It's okay to not be okay.
You never want to ignore or deny how you feel.
Being positive doesn't mean you suck it up and put a fake smile on your face.
It's okay to go through a wide range of emotions and feel the stages of grief.
You might have felt denial, anger, sadness, acceptance and meaning over the last 4 to 5 weeks. Actually you might even feel these stages and emotions in the course of a day.
There's no rule book on how to feel during the course of a global pandemic where the rules and social norms of our lives have changed.
You were used to seeing your colleagues at the office, hugging your friends, going to church, taking your kids to school, eating at restaurants, going to sporting events, rooting for your favorite pro baseball or basketball team, gathering with friends, petting your neighbors dogs... and now you can't.
You're not used to seeing a daily ticker on the television screen counting the deaths of people around the world and in your country and seeing daily images of people in hospitals... and now you are.
So if you aren't okay, it's okay.
It's okay to be concerned about the loss of life, the condition of our economy and the expansion of authoritarian government policies. Some act like you have to pick one but it's okay to concerned about all three simultaneously.
It's okay to be scared, frustrated and feel down.
You just don't want to stay there too long and allow these feelings to take you down a spiral staircase of depression and despair.
The key is to find the optimism, hope and faith to keep going and create a better future.
This is not about seeing the world through rose colored glasses. This is knowing you have the power to overcome the thorns.
You have the power to shift your perspective and turn your pain into purpose and struggle into strength.
One day I honestly was letting everything get the best of me. I realized my worry, fear, sadness and anger weren't going to help me be my best or bring out the best in others.
So, I decided I wasn't going to buy the doom and gloom being sold and told on the news and social media. Instead I was going to invest in faith, love and hope. Everything changed after that.
The biggest compliment I receive is that people will tell me I helped them keep going when they wanted to give up and I hope these words do this for you today.
Winston Churchill said, "If you are going through hell, don't stop. Keep going!"
In other words, feel your feelings, give yourself permission to not be okay and then empower yourself with the tools you need to keep moving forward so you can be okay.
Keep believing, keep working, keep going!