Today is a beautiful sunny day. We are quarantined and cannot really go anywhere except for maybe a walk in the neighborhood or outside to do yard work.  I had some groceries delivered today, which I had done a few times before this all started, but now it is the only way I shop. 

Working, shopping, entertainment and socializing have changed dramatically. This is our new normal, but it does not feel very normal.  There are so many unknowns.

How do we remain mentally strong when we do not know what our future holds?

1. Accept reality.  There is no use arguing with reality when something bad happens. Wondering why and arguing with facts is generally a waste of time. The sooner you can choose to accept things as they are, the sooner you can begin to deal with the reality of the current situation. Our thinking creates our feelings, so accepting things is the first step to dealing with any anxiety or worry that the crisis brings.

2. Take some time to experience your emotions. Negative emotions will come in waves during and after a crisis. If you do not fear your emotions and choose to accept them, you will experience sadness, fear or anxiety for a short time and then allow them to pass. Choosing to feel all of your emotions will help you process them in a healthier way. 

3. Choose a positive mantra to keep with you. Find a quote or saying that speaks to you. Keeping positive messaging handy when your mind wants to go negative will allow you to replace the thoughts with more positive messages. 

4. Help yourself and help others. Self-care is very important during difficulties. Practice mindfulness, exercise and sleep well. Reach out to your friends and relatives to not only get support but give support. Helping others will help keep you from focusing too much on your worries.  Reaching out and offering assistance to another person in need will allow you to feel more powerful.

Create grace for yourself by feeling your emotions, supporting yourself and caring for others. Together we will become stronger and the sun will come out tomorrow.

“The ability to continue moving when you are feeling scared, fearful or lazy is the sign of true mental strength.” ― Matthew Donnelly

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.


Dr. Cappel works as a small animal and exotic pet veterinarian, certified leadership and life coach. She has been a practice owner for over 20 years running a five doctor veterinary practice in Warren, Michigan.  She authors a weekly blog, “The Veterinary Life with Dr. Julie Cappel” and a weekly Podcast, “The Veterinary Life Coach Podcast.” She has works published in DVM 360, Firstline and The Michigan Veterinarian. She has served on multiple veterinary committees, school boards and was an executive committee member for the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association serving as their president in 2006. She has also served on the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association executive board serving as their president in 2015 and continues to work as an advisor for the MVMA “A team,” MVMA Power of Ten group and on several other committees.