The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the way we live in just a few short months. Millions of lives have been affected by the virus, leaving many of us feeling anxious, depressed, or just generally unwell. Actress Octavia Spencer wants you to know that you aren’t alone.

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In partnership with The Child Mind Institute, Spencer created a special video for their #WeThriveInside campaign discussing the ways in which she’s coping with social distancing. “I’m listening to a lot of music. I find that very therapeutic,” Spencer says while getting some fresh air outside her home. “I’m reaching out to family and friends to stay socially connected while we are physically distancing. I am meditating a lot, and I am trying to learn one new thing that I’m trying to carry throughout this whole ordeal, and that is, I’m trying to learn how to cook.” She jokes that baking isn’t the best place to start if you’re learning your way around the kitchen, but has “made progress boiling eggs.”

She also advises that if you’re feeling anxious and unwell, your best bet is to reach out for professional help. “It’s ok to be anxious,” she continues. “This is a very traumatic thing we’re all experiencing, and we’re doing that together.”

Spencer is one of a few celebrities handpicked by The Child Mind Institue for this campaign, which offers coping strategies and connects families with the help they need via resources like teletherapy. “In these uncertain and uniquely stressful times, it is critical for families – and especially children – to know that they are not alone,” Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, said in a statement. “#WeThriveInside not only offers support and encouragement, it points parents to critical, evidence-based resources that can help millions of families better navigate unprecedented challenges. Most of us are struggling, but we can help each other discover new ways not just to persevere, but to thrive and grow from this experience.”

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In alignment with Mental Health Awareness Month, the campaign also encourages young people with mental health disorders and their families to seek Child Mind Institute’s comprehensive COVID-related resources.

Kudos to Ms. Spencer for sharing her story and don’t forget to register for our upcoming ESSENCE Wellness House virtual event HERE to learn more about managing your mental, physical & spiritual well-being during times of crisis.


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