Managing Coronavirus Anxiety
We understand that the experience of isolation and quarantine can have impacts on mental well-being, we also understand that this situation is causing anxiety for many people.
As stories about Coronavirus and its impact have dominated news outlets and social media, it is perhaps not surprising that anxiety about this illness has grown along with the number of cases. Common reactions include anxiety, worry, feelings of helplessness or anger, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, social withdrawal, and hyper-vigilance to your body and health. However, it’s important not to let fears about this virus control your life. The strategies that are effective in managing anxiety around Coronavirus can also contribute to overall emotional and physical well-being.
• Unplug: While it is important to be well-informed, you can limit worry and agitation by limiting the amount of time you spend plugged into media coverage.
• Learn to be in the moment by engaging with mindfulness practices, such as mindfulness practices, or you can use apps like Headspace or Simply Being.
• Focus on things that you have control over: Often, the things that stress us the most are the things over which we have little control. So, spending time worrying about what will happen gets you nowhere.
• Focus on things that are positive in your life and that bring you joy.
• Identify things that you can do to prepare for uncertain circumstances, such as developing contingency plans for travel, or ensuring that you have enough of any prescription medications to carry you through the next several weeks.
• Engage with proven prevention practices like washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and avoid contact with others who are ill.
• Stay healthy by prioritizing sleep, exercising, and eating well.
• Be mindful of your assumptions about others: Viruses do not respect borders and do not discriminate between different populations, and someone who has a cough or fever does not necessarily have Coronavirus.
• Stay connected to social supports: Maintaining connections to friends, family, and co-workers provides outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. If disruptions caused by Coronavirus have separated you from these social supports, make a point of checking in.
• Seek help when needed: Anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or worry can seek professional mental health support.
There are resources on campus for support and assistance, including:
JED Campus Resources
• On the ULifeline webpage, you can click in the menu "The Facts" and get some quick resources on mental health topics.
• The Half of Us website has similar topic area self-help resources you can pull from. Here's an example of the depression resource and the ways to help manage symptoms.
• The JED main website also has a Mental Health Resource Center which includes some steps to identify warning signs and how/when to seek help.