The world is staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
Staying inside for an extended period of time could provide relief and relaxation for some, but it can also be a time of great stress and anxiety for many. The uncertainty and rapid changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic can lead to anxious feelings and stress.
Here are some tips recommended by the Scottsdale Community College Counseling Services Department to help you better navigate the stress and anxiety associated with conceptualizing a pandemic and staying home.
Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage
It can be tough to avoid the surplus of communication coming from television, the government, workplace notifications and social media. It may be helpful to modify your social media news feed and follow only reputable sources of knowledge and unplug from devices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and SCC Counseling Services website offer great information on protecting yourself and how to manage stress and anxiety.
Engage in the healthy activities and habits that reduce stress and increase wellbeing under all circumstances
Prioritize getting a healthy amount of sleep, practice healthy eating habits, avoid alcohol, and exercise regularly.
Add extra time into your daily schedule for stress relief and self-care
There are many things you can do to relieve stress like taking a hot bath or meditating. Identify those habits that help you reduce stress and incorporate them into your daily schedule.
Don’t underestimate human resiliency and a positive attitude
Research shows that people tend to overestimate how badly they’ll be affected by negative events and underestimate how well they’ll cope with and adjust to difficult situations. Be mindful that you are more resilient than you think. Believing that you will have a positive outcome is proven to relieve stress.
If you do have to stay home from work or are quarantined, be sure to create and maintain a routine
Having a routine helps us to better manage and organize our daily activities. Dr. Steve Orma said in the article The Secret Benefits of Routine, “Routine also helps with stress. Create a set schedule for doing chores, work tasks, meetings, exercise, paying bills, and all the usual things you need to do. Put these into your schedule. Once this becomes your normal routine, it’s easier to accomplish everything, because it becomes habit.”
Maintain Communication and Ask Questions
If you are a student, maintain communication with your instructor and stay informed by checking email and Canvas regularly to stay connected. Ask questions if you have them. These changes can be overwhelming and your instructors are here to help you, but they need to know when you need help or information.
Don’t forget to be kind and compassionate to others. This is always important, but especially when times are challenging.
At SCC, we encourage you to think about your mental and emotional health every day. We know life can change abruptly and it can be easy to forget to focus on the things that help us stay balanced. The Counseling Services Department at Scottsdale Community College offers support, resources, counseling sessions and online workshops with a commitment to students, faculty and the community. For more resources and information about maintaining wellbeing or counseling, visit the SCC Counseling Services website or call (480) 423-6524.