Emotional Wellness and COVID-19

During any evolving and large-scale event, it’s normal for people to have a wide range of reactions. You might be feeling neutral, unconcerned, anxious, or frustrated, or you might notice fluctuating between these and a number of other valid emotions.

Whether it’s grieving the loss of spring break plans or study abroad opportunities or feeling angry toward precautionary measures being implemented at the local, state, and national levels, whatever you’re feeling can be considered normal.

There’s no right way to respond to the wide range of reactions you’re having, and it’s important to remind yourself that your emotions are valid. This situation is novel, evolving, and unpredictable.

While we understand the resources below are not a substitute for in-person counseling support, please consider exploring these suggestions. We hope these are helpful as our campus community works to provide services and processes as best and as soon as possible.

Stay connected. During this period, it’s important to maintain social distance, and it’s crucial to stay in touch with your social support by way of a phone call, video chat, or text.

Reduce media exposure if overwhelmed. Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. We’re inundated with information regarding it and are often receiving information through multiple channels. This can be overwhelming. If you need to, limit the frequency and duration of reading the news, social media, or other mediums.

Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation. Rumors are stirring about what’s open, what’s not, what’s closing, and more. Prevent yourself from being caught up in potential rumors by getting information from reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites – including your school – for up-to-date information regarding closings. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the best places to check for correct information about the virus.

Maintain your typical schedule as best as you can. Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time, etc. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control during a time of uncertainty. 

Maintain perspective. While this is a significant event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important to you: health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion, or spirituality.

Engage in self-care. Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day. Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals, which includes limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and getting some exercise. When the weather is nice, go for a walk or spend time outside. Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, or Qigong. Not sure how to do these? Check out these 25 mental health apps or search for free programs on YouTube. Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break: knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.