Going Back to the Basics in Times of Stress

Over the past few weeks, ‘social distancing’ has become a phrase most of us use several times each day. And while some of you may have found it easy to translate to a different kind of life while quarantined, others are living alone or are far from family and friends. Distance and the inability to go out can create loneliness. The idea of “a new normal” during a global pandemic can be helpful. People can use their creativity to adapt to these necessary changes. Acceptance of necessary changes and expectancy are challenging.

People are in critical condition and dying. Families can’t be with loved ones.

Healthcare professionals and other essential workers are putting their lives at risk daily.

Parent(s) did not imagine in their wildest dreams that they would be teaching their children.

Video counseling and video conference meetings are being conducted in closed rooms, in cars, or some other attempt at a confidential space.

Families are intentionally separated from one another for precautionary measures.

Many of these circumstances are unexpected and difficult to accept. Everyone’s life continues to be affected differently. As we aim to provide services for our clients, we acknowledge the anxiety, frustration, confusion, loneliness, sadness and grief that are very raw. It is time to go back to the basics of taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is something we can do.

      1. Practice self-compassion. Self-compassion is a practice that involves kindly journeying inward toward oneself, recognizing one’s own suffering without judgment and accepting your humanity.

      2. Eat, sleep and exercise well. There is well documented research showing a relationship between nutrition, sleep, exercise and mood. Certain foods as well as the way we eat those foods are known to aggravate the body. Regular exercise has a positive impact on physiological factors.

      3. Become aware and embrace the present moment now. Self-compassion is tied to mindfulness. Focusing your awareness in the present moment, with utter acceptance of your present thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations can help you become more grounded and less reactive.

 

Most of all, don’t feel like you must do this alone. We at CHRIS 180’s counseling centers are continuing to serve clients and the community. Our counselors have increased telehealth availability. Lasting recovery is achieved when you are willing to make basic and holistic changes in your life.  To make an appointment, email Counseling.Center@CHRIS180.org.

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Kelly Phillips, LMSW, MDiv
Kelly.Phillips@CHRIS180.org
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