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May 2020 Newsletter



Couples Corner

In an AARP article, authors Barry J. Jacobs and Julia L. Mayer provide suggestions for couples coping with shelter in place. They believe that couples need to be closer, not distant, at this time. Support is of vital importance at this time. Following are five of the ten tips: 

1. Recognize and forgive fear. Sometimes, fear comes out as irritability, which in turn causes arguments. Share your feelings, don't try to fix, just listen carefully to each other. 
2. Grieve together. Recognize that the sadness and anger your partner is exhibiting might actually be grief for all the losses and changes you both are experiencing.
3. Do things together. Cook together, watch TV, walk the dog together. 
4. Do things apart also. Designate rooms in the house where you each can go to have some me time. 
5. Hug and gaze. Hug for 20 seconds every two hours. Make frequent eye contact. Limit screen time.

For more tips on living together in these trying times, click

Individual Corner 

The National Alliance on Mental Health, or NAMI, has addressed coronavirus and mental health. Some of the conditions that arise due to the virus are anxiety, loneliness, obsessions, and traumatic stress. NAMI provides some strategies to help alleviate symptoms. Some of them are as follows: 

1. Be mindful of your news consumption. One way to do this is to limit the sources you watch and the time you spend watching. Don't jump to conclusions, global news does not speak for local news. These are but a few of the suggestions listed for this strategy. 

2. Take care of yourself. This includes exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy. Try to maintain as much a sense of normalcy as possible. 

3. Find things to do/distractions. Doing things such as spring cleaning gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.  Watch those movies you haven't seen, binge on shows you missed. 

4. Help others. Volunteering is something that can be uplifting and also give you a feeling of purpose. 

For more helpful suggestions, click


 Family Corner

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides some tips to help parents in the coronavirus outbreak because it is important to help children feel safe. Some of those recommendations are as follows:

Address children's fears
1. Answer questions about the pandemic simply and honestly in an age appropriate manner. 
2. Recognize and validate your children's feelings.
3. Keep in touch with loved ones. 
4. Model how to manage feelings. 
5. Tell your child before you leave the house. 
6. Look forward, let them know that scientists are working to find out how to help people. 
7. Offer extra hugs and tell them you love them more often. 

Keep healthy routines
1. Structure the day, establish new routines.
2. Try to keep bedtimes and wake up times. Keep a bedtime and wake up routine.

Use positive discipline
1. Redirect bad behavior
2. Use rewards and privileges
3. Choose your battles
4. Use time-outs

These were only a portion of the article. To read more, click here.

Infertility Corner

Mother's Day can be difficult when you are trying to conceive. It can be especially difficult this year if your treatment cycle has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns, leading you to feel anxious that precious time is slipping away. 

The author of the ARC Fertility Blog offers tips for "How To Face Mother's Day When You're Coping With Infertility." Listen to your body and decide if you want to participate in celebrations or it you want to sit out of celebrations this year. Either way, the author offers suggestions for both options.

For further support, Andrea Syrtash of pregnantish offers "A Mother's Day Letter to My Infertility Sisters."

For specific help with coronavirus concerns, check out RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association's COVID-19 Support Resource Center page 
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) COVID-19 Resources for Patients page.  In addition to the resource page, ASRM is offering a free live webinar today, May 1 at noon CST.

Are you having difficulty getting pregnant? Are you wondering if you might be experiencing infertility? This is the ConnectEdPAIRS corner for infertility. Check here monthly for infertility education and support. Stephani Cave, LCPC specializes in infertility counseling and holds Professional Memberships in the Mental Health Professionals Group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM ) and RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Both of these organizations' websites are sources of education and support as well.

Happy May!

It is May and oh, what a different May we are moving into this year! The beginning of the month starts with many, if not all, of us under a modified yet extended stay-at-home order. I hope you are coping well during this unprecedented situation. 

Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, is hosting a webevent Date Night at Home on May 7. 

If you missed Prepare-Enrich's Rally for Relationships: Couples Edition live webevent, just click the link to watch the replay. If you would like take the Prepare-Enrich inventory, contact me for more information.

While I do recognize and honor all the wonderful mothers out there, I also acknowledge that Mother's Day is not always a happy celebration for everyone. As the graphic for the Infertility Corner notes, some folks have lost their mother, had a child die, or desperately want to be a mother but are having trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. I also acknowledge that there is another group of folks out there - those whose feelings about their mother are complicated due to abuse or neglect. Thoughts and prayers are sent to you as well.

If you would like help coping during COVID-19, or help working on any of your self-improvement or mental health goals, call me for a telehealth counseling appointment. During the stay-at-home order, I am offering telehealth counseling sessions via telephone or videoconferencing. Your insurance company may cover telehealth sessions.

Be well and be safe.

All best,
Stephani Cave, LCPC

Prior editions of the ConnectEdPAIRS newsletter are now available on the Newsletter Archives tab on our website. Check it out

 Stephani Cave, MA, LCPC, NCC is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor.

Stephani works with adults utilizing individual and couples counseling. Her specialties are relationships, premarital counseling, infertility/reproductive issues, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, assertiveness, grief/loss, and decision-making. Stephani is trained on Level Two of
Gottman Method Couples Therapy and is a certified facilitator and seminar director for the Prepare-Enrich program.

Stephani is accepting new clients at both the Springfield and Jacksonville locations. She is in Springfield Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, with office hours in Jacksonville on Thursdays. Stephani accepts Aetna, BCBS PPO, Cigna, Health Alliance PPO, HealthLink, Magellan, and TriCare insurance, in addition to self-pay clients.

Donna Givens, RN, LCPC
Guest's Corner
Well, here we are again. Same shelter-in place, same uncertainty. Again, keep in mind what you do have control over, such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Also, only going out for essentials and hand washing. Keep busy, or take time to rest, however you need to get through this. We are all grieving and in a time of trauma. Be kind to each other and remember this will not last forever, but death will, so stay safe and well!

Donna Givens is a guest columnist for ConnectEdPAIRS. She is a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has worked in the mental health field for 40 years. Donna is an independent provider and has a limited private practice with offices in Springfield, Jacksonville, and Beardstown. She can be reached at 618-973-5072.

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