GR Blog

Anxiety amid COVID19/Coronavirus Concerns

Donye Smith, LPC Associate

supervised by Rae Garr, LPC-S

During this unprecedented time, anxiety is to be expected. COVID-19 is a serious concern and changing life daily as we knew it. We in the Houston area and all over the world have been dealing with stay at home and work safe orders which has changed our lives drastically. It is important to assess your personal circumstances be that health concerns, issues with depression or anxiety, fear, or increased levels of stress due to the COVID-19 societal changes. For some, being quarantined and required social/physical distance can be challenging. Though many things may be out of your control, we can take some control by using various coping skills to help manage stress during this time. Below are some coping skills that you may find to be helpful:

  • Mindfulness
  • Breathing techniques
  • Limiting television and social media exposure


Mindfulness is finding a quiet time and space to allow yourself to be in the moment and aware of what is going on without judgment or reacting to the thoughts. Experience the thoughts and feelings as they come and go. As the thoughts come up, stay focused on breathing in the moment. Focus on where you are, what sensation you feel at the time, and what feelings are coming up. You can take 10 minutes for yourself each day to manage your stress and anxiety.

Breathing Techniques

Using breathing techniques can also help to manage stress and anxiety. Although there are several variations, one breathing technique that I suggest is breathing in slowly for a count of 5, holding for a count of 5, and releasing that breath slowly for a count of 5.  

Limiting Television and Social Media

Acknowledge that you are right to be concerned, but it is not helpful for you to panic. We do not think well in times of panic. The media can be informative. However, it is not advised for any of us to sit by the television listening to Coronavirus (COVID-19) news all day that can be anxiety-provoking for anyone. Limit your time spent watching or listening to the news or scrolling social media for news. You could try scheduling times in the day and limit yourself to 30 min to an hour a couple of times a day. Lastly, try not to watch the news right before bed this could be unsettling and impact your ability to fall asleep.

Generally, we all can find ways to be as healthy as possible such as eating healthy meals, getting some exercise, going outside to get some sunlight, and having good sleep habits which is also directly related to your mental and emotional wellness. Most providers such as here at Guided Restoration offer telehealth counseling services. If you currently see a counselor, be sure to keep your appointments and note that it may be necessary to increase these appointments to get help to modify your plan to address current concerns. It is important to maintain healthy strategies and skills to manage your wellness at this time. For existing health concerns, please contact your doctor to get information on ways to protect and take care of yourself. 

While in this unprecedented time, I have provided some tips that are often offered in counseling to help reduce stress. The CDC and your local news or your primary care providers are good resources to get sound and practical tips for your health concerns related to COVID-19.

If you need additional help managing your anxiety, depression, or obtaining additional coping skills, please reach out to Donye Smith, LPC Associate at Guided Restoration. We can be reached at 281-317-7840,, or

Don’t lose hope. This too shall pass.

Donye Smith, LPC Associate- Dec 2020

When kids are inflexible

When kids are inflexible, it can be an anxious thought and behavior that leaves many parents feeling frustrated. Kids can be inflexible when wanting perfectionism, being reluctant to try new things, procrastinating, being indecisive, or having difficulty in shifting from one activity to another.

The good news is kids do not enjoy being inflexible, and it is a kind of self-preservation. If I do everything perfectly, if I stick to what I know, if I don’t think about things that make me feel bad, or if I keep away from things that hurt— then I can feel safe and secure. It is important to note that children who are inflexible may not appear anxious, until that inflexibility is challenged. Then, the floodgates of fear or worry open because their self-preservation has been compromised. This is why many anxious children may not handle statements such as, “you’re drawing is good enough, let’s get ready for bed,” “try something new,” or “we’ve got a change in plans.”

