Are you feeling down these days? With the pandemic affecting us, our choices are limited in many ways.

On top of the COVID-19 worries, our country is dealing with demonstrators and law enforcement trying to come together on important issues.

It’s impossible to avoid negative thoughts entirely, but it also takes a lot of strength to replace those thoughts with something positive. If you’re feeling sad, confused or lack motivation, try some of these approaches:

• Rely on your support system. All of us need family members, friends, business associates and community leaders to rely on. Start reaching out for individuals who can offer advice and help you think through your choices. Be very proactive in staying connected to people you can lean on.

• Don’t blame people for your problems. Instead, just focus on creating solutions that will truly work. Your determination will give you more confidence. Keep telling yourself, “I will figure out how to navigate through these tough times.”

• Remember that being proactive negates worry. It’s amazing how much better you can think, if you firmly believe you can handle a crisis. Of course, you can’t deny reality — however grim or difficult — but keep vowing that you will find new solutions and opportunities.

• Ask new questions: What can I do differently to ensure that my community, my finances and my mental health improve? What can I do differently to boost my physical health?

• Change your daily routine in small, doable steps. For example: Apply for a new job online, starting with a résumé you write this week. Ride your exercise bike in 15-minute increments two or three times a day. Call one or two friends every night.

• Avoid extreme thinking. Trying to solve a handful of major problems in a week won’t work. Depression can be the result of beating ourselves up, believing we’ve got to take giant steps. Moderation is the key to balancing your life.

When we feel inept to change something, or just too tired to move forward, we lose hope. But moving in small steps assures us we can cope and come out on the other side of any challenge.