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Coping with Corona Virus Anxiety

The whole world is anxious right now, and justifiably so. For those of us who suffer with anxiety on a regular basis, we may be feeling it on another level, and possibly also feeling like “Hey world, welcome to my life, not too much fun huh?”

Between all of the locked-down businesses and schools, social distancing, handwashing, worrying about our safety and the safety of our loved ones, conspiracy theories, cleaning supply and toilet paper hoarding, it’s hard to come up for air… (Wait, that’s not safe either?!) It’s good to press the reset button when you’re feeling overwhelmed and get a reality check – figure out things you can do right now to keep yourself safe and protect those around you. Step away from social media and check out the CDC and World Health organization websites: corona virus ideas

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
https://www.who.int/

The Coronavirus, and the new world we find ourselves in, checks ALL the boxes for anxiety triggers:  unfamiliar     unpredictable √    stressful     dangerous √ 

If you notice your heart racing, racing thoughts, clenching your jaw or tension in your shoulders, restlessness, fidgeting, inability to focus, sleep trouble – it’s time to act to keep anxiety in √. 

Make a routine for your days - when are you going to work, call / connect with family and friends, do chores, do something fun or pleasurable, take a walk, sleep. Think of things you normally do to make yourself feel good, calm, and have access to right now, and consider exploring new activities or healthy habits you have wanted to try, but never found the time for. Binge-watch Tiger King?  Read that book that’s been on the nightstand for 2 years?  Quilting?  Yoga?  Karaoke?  Competitive pet grooming?  Meditation?  Journaling?  Bubble baths?  Crochet? 10,000 steps a day with your dog? 

Dog wants to go for a walk.When you and your pets / quarantine co-inhabitants start getting on each other’s nerves, or you’ve had enough “quality time”, you can look for safe ways to be helpful in your community – check out:  https://www.volunteermatch.org/covid19 .

You can also donate to local food banks - https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank 

It’s ok to grieve what you’ve lost during this outbreak, no matter how small it might seem compared to the losses of others. The loss of life is heartbreaking, ongoing, and tragic, and many have also lost experiences related to important milestones - such as graduation, birthdays, and weddings. It’s okay to be sad about that. Be compassionate with yourself and others.

Make sure to keep unhealthy coping habits (alcohol, smoking, vaping, political debates) under control. It’s also alright to do NOTHING productive at all for a while. Sit on your porch / stoop and appreciate the nature around you. Lay on your couch and take a nap. Cuddle your dog. Laugh at how ridiculous and wonderful human beings are. Use the downtime to take stock of all you have to be grateful for.