By Karen R. Yocum

Whether you are only affected by having to wear a mask at the store, or the world’s events have turned your life upside down, everyone has been affected in one way or another the last six months.

I see patients every day who are truly struggling with anxiety and stress. Our kids have lost their normalcy as well, and it’s taking its toll, mentally and physically. We have “affectionately” dubbed the recent weight gain of many, as the “Covid 15.” Not being able to do sports, meet with friends, and play at the park with others has affected a whole lot of us.

I am tired of the news reports, tired of the political slant on everything, and ready to go back to “normal.” If only we could wish this all away… but, it looks like we are in it for the long haul.

The next best thing is to look for the good! Things like:

- Noticing how we look at people’s eyes, and can actually see them smile with their eyes!

- Spending more time with family

- Being more creative

- Learning to be more flexible

- Baking more

- Appreciating restaurants more

Yes, this is a stressful time now, but maybe changing our attitude a little, and turning off the news a little more can help us through this. Let’s get outside more and really enjoy the beauty of this county we call home. Let’s plan to do something fun with our families; something out of the ordinary.

My husband slowed me down the other night by having me watch the shooting stars with him (didn’t cost a thing) and it made me realize that the world is still spinning on its axis, whether I notice it or not.

Every night before I go to bed, I’ve started thinking of three things I’m thankful for from the day. It may not be anything other than something silly, like seeing a wooly caterpillar wriggling on a branch, but it made me smile, and that counts! Taking a deep breath, and getting a little oxygen to our brains can help too.

No “TO DO” lists here: just getting back to the basics and enjoying what’s around us.

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.”

We are here to help; we have behavioral health therapists if you are struggling with anxiety or depression. We can do telehealth visits if you need, or we would be happy to see you in our clinic for sick visits, physicals or dental cleanings.

Karen R. Yocum is a CPNP with A Kidz Clinic.

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