to burn deep grooves in your brain. Dwelling on negative emotions cannot help but turn toxic.

Listen, if you don’t get out of your shell, you’re just a nut. Give yourself permission to be angry or sad right now. Say aloud: “It’s perfectly okay for me to be upset.” “I forgive myself for being so highly anxious.” That pessimism whispering in your ear is not your BFF. Do you use words that make you feel like a victim? Do they serve any purpose other than weighing you down?

“Ugh, this could only happen to me. Some guys have all the luck.” Try turning your negative self-talk into questions you ask yourself: “How can I make things better for myself?” “Am I really willing to make the effort?” Do not dwell; force that brain of yours to switch gears. Change the channel. Clean your room, organize a closet. Clothes too dirty for the closet, but too clean for the laundry – welcome to the chair. But seriously, what you hold on to, often holds you back. Pause and take a breath. Look around you. In some ways, you may be luckier than you think.

Sometimes just getting through the day is a feat of endurance. That’s okay, too. We’re all waiting for a spray of sunshine. The governmental ‘rona rules have darkened nearly everything with its veneer of dread and flat-out fear. So how do we overcome the weight of these dark days? It may be time to read stories or watch films about people who overcame insurmountable hardships in their lives. If they were capable of change, so am I. Heck, be your own hero. It’s cheaper than a movie ticket.

I get it. The trouble with “Treat yourself” is you don’t know when to stop. You had a bad day in September and you’ve been treating yourself ever since. Sheesh. Well, you may be one massage away from a good mood, my friends.

But truly, comfort and pamper yourself the way you would reassure a small child or even your best friend. Can you think of something kind to say to yourself at this very moment? Choose to be praising and positive despite the madness going on around you. Nourish and recharge by doing the things you enjoy or love. Pursuing your favorite interests is not a luxury. It is food for your soul and a powerful way to stay mentally and spiritually healthy. So mark your calendar and do not postpone. Try the simple things. Soak in a bath, watch sports with your buddy, cook, dance, or have your favorite coffee. I do what I can to make the world a happier place. For example, I had my coffee today. If asked, “How do you take your coffee?” I answer: “Seriously. Very seriously.”

Instead of telling yourself you really messed up, say: “I will try it a different way next time.” Don’t forget to give yourself credit for all that you do. Stay caught up in the moment. Do not allow yourself to slip into the quicksand of dreariness, doldrums, and despair. We humans are thought-producing machines. What type are you churning out right now? The world is truly a piece of art. Don’t miss all the vibrant colors by only seeing black and white. No need to fear the storm, once you know how to sail your ship.

What helps us the most? Hearing that we matter, that we are strong, that we are loved. So go ahead and let someone know that their presence is truly welcomed.

And remember, sweet friends: The fog always lifts.

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.