FEELING STRESSED? Probably seems like a ridiculous question! Yes, it is normal that we are feeling some fear and anxiety over the outbreak of the coronavirus. And yes, sometimes that fear and anxiety can even be overwhelming.
Here are some things you can do to help reduce your stress level.
First, know that your worries are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. The anxieties we feel about our health and the health of our loved ones are normal. This anxiety can even be a good thing. It motivates us to pay attention and take proper action. That helps assure safety for all.
Second, know that taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help all of us cope with stress. Try to:
- Stay informed BUT be sure to gather information from reliable sources. Don’t rely on everything you see on social media. Use websites like the CDC or sites sponsored by your state government or local health department or hospital.
- Limit the amount of time you spend watching, reading, or listening to news stories. Too much exposure increases anxiety and worry. Give yourself a break.
- Keep your routine as regular as possible. Steady routines give a sense of stability.
- Take care of your physical body by eating well-balanced meals and getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs. You will feel better both physically and mentally.
- Make time for relaxation. Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, pray. Do some things you enjoy. Some activities won’t be possible but try to find ways to unwind. Everyone needs some down time.
- Stay connected with friends and family. While you may not be able to visit in person, take advantage of internet or phone connections. Don’t be afraid to talk about your concerns and how you are feeling. Sharing the facts about COVID-19 will help everyone understand the actual risk. Accurate information helps us all feel less stressed.
Last, but not least, know that the faculty and staff are concerned about you and your welfare. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to a trusted professor or staff member. We want to support you and will do all we can to help.
We will be scheduling some virtual events to give you an opportunity to share and ask questions. Watch your email for more information and dates. You can also contact our counseling service by phone (270.686.4282), email ([email protected]) or here online. Campus Ministry can be contacted by phone (270.686.4319) or email ([email protected]).
DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN?
Remember that children and teens tend to react to what they see from the adults around them. You can best support your children by doing all the things above. Be a good role model. Limit their exposure to news and social media coverage. Take time to talk with your child or teen. Talk about what they see and hear so they too have accurate information. Answer their questions honestly in a way someone their age can understand. Tell them what you are doing to keep all of you safe. Model what they can do to stay safe. Remember that routines are very important for kids. Create a schedule for their learning activities at home as well as fun and relaxation. Help them stay connected with friends and family.
Still want more information? Check out these websites:
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress – “Coronavirus & Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks Response”