Kitten Season: How to calm your coronavirus stress

Kitten Season LYS playingKitten Season: Reduce the stress of coronavirus by adopting or fostering a kitten

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
May 26, 2020
Published at Animal Wellness Magazine

This story originally appeared in Animal Wellness Magazine

Despite certain restrictions being lifted, the coronavirus pandemic is still an ongoing concern. At the same time, kitten season is in full swing. Why not make the best of both dire situations by adopting or fostering a new furry companion?

As our lives continue to feel out of sorts from the coronavirus, we’re seeking things that are predictable to ease our stress. Fortunately, despite the pandemic, there’s one thing we can count on to never change: The abundance of kittens that are born during kitten season.

Just like us, kittens depend on consistent relationships to feel safe, build confidence, and grow. The coronavirus has dramatically altered the way we socialize and interact with others while, at the same time, thousands of homeless kittens are being born without the care and companionship they need to thrive.

Despite the hardships, this clash of devastating circumstances presents a great opportunity. While stuck at home awaiting the pandemic to end, willing families and individuals can take in homeless kittens. Each adoption and/or foster saves the life of a kitten in need and helps reduce the stress on shelters during these trying times. It also helps reduce the stress of coronavirus on the adopters!

What kittens can teach us about coping with stress Fostering and/or adopting a kitten offers mutually beneficial rewards. First and foremost, it satisfies our shared basic needs for companionship. Social distancing need not apply! In addition, kittens’ natural instincts might teach us a thing or two about how to cope with the stressors of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Gluten Free and I Love These Cookies

Gluten Free Cookies2Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
May 21, 2020

Despite my dietary restrictions, I found the perfect cookie

For most of my life I have struggled with food allergies. Eating with Crohn's disease adds another layer of complications. Many foods upset my stomach, are difficult to digest, and cause inflammation of my tender gut lining. I am accustomed to eating to live, not living to eat. I don't feel deprived because I would rather have less pain than satisfy my cravings for sweets. However, there are times when I wish I could have something that really tastes good, something that makes me forget I have food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

When a girlfriend found this recipe, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (I substitute raisins for the chocolate chips) my world of food changed. This cookie recipe accomodates all of my dietary limitations and gives me room to make it my own due to the options for substitutions. Not only do I feel like I am eating a real "treat," but they are packed with nutrition and I feel a burst of energy after eating them. I hope you enjoy!




My Cat Had Cancer and Taught Me How To Cope With Illness

cat helping owner with illnessWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
May 5, 2020
Published at Tiny Buddha 

“This post was republished with permission from You can find the original post here.”

It is such a privilege to be a guest author for the Tiny Buddha Community. I encourage all of you to visit no matter your interests or desires for self-growth. This community offers beautiful stories, messages of hope and inspiration, and a sense that "you are not alone"

“A cat purring on your lap is more healing than any drug in the world, as the vibrations you are receiving are of pure love and contentment.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

We all know what it is like to be sick. At some point in our lives we get the flu or a bad cold, but we know the course—get lots of rest and before you know it you are as good as new. But for some of us, we live with chronic illness.

Chronic illness brings with it day-to-day symptoms, the ones you cannot get away from. Coping with chronic illness is really tough.

You wonder if you will ever get well, grieve the things you used to do or want to do but can’t, stress about how to maintain employment, and feel invisible to those who don’t know what it is like to be sick.

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Lanai Cat Sanctuary--Purradise Found

LYS Lanai Cat SanctuaryWritten by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
May 1, 2020
Published in Costco Connection Magazine 

Thanks Costco Connection for featuring the Lanai Cat Sanctuary as an excellent travel destination! 

Lanai Cat Sanctuary--Purradise Found

Clinical social worker and Costco member Casey Hersch (Right), who studies trauma and how pet companionship can be healing (, describes Hawaii’s Lanai Cat sanctuary as “a magical place offering something special for everyone.”

The mission of the sanctuary (, home to more than 600 rescued cats, is to save cats, while protecting endangered island birds. Costco member and executive director Keoni Vaughn, along with a team of doctors, paid staff and volunteers, prepares the fully vetted cats for adoption around the world.

“Our priority is animal welfare and [giving rescue cats] the freedom, safety and space to interact with humans,” Vaughn says. Donations and sponsorship are essential to the sanctuary’s success and admission is free

Podcast DX: Crohns illness, trauma, attachment, and resiliency

Today, I am a guest on PodcastDX. An overview of autoimmune illness and Crohn's disease is offered and I share my own story living with Crohn's disease and childhood trauma. I point out why trauma and stress are significant to healing and offer clinical perspectives rooted in social work and psychology. I also share some of my favorite healing resources. The PodcastDx team is not only nice and personable, but they are dedicated to bringing this information to you. No wonder they have an award winning podcast! 

PodcastDX ( is an interview based podcast series in a "peer-to-peer supportive format." PodcastDX give tips and support for common healthcare conditions. PodcastDX understands that their listeners share the same challenges, navigating the complex medical world. They hope to make it easier for those with a new diagnosis or a long term struggle with illness.

****Check out their excellent resource page accompanying each episode. They have put together a wealth of information including user friendly links along with professional and personal recommendations from their guests*


Beata Onefater: Ballroom Dance Champion Coping with Cancer

Beata Onefater is recognized as one of the top female dancers in the dancesport industry. In 1998, Beata and Michael Wentink became the undefeated world Latin champions and were the first South African couple to win this title. While her career is unprecedented, there is another aspect of Beata's life that many do not know about. At the end of 2015, she was diagnosed with stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.

Several years later, Beata shares in this candid interview with Casey Hersch, founder of Light Your Sparkle, what it has been like coping with ovarian cancer.

Beata is an inspiration to all of us living with chronic and life threatening illnesses.

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David Feinstein on Energy Psychology and Healing

In this video, I interview Dr David Feinstein about Energy Psychology and Our Health.

Dr David Feinstein is a clinical psychologist who has received 9 national awards for his books on consciousness and healing. He has served as faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of medicine and, with his wife Donna Eden, has built the world's largest organization teaching energy medicine (Eden Energy Medicine)

  During the interview the following topics are discussed:

1) Overview of Energy psychology including examples

2) Where to learn about Energy Psychology techniques or find a clinician certified in the methods.

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