We’ve Still Got This

A few weeks into nationwide closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, we invited Simon Niblock, LMFT, to host a session called “We’ve Got This: How to Manage Uncertainty in Challenging Times." We couldn’t know how much we would need these strategies over the course of the next year.

This session would be the first of many programs we would make available online. That pivot came with difficulties but also meaningful benefits, as we heard from countless attendees who said they’d never been able to participate in our programs before due to various barriers. 

Looking back at that first Mind Matters at Home (our catchy name for the online version of the program), we find these strategies are every bit as helpful today. Here are the key strategies Simon shared, although we highly recommend watching the full recording available on our website.

Strategy #1: Identify & Challenge Worry

    • Identify what you are anxious about and challenge that worry.
      • What is the problem? What am I worried about?
      • Is the problem solvable or unsolvable?
    • Find acceptance of the situation. It may not feel great at first, but accepting the things you cannot solve will help you move forward.

Strategy #2: Harness Optimism

    • Reframing the situation into positive terms for yourself can drastically reduce the stress and mental toll it takes on you. 
      • Not this: I don’t get to go anywhere because it’s dangerous.
      • This: I’m choosing to stay home to keep people I care about safe.

Strategy #3: Routines & Habits

    • During times of change, you can turn to routines and habits to ground yourself in something familiar and that works for you. 
    • Don’t change too much during periods of adversity.

Strategy #4: Maintain Connections 

    • As more and more people have access to a vaccine, this gets easier. But it’s still vitally important that we work to maintain connections in safe ways. 
    • Connection doesn't have to be done over video calls ("Zoom Fatigue" is real). Old fashioned phone calls or distanced walks through the neighborhood are great ways to connect.

Strategy #5: Support Others

    • Asking others how they are really doing can feel invasive, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure people get help when they need it. Check out our resource on How to Start a Conversation about Mental Health if you need tips on talking to someone you are worried about. 

These strategies can help anyone navigating challenging times, even when there isn’t a global pandemic. But for those times that people need additional support to manage their mental health, help is available. Check out our wealth of mental health resources, or if you or a loved one are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “NAMI” to 741741 for the National Crisis Text Line.