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DYI COVID help: Taking responsibility for how you feel

Written By | Sep 14, 2020
COVID, Quarantine, Self-Help, Happiness

COLORADO SPRINGS:  Bookstores and the worldwide web are peppered with Self-Help books.  Do this, but not that.  Do that, but not this.  Blah, blah, blah. If the current COVID-election climate is wearing you down, don’t let it!  Here are a few tips.  Take some and reject others.  You are the one in control of YOU!

  •  “I’m a person.”

If wondering what to do lest it offends someone or elicits criticism, just say to yourself, “I’m a person.”  With that wonderful obvious news, you give yourself permission to do what you will, not what others will you to do.

  • “Keep laughing.”

Certainly, there must be at least one person in your life who always seems to be smiling.  Take that person as your role model.  Tell a joke, watch a funny movie, or bring YouTube up on the big-screen and laugh at silly animal videos.

Order a spirits recipe book and try some fun new cocktails. Just always drink responsibly, never drink and drive and avoid

  • “Do not take delivery.”

Competent public relations people already know and practice this one.  Be absolutely certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that the problem facing you is indeed yours before reacting.  You will find upon inspection, most do not require your immediate, hysterical attention.  Pass on this one.

  • “Take time to process your life.”

No matter who you are, your life is complicated.  We might list examples here, but it would be too depressing, darling.  Some books recommend a litany of suggestions that might be boiled down to, “Exercise, and do not eat Twinkies.”  Here, we suggest just sitting.  Let thoughts or no thoughts wash over you.  Allow your reptilian brain time to catch up with the rest of you.

  • “Savor where you live.”

In Colorado, notice the leaves turning. Try painting high tide at Cannon Beach if you are in Oregon.  In Maryland, order in some fresh-caught seafood.  Wherever you live, the point is to allow the natural beauty and benefits of where you live to permeate your daily awareness.

Five takeaways from “How to win friends and influence people”

  • “Listen to your own voice.”

Whether you solicit advice or not, count on it, you’re going to get it.  Weigh it, discard it, use it in your own calculations.  But stand up and let your own feelings and knowledge be counted.  You can trust you.

  • “Take responsibility.”

Concomitant with thinking and acting for yourself, later, especially if it turns out poorly, take responsibility.  If you were the culprit with the lousy advice, own it.  Weaseling out of your mistakes is so boring.

  • “On occasion, give life the middle finger.”

If you are able, do something outrageous in response to life’s worse vicissitudes.  Fired from your job?  Buy an expensive Italian handbag.  Do you car tires need replacing?  See Instruction Two, above.

  • “Make a list.”

We do not mean a To-Do list.  Rather, we mean a list of happiness. Things in your life that, when recalled, provide a sense of happiness.  Did you go to the dentist with a fierce toothache, and learn it was nothing?  Put that down.  Are you planning on going to Spain sometime, this year, next year, or sometime?  Goes on the list.  Did you just buy the most divine black lace bra?  On the list.  Invited to some soiree in the coming month?  Must I remind you?  ON the LIST!

  • “Talk to plants.  Ditto, animals.”

If your geraniums survived the sudden snowstorm, remark on it to him.  Let him know you appreciate his hardiness.  Is a squirrel observing you?   Address him.  Take a moment to appreciate his fluffy tail.

  • “Dream.”

Allow yourself the privilege of imagining yourself in any way that makes you happy.  For instance, if you pull alongside that lipstick red Corvette in your aged Toyota, lean out the window and ask its driver, “Want to trade?”  It will give both of you a swell laugh, and break the tension of, “Wah, wah, I don’t have a Corvette.”

  • “Paint a wall.”

No, really.  This one’s self-explanatory.

  • “When a negative person comes into view, run for your life.”
  • “Pat yourself on the back.”

Finally, always remember…

    • You are wonderful and you must continue to take credit for it.

Well, dear readers, that about covers it for now.  You, of course, under the suggestions rendered herein, are free to make up your own rules.


“It’s your world.  The rest of us are just living in it.”


Karen Hagestad Cacy

Karen Hagestad Cacy, of Colorado Springs, is a former Washington speechwriter and transportation lobbyist. Raised in Portland, Oregon, she holds a BA degree in Russian and Middle East Studies from Portland State University (and American University in Cairo.) Her four novels are available on She is also the author of two plays.