I recently wrote about Superpowers. While the truth is we all do not exactly have super powers, we do possess the ability to communicate with clarity, compassion, and validation.

So many of us know folks who are experiencing heightened anxiety during Covid 19 – not being able to go anywhere, constantly covering ones face with a mask, experiencing Covid first-hand, not being able to see a loved one in the hospital, losing a loved one, and even having an anxiety attack because as a senior they try and sign up for a vaccine and the system crashes or there are no appointments. There is no lack of reasons why someone can have an anxiety and mental distress this year.

Our usual responses of

Just Breathe
Don’t worry
What’s wrong with you
This will pass
It’s not that big of a deal

do not work when someone is experiencing grave emotional distress and panicking. Like chronic pain, it is often impossible to measure emotional distress with the naked eye, especially those who are having an anxiety attack or experiencing extreme mental distress and so often platitudes do not work.

Instead let us be present for our friends and loved ones and say

I hear you
I am listening to you
I am here for you
Let me help you
It is tough that all is so overwhelming right now. The world is upside down
You have my support

And let us validate our words through actions

A phone call
A safe in person visit
A listening ear
A small token

Or help your family, friend, work associate get the help they need by getting them the emotional support they need.

Check out SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) or NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for tools, tips, and resources. Or call me at 619-507-1699 and we can discuss how to find strength-based solutions for your unique situation.