Processing COVID-19 Stress While Working in CSR

Times of crisis can cause unexpected stress. For those of us working in Corporate Social Responsibility, our daily conversations, decisions, and response revolve around COVID-19. Dr. Russ Harris offers a few tools with his "F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D" coping method as we all take a moment for self-care.

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As a professional in the Corporate Social Responsibility field, times of crisis can be high stress, fast-paced, and demanding. Recognizing that CSR often plays a significant role in addressing needs during crisis, it is also important to acknowledge those working in the field are responding both professionally and personally.

As an influx of self-care recommendations and remedies inundate our inboxes and tv screens, it can be hard to sift through the information and find something that works for you. Looking to the experts in psychology who have put forth coping mechanisms during COVID-19, Dr. Russ Harris has gained great popularity with his “F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D” method. 

Dr. Russ Harris is a globally-renowned trainer for Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). He is a medically-trained doctor, psychotherapist, and consultant to the World Health Organization. He conducts workshops on ACT around the world and provides ACT training to thousands of health professionals, counselors, coaches, doctors and therapists.

Hopefully, “F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D.” will give you a few more tools to process the personal stress of working directly with frontline response and with the nonprofit community as we all pivot to a new normal. The following are a series of practical steps proposed by Dr. Russ Harris:

F = Focus on what’s in your control

A = Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings

C = Come back into your body

E = Engage in what you’re doing


C = Committed action

O = Opening up 

V = Values

I = Identify resources

D = Disinfect and distance

For a more in-depth explanation of “F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D” and how you can use it during this stressful time, watch Dr. Harris’ 5-minute video on How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis.

Em Clarke

Senior Manager, Corporate Solutions , Points of Light

Em Clarke has been with Points of Light for a year and a half working with corporate clients through POL's Corporate Solutions consulting practice. She is motivated by her work evaluating corporate accountability and social responsibility and has spent the last five years dedicated to improving the well being of local communities through global strategy and ensuring marginalized voices are heard when funders and decision makers choose to take interest. Upon receipt of her Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership from The University of Georgia, she joined the United Way system for several years before transitioning to Points of Light. Her professional experiences include managing teams of executives working collectively to design enterprise-wide programming, volunteer days of service, and funding strategies.
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