This year has been a challenge in one way or another and has often felt hopeless.

The pandemic has raised our levels of anxiety and depression as we are on high alert at the first sign of our child’s runny nose, at the thought of meeting a friend for coffee or even just going to the grocery store.

The isolation that has come with trying to “be smart” and “stay safe” in addition to the actual quarantine or isolation we must go through if we do end up contracting Covid is one of the hardest parts for a lot of us.

Having had to quarantine after testing positive this past year and then having my two-year-old son test positive at the end of my quarantine only to add on another 14 days at home, I know just how challenging the isolation can be.

However, as difficult and hopeless as these past couple years have felt, here are 3 things we can do to combat our rising levels of anxiety and depression:


Get Outside


It may seem silly or too simple, but getting fresh air, moving your body, and changing up your surroundings can do wonders for your mood.

You can accomplish this by simply setting a reminder on your phone to get up and move or set your alarm to go for a walk each morning or evening.

Find Gratitude


No matter how challenging or difficult life can be, there is always something we can be grateful for. If we can identify some of the smallest things in our day to day—such as the sun shining, a smile from a neighbor or something big like your health or food on your table—This practice of gratitude can help ground us and get us out of the spiral we may be experiencing in our minds as things just seem to pile on.

Try writing down 2 or 3 things you’re grateful for each morning when you wake up. Or you could even combine this practice of gratitude with getting outside and by going on a gratitude walk–and really taking time to be present and grateful in that space.

Gain Perspective


Finally, take the time to get outside of your own story and enter someone else’s. What I mean by this is, serve someone, connect with someone, listen to someone else’s story. 

Getting our minds off ourselves and what we have going on, and instead serving someone else or entering into someone else’s world can help give us the perspective shift needed to point us back to gratitude and lessen the anxiety and depression we feel when we are so focused on our own situations. 

I know this is a difficult season, it has been for me too, but I challenge you/all of us to get outside, find gratitude and even enter someone else’s story.  There is hope in the midst of it all—we just have to be looking for it.  And if you need any additional support, reach out to me and I would love to help.

Jonelle Cook

Jonelle Cook

Children & Adults

For the past 6 years, I have worked with children, adolescents, and families in all seasons of life and I am here to listen to your story, join you where you are, and walk alongside you, providing tools and support as you learn to thrive rather than simply survive.

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Cedar Tree's Mission: 

There are a lot of broken families who struggle to do life well together. 

That’s why we help families create an environment where deeper connection & healing can happen.


(630) 937-3027

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(630) 797-9872 Ext. 1

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2172 Blackberry Drive, Suite 202

Geneva, IL 60134

(630) 797-9872

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15 Spinning Wheel, Suite 125

Hinsdale, IL 60521

(630) 797-9872

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