Please help improve the page. If you are comfortable editing, make the changes directly on the page or on the "Discuss" tab. You can also click here to make suggestions and drop links on a GoogleDoc that we will review and use to add more material.
The following tips can make you feel better and reduce your anxiety:
Exercise. Engage in at home-workouts or go for a 30-minute walk outside. Remember, you can still go outside, just take precaution and maintain a safe distance from others. Getting fresh air is important; it can help clear your mind and refresh you. Additionally, seeing others from your neighborhood can reduce your feelings of loneliness.
Eat healthy. Learn how to make new and healthy recipes with ingredients you already own; be creative and have fun with your creations.
Get enough sleep. Getting 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal; waking up well-rested and refreshed can set you up for a good day.
Pick up new hobbies. Reading books you are interested in, learning how to crochet, or baking treats can help occupy your time and allow your mind to relax and focus on these activities.
Journal. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a notebook can help you relieve your stress. Additionally, it may allow you to identify stress-inducing triggers as well as positive coping methods.
Help others. Check up on the people in your life and offer them reassurance and support. Volunteering and supporting others can increase your own resilience during stressful times.
Video-chat with friends and family. Just because you may be advised to practice social distancing does not mean you have to socially isolate yourself. Texting or video-chatting with your friends and loved ones is a great way to stay connected, share moments together, laugh, and improve your mood. Maintaining personal relationships is extremely important.
Limit your media exposure to COVID-19. Constantly scrolling and reading material from unreliable sources can heighten your anxiety and put you in a state of panic. Setting limits on how much time you spend watching the news of reading new articles can decrease feelings of being overwhelmed. More time spent on social media and viewing more traditional media sources during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with mental distress. Remember to take breaks from media coverage to clear your mind and maintain your mental well-being.
Celebrate successes and take pride in completing tasks, even if it's as small as completing a household chore or organizing your closet.
Mindfulness is a technique that can help reduce stress during difficult times. By grounding yourself in the present moment and focusing on your breathing and senses, your stress may dissipate and you may begin to feel at ease. Engaging in mindfulness practices can improve emotion regulation, well-being, and focus, as well as decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mindfulness Approach, Practices, Apps, and Videos
Practicing mindfulness involves directing awareness to what’s happening in the present. The events in your body (breath, heartbeat, pain sensations) and in your mind (thoughts, memories, ideas) can be noticed in the same way that we notice and pay attention to things outside of our bodies like sounds and sights. In being mindful of these events, all you need to do is notice them non-judgmentally. When the mind wanders into thinking about the past and planning for or worrying about the future (which it does all the time), notice what pulled your attention away and gently return to maintaining awareness of your breath or another grounding object of awareness.
Jon Kabat-Zinn identified 7 attitudes that are the pillars of mindfulness practice:
Netflix Party is a way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Videos are synchronized, allowing you and your buddies to watch the same things at the same time. Netflix Party is free, but only available on Chrome computer browsers.
COVID-19 can be incredibly difficult for high school and college students, as the loss of routine, time with friends, and being in the home for extended periods of time is tough. Click the dropdown menu to learn more.
Create a daily routine. Outlining a schedule to follow everyday can increase productivity and motivation. For example: outline times to wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, attend class online, eat lunch, do homework and study, eat dinner, relax, and go to bed.
Set aside certain hours for work. Dedicating specific times of the day to work and study can help you maintain a routine and good flow of things, which can allow you to get more work done without being distracted.
Dedicate a certain space for the sole purpose of doing work. Whether it's a desk or room, find a place where you can sit down and get your work done. Try to only keep these spaces as work areas. If you need a break or are itching to go on your phone, go to a separate place. Over time, your mind will make the association between the designated work space and the rest of the house such that whenever you sit down to work at that area, you will be efficient and get things done and be less tempted to mind-wander.
Take breaks. Staring at a computer screen or doing coursework for multiple hours of the day can be exhausting and strain your eyes. Remember that it is highly important to take breaks throughout the day. Take time to snack, brew up coffee, walk, stretch, or call your friends. Once you are feeling more energized and motivated, continue with your work. In between classes or online meetings, try to walk for a few minutes outside to replicate the physical activity you would normally get from class transitions.
Communicate with those who are living with you. If you know you will need to have a quiet space for certain hours of the day (e.g. you have an online class or you need to study for an upcoming test), politely inform whoever is living in your home. You can text them, talk to them, or leave a note on your door indicating the times where you'll need them to be quiet.
Find a friend to study with. Keeping in contact with friends and doing work together can be beneficial and help motivate you. If you and your friend are in the same class, talk to them and set up a few hours where you both are free to study or do homework at the same time. Another tip is to text your friend a list of things you need to do for the day. Doing this can hold you accountable and make you extra motivated to complete your work. Additionally, you and your friend can text each other throughout the day to check up on one another and see how much you each have gotten done. Knowing that others are also working can help you maintain your focus.
Spring testing dates for standardized graduate school application tests have been cancelled. GRE is now allowing at home test taking until September 30th. Check the GRE,MCAT,LSAT, and GMAT websites for updates.
