Cornerstone Family Services has been monitoring the Coronavirus situation carefully, and it is our goal to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our clients and clinicians alike. We have implemented common sense measures at our facility to help meet the highest standards possible.
We understand the importance of consistent and continuing behavioral healthcare for those experiencing emotional pain and acknowledge the additional distress being caused for many due to the Coronavirus outbreak and its social and economic impact. This is a time of rapid change and uncertainty which can add to anxiety, stress, and isolation. Please know that Cornerstone Family Services is here to serve and to help those in need.
In that light, and so that we can continue to maintain a healthy environment, we respectfully request our clients adhere to the following guidelines:
- If you or someone you live with has experienced flu symptoms, please reschedule for at least 3 weeks. Many of our counselors and coaches have the necessary qualifications to meet remotely. Consult with your counselor or coach as to whether this is a possibility if you meet the above criteria.
- Please communicate directly with your counselor or coach as to how they are addressing the Coronavirus situation within their individual practice, and any concerns or questions you might have.
For guidance on how to deal with the stress and emotional impact of Coronavirus, we would like to share some excellent recommendations in an excerpt from the article “Coping With Stress During the Season of the Coronavirus” , by Elisa Joy Seibert, Ph.D., M.Div.:
Things you can do to support yourself:
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
Share the facts about COVID-19 and the actual risk to others. People who have returned from areas of ongoing spread more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 do not put others at risk.
- While the world is talking about “social distancing”, EFT trainer Jim Thomas is renaming it as “physical distancing” since we don’t want to distance ourselves from each other’s hearts. Now more than ever we need to be here for each other. We will not survive this ALONE. We will survive it TOGETHER! As you follow appropriate physical precautions, don’t let that lead you to distance your heart and withdraw into fear. See this video of how some lovely Italian
communities are using music and singing to connect with each other and break the isolation:
- Validate. Validate. Validate. Validate yourself and each other, including fears. Be present. There are real reasons you (and others) feel the way you do.
- Listen in to how you are feeling. What is that feeling saying to you? If you see that part of yourself as a friend that is seeking to care for you and needs to be heard right now, what is it saying you need? Honor it. Find a way to care for it, hold it, soothe it, and respond.
- Name your fears. “Naming is containing” (Kathryn Rheem).
- Find ways and places to process your fears. As Dr. Kathryn Rheem says, “Unprocessed fear moves under the surface and tweaks behavior.” We need to find places and safe people with whom to process our fears. Holding the fears alone will only grow anxiety in us. Bringing them out into the light, naming them, and processing them with a safe other will help them be released AND we will feel less alone! That leads to the next point….
- Find meaningful and safe ways to connect with those who bring you life. “Isolation is inherently traumatizing to the human brain” (Rheem), so make sure to lean in, connect, reach, and respond to each other. We WILL survive this virus, and we will survive it better if we stay connected! This includes leaning into your faith supports, if those are important to you.
- Seek healthy, safe, physical touch with those you love. While keeping in mind appropriate handwashing and germ reduction protocols, we do well to remember what James Coan’s hand holding study teaches us … that the hand of our loved one “calms jittery neurons” in our brain (which we are probably all needing these days!), as well as the truth that a hug releases oxytocin which calms us. As Dr. Sue Johnson says, in summarizing Coan’s study, “The people we love … are the hidden regulators of our bodily processes and our emotional lives” (Hold Me Tight (2008), 26).
- Open your eyes to those around you and the needs around you. How might you be a gift to another human in this season of global stress? While we are all too aware of the negative stories on the news, we could be part of the stories around the globe of good will and kindness which can be the answer to another’s prayer.
- Do the things that bring you life and joy! Do you like to create? Then create! Do you like to pet your animals? Then pet them! Do you like to go for walks or a good run or hike? Then move and let the fresh air fill your lungs and the scenes of trees and creeks remind you that life is good and there is plenty in this world to enjoy and center us.
- Spend time outside in nature. It is grounding, centering, and soothing.
- Incorporate music in your day. Listen to your favorite music, play an instrument, sing, release the stress! Music really helps with expressing, soothing, and shifting emotions.
- Keep healthy routines and structure in your lives. We all function better with regular wake/sleep cycles and predictability in our days. Notice and pat yourself on the back for the
small accomplishments each day: “I made my bed!” etc.
- Exercise, even a brisk walk, adds oxygen to our brains to help us think more clearly and releases endorphins to help us feel better.
- Eat balanced diets.
- Drink lots of water and healthy fluids.
- Get plenty of rest. We all function better when we are well rested.
- And remember to lean in, lean in, lean in to those who are safe havens in your life! We all function better TOGETHER!