Head & Heart Therapy - Responding to COVID-19
Over the past few weeks it seems like all of our lives have been impacted in one way or another. As the situation continues to evolve I am doing my best to follow public health recommendations, keeping the health and wellness of our community as a top priority.
In response to COVID-19, Head & Heart Therapy invites current clients to use TeleHealth services for upcoming sessions*. TeleMentalHealth involves providing therapy through phone conversations, and/or real time internet conversations. I will be utilizing a platform called VSee for upcoming sessions. VSee is a HIPAA compliant video conferencing system that’s user friendly.
Things to keep in mind with TeleHealth:
Try to find a quiet place where you have privacy, minimal distractions, and a strong internet connection. If it’s not possible to be in your home, perhaps sitting in your car might work. If finding a place is problematic for you, let’s problem-solve together.
Video sessions work best from a computer rather than a phone because of the larger screen and the stability of the monitor. However, we can make your phone work if that’s the only option you have. If you’re in a space where conversations might be overheard, headphones are a good option to keep one side of the conversation silent.
Keep in mind that the current research suggests that TeleHealth methods are not less effective, just different than a live session.
Please allow a few extra minutes before your session to get connected, test your video/audio and settle in.
With so much uncertainty about what the coming weeks and months will look like, it’s natural to feel some anxiety. I want to stress the importance of extra self-care and share a short list of tips to help you prioritize your mental health and well-being during this strange time:
If you find yourself caught up in worried thoughts, stop and take several deep breaths. Refocus your attention on the present moment, noticing the sights, smells, and sounds around you. You may try grounding by holding an object in your hands and describing it verbally (if possible), visually and then by touch. This can really help.
Take comfort in simple routines – i.e. water your plants, practice good sleep hygiene, sit down for healthy meals, write in a journal, get dressed and make your bed each morning. Routine and ritual help us to feel more grounded and can put our minds at ease.
Start a project or activity you’ve been wanting to get to at home – i.e. reorganize your kitchen, clean out your closet, start a painting or art project, play music, read a great novel, binge watch some comedy or podcasts, play games with people you enjoy, listen to music, write a letter, or call a loved one on the phone. It's up to your imagination!
Spend time outside and soak up the sights and sounds of Spring. Exercise, fresh air and Vitamin D greatly reduce stress and improve our mood.
Practice gratitude and mindfulness. What are you grateful for today? And how can you show up for the present moment?
Limit your news and social media exposure. We all need time to unplug and recharge. However using apps such as Calm and Insight Timer for guided meditations can be helpful.
Let this time be a reminder of our shared humanity and inter-connectedness and, above all, be kind to yourselves and others. We’re all in this together.
Here are some free resources that you can check out:
Yoga with Adriene : With over six million subscribers, Adriene offers over 400 free videos appropriate for those who are new to yoga, more experienced, or looking for some meditation.
Melissa Bender Fitness: I have been a fan of Melissa Bender for quite some time. What I love about her is that many of her workouts are under a half an hour and often don't require any equipment. I will warn you though, they can be a bit challenging. She also works as an Occupational Therapist which is pretty neat and she does offer some postpartum workouts, mommy and me works outs, in addition to at least one workout that is for kiddos.
The Yoga Room: The yoga room specializes in offering yoga that is accessible for all sorts of individuals such as those with bigger bodies, people who might have mobility issues, and those with back issues.
Headspace for Providers: As providers we need to care for ourselves as well. Slowing down and tending to our needs is crucial, especially now when our healthcare system is overburdened. Headspace is an app you can use for meditation that provides you with a variety of options.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cameras: Research shows that watching aquariums can help reduce stress. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a live feed so that you can view the penguins, sea otters, sharks, jellyfish, and other creatures.
Insight Timer: Insight Timer is the #1 free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress offering over 30,000 free guided meditations.
The Passion Planner (an amazing planner) compiled a list of amazing FREE resources ranging from craft classes, to audio books, to financial resources, and other amazing things for you to check out. It is a pretty extensive list so I recommend taking a look!
Free Virtual COVID Support Groups: Rainer Springs is offering free online support groups led by clinicians for individuals struggling with substance abuse issues, healthcare workers, and those whose professional and/or personal lives have been impacted by COVID.
It seems like there has been difficulty and uncertainty around where to get tested for COVID. Two places that I recommend are:
Please let me know if you have any questions, and/or concerns. I appreciate your flexibility and patience.
***If you have concerns or barriers with Telehealth please let me know as I can accommodate in person sessions on a case by case basis.