Wellness and Coronavirus
It is normal and natural to experience some level of emotional discomfort given the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our lives. This is expected given the ambiguity and uncertainty of the situation.
In times of stress, you may experience frustration, shock, sadness, anxiety, anger, or guilt. So how do we take care of ourselves during these times? Notice the effects of COVID-19 on your mental health and be patient with yourself and others during this time. You may not be operating at your full capacity and that is okay! Everyone will react to and manage this crisis differently. Check out the information below to learn more about self-care options.
- Consider using a self-help app or another online resource: Active Minds has a great resource toolkit!
- Try to keep a journal of how you are feeling during this time. It can be helpful to set a time-limit and to also note the positive events in your day.
- Staying informed on important information can decrease feelings of anxiety. However, it is also helpful to limit the amount of media you are consuming. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and make sure that you are checking your sources. Be aware of misinformation or exaggerated responses on social media. The CDC is a helpful and accurate resource.
- Do your best to manage your worry: use problem-solving to address the items that you can address and practice mindfulness and acceptance when our worry turns to items outside of our control (note that acceptance is not the same as approval nor is it complacency)
- Try practicing mindfulness and mediation. Therapy Assistance Online has guided meditations for anxiety, sleep, breathing, self-acceptance and more!
- Maintaining a routine is important for managing your mental and emotional wellness. Incorporate classes, meals, relaxations, and exercise into your daily routine.
- Seek help when needed: connect with one of the crisis resources on our home page, find a local mental health provider, or seek teletherapy. You can connect with a clinician at MSU to discuss these options further
- Our physical and emotional wellness are intricately linked. Take care of yourself physically as well: Try to eat well balanced meals, maintain adequate sleep, take medication as needed, exercise regularly, try new at-home workouts, avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
- Social distancing does not mean social isolation. It is important to remain connected to family and friends even if it looks different than what you are used to. Find new and creative ways to stay in touch with family and friends: schedule phone calls, video chats, schedule a virtual movie night, etc.
- Intellectual wellness refers to being engaged and connected to mentally stimulating activities. While school is certainly a part of this, it is helpful to take breaks. It is also helpful to distract yourself from upsetting news. Try reading a book, drawing/painting/coloring, knitting, or learning a new skill.
- Try to maintain perspective and take time to reflect and appreciate things about your day. Do things that are relaxing and grounding for you such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, prayer etc.
- For some, it is important to maintain connection to your spiritual or faith community - many are now offering virtual worship services- see if yours is doing something similarly.
- Environmental wellness does not just encompass our relationship with nature, but our relationship with our personal surroundings as well. Notice how your physical space impacts your mental wellness. When our personal surroundings are cared for, clean, and organized, we experience a greater sense of comfort.
- Many people are facing uncertainty about their jobs given the disruptions due to public health measures. It is normal to feel anxious, sad, or experience feelings of grief. Give yourself space to experience these emotions and connect with your local department of social services or other organizations if needed for support during this time.
- If you are experiencing changes in your workspace, to the best of your ability, try to maintain separate work and relaxation spaces.
- A very common source of anxiety is financial stress. Many may experience uncertainty regarding finances, especially if your job has been impacted by closings. See what resources are offered via financial aid, your local department of social services, and local nonprofit organizations.