Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns

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Recognizing Distress: A Self-Check List

  • Increased anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
  • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic performance
  • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
  • Sudden anger and disruptive behaviors or noticeable changes in personality
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive crying
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)

Psychological Health Tips

  • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties of the future.
  • Maintain your day-to-day normal activities and social outlets. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself from the support and caring that others can provide.
  • Seek accurate information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information.
  • Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.
  • Follow the protection and prevention tips given by medical professionals such as the Health & Wellness Center here on campus, national medical authorities and your own medical doctor.
  • Practice calming rituals: Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.
  • Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about campus resources available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others or come to the counseling center. Your campus community is here to help!

Avoid Stigmatizing or Generalizing

  • Be aware of your behavior or attitude change towards others from another country.
  • Avoid generalizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus.
  • Examine any irrational or rigid thoughts that can exist when there is uncertainty.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpass all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

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