Quick Tips for Therapists for Stress Management during Covid-19

The following post was published on May 14th in the newsletter of my publisher, New Harbinger –

Are your clients experiencing high stress levels right now? Here are four tips to help.

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Special Quick Tip for Shelter-In-Place Times

Helping Clients Manage Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Judith Belmont, MS

Helping clients navigate stress during this pandemic can be more challenging than ever. With all the fears and uncertainties that come with COVID-19 encompassing all aspects of our livesincluding the need for health, safety, and economic security for ourselves and our loved oneshow we deal with stress will determine if we are weakened or deepened by this life-changing experience.
The following are some tips about stress that can help you and your clients navigate these challenging times. 
1. Embrace stress—don’t avoid it! Although many people regard stress as negative, stress can actually be quite motivating and growthproducing. Ask your clients how they can grow from this experience and what they are learning about themselves as they navigate through this. 
2. Have your clients visualize a string instrument such as a guitar. If the tuning key is tightened too much, the string will snap. But if it is not tightened enough,the music drones. Stress is like that. Only through the right balance of tension are we able to make beautiful music!  
3. Remind your clients that although there are certainly some things we cannot control, we can always control how we react to what happens to us. We have a choice to see this adversity as a challenge; to be better, kinder, and more empathetic and connected by sharing this common human experience.
4. Many have likened our reactions in these times to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Remind your clients that post-traumatic stress can yield to post-traumatic growth. Help your clients identify examples of how they can turn trauma into growth, and be stronger for it. 
Depending on how they experience this pandemic and the health and economic fallout from it, it is important to acknowledge to your clients that it is true that there might be some things that they will never get over, but that does not mean they cannot get through it, and life can still be beautiful on the other side. 
Judith Belmont, MS has been a psychotherapist, motivational speaker, workplace wellness consultant, and mental health coach. Her message of positivity, healthy communication, stress resilience, and self-empowerment has reached thousands nationwide through her books, consulting, and interactive presentations.

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