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My name is Emily Laing and I’m a Licensed Therapist at the Thriveworks in McLean, Virginia. The question that was asked was, “what can I do to stay hopeful during COVID-19?” And I have three ideas for us. Mr. Rogers always said that during times of crisis, we should look to the helpers. It was actually his advice for children. And so as adults what we can do is find ways to be helpers and channel our sadness and grief and fear into actions that are helpful to others.

Even if it’s small, even if it’s just texting a friend to see how they’re doing or making a small donation, the more we can act, then the more hopeful we could feel.

Second idea is to give yourself permission to accept the support that is available to you. This might mean something as simple as really taking in the sweetness of a sidewalk chalk rainbow in your neighborhood or answering the phone when a friend calls to see how you’re doing. Whatever it is you might need to ask for support, but then also give yourself permission to receive it.

Third and last idea for now: you have been through hard times before and during those times you learned coping skills and made meaning and found ways to survive and grow and heal. Those resources that you developed are available to you now, and you continue to have the ability to develop further resources.

So to sum up: to stay hopeful or to find hope during COVID-19 be a helper, accept support, and consciously and intentionally acknowledge your innate capacity to survive and grow and heal. I’m wishing you so well.