When I was a little boy, I got lost in a cornfield. It was summer, so the corn was high, much taller than my elementary school-aged body. I began to panic, fearing that I would never get out of the field…and the panic made matters worse, as I started running aimlessly. But then I stopped, closed my eyes, did everything I could do to calm myself, and just listened. At first, I heard only the rustling of the corn leaves, then some birds joined in the sound. And then I heard the voices of my family in the front yard of our house. I followed the sound of those voices, and slowly but surely made it to safety.

In a way, we are in a cornfield right now, surrounded by COVID 19 or, perhaps as concerning, stories and rumors about the coronavirus. It can be scary, and if we are not careful, our anxiety can build to a panic. If that is the case, just pause and wait. Listen to the voices of medical workers and officials who are giving good advice; listen to the voices of therapists and those who calm you rather than those who panic you; listen to music and shows that uplift you; listen to your own breathing. Follow those voices, and don’t be surprised when you make it through the maze we are in.

Remember – we at NAMI North Carolina are here to help you get through these anxious times!

Over the next several weeks, we will be including a weekly “Uplift” in Tuesday Newsday to help members and friends navigate stressful times. It may be a short thought, it may be an inspiring quote, it may be a helpful article, or it may be something fun. If you have any ideas or examples of what has been an uplift for you, please send them to marcom@naminc.org.