By Emily Webb Olsen

  1. Practice breathing techniques: This can be as simple as focusing on slow, rhythmic breaths that feel comfortable. Set a timer for 2-5 minutes, repeat as needed.
  2. Focus on what you CAN control: It can be scary when one feels out of control. Try and focus on all the items you can control like developing healthy habits such as limiting social media, staying hydrated, exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
  3. Limit the time listening to the news or following updates online: Set specific times during the day and set a time limit.
  4. Connect with family and friends via video phone chat or telephone: Calming friends and family can also help us feel calm. Try and limit time with those who increase negative thoughts.
  5. Spend time with your pet: Pets have a special ability to make us feel comfortable and calm.
  6. Connect with nature: Even if one is avoiding crowds, find a hike or walk that allows for fresh air. Focus on things to see, feel, smell, taste, and hear.
  7. Ask for extra help: There are local mental health providers available to help during this time. If nervous about meeting with a provider in person, you can ask your local mental health provider if they offer telehealth or you can access telehealth resources by searching online for providers.


Emily Webb Olsen is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Piedmont region who specializes in assisting children, adolescents, and their families experiencing mental health and/or behavioral crisis in the community. She is trained as an adoption-competent therapist and trainer through the Center for Adoption Support and Education. Emily also provides trauma-focused, family-centered interventions for adoptive youth and their families. Learn more about our Child and Family Counseling Services by clicking here.