What Can We Control?

What Can We Control?

There are many things that may feel out of our control during this pandemic. Sometimes it feels like our safety is in jeopardy, directions are unclear and the news changes every single day. What should we believe or not believe? What the heck are “Covid toes?” Are there even cases of Corona in Verona? Is a mask protecting me or others? These are all questions that many of us have right now. Recognizing our feelings and identifying what we are in control of can be helpful in not just surviving, but living through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are a few ways to take control during the Covid-19 pandemic:

1. Get the facts. Information about Covid-19 is everywhere. Make sure you are getting factual information and information that you need. Sometimes too much information is overwhelming and leads to
confusion and unnecessary upset.
2. Get moving. Whether it’s a walk around your home/yard or a 2 mile run, exercise can help reduce stress and boost your immune system. Exercise of any form also has been known to improve moods.
3. Get eating. This can be a good time to pull out old recipes you haven’t made in years or plan a dinner that takes more time to prepare. Create fun nights such as popcorn & movie night or breakfast for dinner.
4. Get connected. We live in a digital world so social distancing doesn’t need to mean social isolation. Schedule a regular time to visit with family over facetime or zoom. If you know someone who is not connected with social media or a smart phone – give them a call and send them a card in the mail. They’ll love it guaranteed!
5. Get centered. Focus on “right now.”  Recognize how you feel. Name 5 things you are grateful for today.

Be Kind to Your Mind

PAUSE. Breathe. Notice how you feel.
TAKE BREAKS from Covid-19 content.
MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise.
REACH OUT and stay connected.
SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe.

Taking Your Emotional Temperature
Ask yourself: What feelings am I having? Why am I feeling this way?

Keep in mind we often feel more than one emotion at a time such as angry & sad. Try to identify what triggered the emotions and keep in mind it can be good or bad. For example, a phone call on my birthday may
make me happy or joyful, but also sad because I miss my friend. Consider asking yourself these questions daily and journaling your responses. Be careful not to judge yourself (ie. I have no right to be sad, I have everything I need). Monitor how you feel over a week. If you are feeling mostly negative emotions, talk to a friend, family member or your doctor for guidance on balance.

Take a Deep Breath and Find the Sunny Side!

I have always been an optimistic person and that has done me well in many ways during this pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, this last 4 months has not been easy at all. I find that looking on the bright side of things and “finding the sunny side” is good for the heart and mind. What’s your sunny side?

Be well, Julie

Need a book idea?
I am currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama.


This month, I would like to talk about suicide. It is an uncomfortable subject and isn’t often discussed in social circles, or even amongst families, but suicide is a very real occurrence by people of all ages; even seniors.  More research shows that asking someone if they feel suicidal will not put the idea of suicide into their head, rather it can open up an opportunity for discussion. Even starting a conversation by asking someone if they are ok, and letting them know that you are there for them is all a person needs.


  • Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds (WHO)
  • Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+ (36 per 100,000). Suicide rates are particularly high among older men, with men ages 85 and older having the highest rate of any group in the country. (CDC) 
  • Suicide attempts by older adults are much more likely to result in death than among younger people (SPR)


Signs to watch for: 

  • Isolating themselves, withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Losing interest in activities the person previously enjoyed.
  • Losing interest in personal appearance.
  • Excessive sadness and mood swings which can be symptoms of depression.
  • Preoccupation with death and dying.
  • Making preparations. Often a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her affairs in order, such as making a will, giving away personal possessions and visiting friends and family members.



  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –1(800)273-8255 (for support and assistance from a trained counselor)
  • Suicide Crisis Text Line – Text 741741
  • Nowmatters.org – Skills and support for coping with suicidal thoughts


Wanna Chat? Call the “Friendship Line!”

Call and chat with a person about anything. From recipes to grandkids, to loneliness. Anything! I wanted to see how it worked, so I called and talked with someone. She explained that this service is designed for people 60 or over, or adults living with disabilities. You are allowed one 10-minute call per day. She told me that some folks have been calling everyday for years, and they have established a connection with many of their callers!  This is a free national service and is available 7 days a week, 365 days a year!  Call 1-800-971-0016.