Sit and talk to your child about COVID-19. Explain to them what it is in ways they can understand and discuss the impacts it has had on your family and lifestyle. Additionally, listen to your child and any concerns they may have. Much of the anxiety about our present situation with COVID-19 comes from uncertainty and misconceptions about the virus. Children and adolescents are being bombarded by frightening images in the media and misinformation from peers and the internet about the lethality of this disease. For example, many young people mistakenly believe that the unprecedented measures being taken mean that if they contract the virus they will die. Instead, it could be helpful to explain to your child that the primary purpose of social distancing is to protect vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and/or those with underlying medical conditions. See this comic that explains coronavirus and how to handle these strange, uncertain times in kid-friendly terms. You may also find it helpful to read this article from PBS about how to talk to kids about coronavirus. Share accurate health information about COVID-19. As noted above, it is important to consult reliable sources of information when informing loved ones of the situation and any developments over time. It might be helpful to identify a small number of trusted sources to obtain the most current health information, such as the CDC, the WHO, the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, and this helpful parents’ guide from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. In addition, consider limiting the amount of time that you and your family are spending consuming news and social media each day. It is far better for your household’s anxiety and overall well-being to “unplug” and devote the majority of time engaging in valued activities and self-care. Information adapted from this source.
Focus on prevention. Teach your child important preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and maintaining distance from others.
Provide a sense of safety and comfort. Educate your child about what is going on, but reassure them that everything will be okay and that you'll get through it together. Let them know it is okay for them to come to you if they are feeling sad, worried, or anxious.
Give your child tips on how to deal with stress. Share your own coping methods or adapt them to the things they may be experiencing.
Limit your child's exposure to media coverage. Excessive exposure to COVID-19 news through the radio, television stations, and social media can scare children. They may not fully understand what is going on and they may misinterpret information they hear and become frightened. Provide them with accurate information and make sure they understand the real facts.
Create and maintain routines. Schedule set wake-up times, meal times, learning times (if school is closed), leisure/relaxing times, and bedtimes to follow daily. Sticking to a routine can ease, ground, and comfort your child. For younger kids, consider implementing a reward system to motivate them to stick to these routines.
Reward maintained routines Consider implementing a reward system for younger kids to help them stick with their new routine(s) and praise them whenever possible when they are doing the right thing. Information adapted from this source.
Maintain house rules During times of stress, parents sometimes relax typical expectations for their kids’ behavior and skip following through on natural consequences or rewards. Continue to enforce limits as much as possible. This will help kids feel a sense of normalcy. At the same time, recognize that stress and worry sometimes results in unusual behavior and acting out. Children often express anxiety in different ways (e.g., body aches, irritability), so it is important to notice these changes and talk to your kids about the feelings underlying their behavior. Information adapted from this source.
Be a role model. Making sure you eat healthy, get a proper amount of sleep, and find a balance between work and family time can set a good example for your child to follow.
Set up times for your child to call or video chat with family members or friends. This can connect them to others and make them feel less alone. Friends can be a good outlet for kids and adolescents to express their true feelings and receive support.
The independent national nonprofit organization, Child Mind Institute, is dedicated to transforming mental health care for children and families everywhere while empowering parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Besides their articles, which are a great resource for guidelines and resources on understanding children struggling with mental and learning disorders, Child Mind Institute's channel on YouTube has a playlist of videos from professionals like clinical psychologists and social workers on parenting during coronavirus, advice for managing stress, sleep, schedules, and home during the pandemic and more.
You can find the Child Mind Institutes' corona virus videos here.
This is a compilation of resources to help mental health professionals adapt their work methods, learn more about issues related to coronavirus, and resource to provide additional support to clients.
Info for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health. UN Policy Brief, 13 May 2020. 17 pages including an Executive Summary. “Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and centre of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.” (opening paragraph in the Executive Summary)
Coronavirus Response Tool Box includes resources drawn from authoritative sources (such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), tools for taking action from the Community Tool Box, and examples of communities taking action.
The main way COVID-19 spreads is through direct contact with someone who has the virus. Droplets from someone who has coronavirus (through coughing or sneezing) can enter your system and infect you. The best way to prevent yourself from getting the virus is to avoid coming into contact with those who have it.
As of March 2021, COVID-19 vaccines have been developed by several pharmaceutical companies and are being distributed to the general population, starting with at-risk individuals and essential workers.
For American residents, consult your state Department of Public Health to receive updated information on who can get vaccinated and how to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. The Wall Street Journal maintains a list of state-by-state information on COVID-19 vaccination guidelines.
As of April 2021, all Americans above the age of 16 are eligible to receive a vaccine against COVID-19
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is a free hotline operating 10am-6pm EST that provides information, resources, and referrals to those who need mental health services. Please call 800-950-NAMI or 800-950-6264.
The Trevor Project offers 24/7 support for LGBTQ+ youth who are feeling suicidal or need a safe place to talk. Please call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 to speak to a trained counselor or text START to 678678 to text with a trained specialist.
↑Brown, S. L., & Okun, M. A. (2014). Using the caregiver system model to explain the resilience-related benefits older adults derive from volunteering. In M. Kent, M. C. Davis, & J. W. Reich (Eds.), The resilience handbook: Approaches to stress and trauma. (pp. 169–182). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.