Managing Concerns and Emotions
If you are seeking some immediate information on how to attend to your mental health in the midst of increasing concerns about COVID-19, you can start with the resources below:
- “Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe” (from the American Psychological Association)
- “Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty” (from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
Below are some additional tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your worry, and maintain a positive outlook.
- Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.
- Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
- Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. If your day to day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.
- Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as the Bowdoin’s Health Services, 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 and use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center or the Dean of Students Office. Your campus community is here to help!
- Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together.Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become more less compassionate and more fear-based.