Children who carry anxious thoughts and behaviors need more acceptance. Their worries or fears behind the anxiety may be fueled by feelings of unworthiness, unacceptance, or insecurities. Seek to understand these feelings. Validate their emotions, pay attention to body language, and encourage respectful and safe conversations that allow them to find support in you, as parents. Beyond your validation, increased empathetic understanding, and acceptance, help your child be more flexible by loosening up yourself!

Sing, roll around on the floor, play dress up, make silly faces and sounds, wrestle, role play or start a laundry fight. When you challenge your own inflexibility, it helps your child do the same. As parents, we cannot prevent every flood, but we can help them survive the short discomfort they feel when they are in a place of fear or insecurity through love, understanding, and support. 

If you need additional support during this time Sarah can be reached for an appointment at 281-317-7840 or

May 2020-Sara Ali, LPC-Intern

Inner Peace During Uncertain Times

The Corona Virus has caused everyone around the world to do things differently. We are all seeing how fragile life is and how life can be lost or changed in a short period of time. A normal human response during troubling times can be to worry about what will be days, weeks, or months from now. When we do not know what the future holds we can choose to surrender to the fact that we are not in control.

With countless businesses forced to close, many who would normally go to work everyday no longer have a place to work. Others who are able to do so are working from home. Some essential workers like first responders, those in the medical field, as well as pharmacists, grocers, stockers, drivers, sanitation workers are still going to work. Right now, whatever your circumstances may be, we can each do our best, be our best and be kind while doing it. 

Difficult times are when character is revealed. We will see the best side of some and the worst side of others. Be aware that individuals with poor character will seize this moment in time to take advantage of people. Conversely, individuals with extraordinary character will do all that they can to help total strangers any way that they can. Any act of kindness, even if you believe it is a small act, is a priceless gift at any time. Prayer is also a priceless gift. If you are a praying person, pray. Pray for wisdom, guidance, peace and for others. 

Right now, we are seeing what is really important in life—the basics, food, shelter, health, family, peace of mind. In the midst of uncertainty and chaos, we can still have inner peace. As a Christian, peace comes from knowing that while many things are out of our hands, our creator still has each one of us in the palm of His hands. Enjoy time spent with or talking to family, because tomorrow is not promised to any of us. If you have a bit more free time than usual, use it to re-evaluate things that you need to or have been wanting to change. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is for personal growth.

If you need additional support please contact Guided Restoration for an appointment at 281-317-7840 or

April 2020- Kristin Barrs, LPC Intern

Nourishing Yourself

Do you nourish yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically?  These four nourishment buckets are important to acknowledge in balancing your wellness. The key is maintaining a wholeness where you are not constantly operating in fragmented versions of yourself.  What do you feed yourself when you make a mistake? Our behaviors our influenced by our thinking and patterns we have learned. Is your self talk spoiled (i.e., “I am so stupid”) or is it nourishing (i.e., “there is no success without failure”)? Addressing just one bucket often results in a temporary solution, but maintenance of each bucket results in a lifestyle change.  Consider keeping a “grateful” journal to reflect and meditate on when wellness nourishment needs to be replenished. Carve out time in maintaining what you deserve.  You are a vessel made in an intentional uniqueness to influence change around you. Take ownership of your wellness! 

If you would like more information about services at Guided Restoration contact us

March 2020- Rae Garr, LPC-S


During this time of year, there are pivotal and memorable transitions occurring. From new grades to prom to graduation, these life transitions set the stage for our performances in life. Education introduces us to a process of learning and one we should value. Education requires adults to be mentors and role models, not only to kids but also to other adults. It is necessary for us all to position ourselves to be teachable and accountable. We cannot ask of the kids what we do not offer. We are in a generation where we seek out the shortcuts to our desired goals rather than the hard knocks of the “learning” process. It is in the transitions of the process, we receive the richness in the lessons of life. As we know, education is not restricted to the school setting. Seize an opportunity that will inspire you to become a creative designer for your life, and extend that mindset to those around you.

If you would like more information about services at Guided Restoration contact us

October 2015- Rae Garr, LPC-S