We’re all likely experiencing some emotional discomfort (or worse!)--given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives. Grief at losing out on experiences, frustration, uncertainty—all are normal reactions at this time. The situation is new and unpredictable! And the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s precautionary change to remote learning represents a major sea-change for us all. So how do we stay emotionally well during these times, when we’re separated from friends and our college “home” ?
Know that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is committed to you: you’re the reason we exist! So we’re working very hard to plan carefully and ensure your studies, growth, and campus connections continue.
Be careful of COVID-19 overload. Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. It’s coming at us from all directions and this can be downright overwhelming. Turn off/stop reading the news. Maybe check in once a day.
Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation. Rumors abound about what’s open, what’s not, what’s closing, and so on. Check out rumors for yourself by going to reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites for up to date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/) for correct information about the virus.
Our emotions reside in our bodies, so take good care of yours!
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule—try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time.
- Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Limit caffeine intake.
- Get some exercise! Going on a run outside can do wonders.
- Spend some time outside, in nature, especially.
- Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, Qigong. Not sure how to do these? YouTube!!
- Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break: knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.
Social connection is really good for us too! Maintain social distance, of course, but stay in touch with friends by phone, text, or video chat. You might even try the old-fashioned art of letter writing! Everyone loves getting mail that’s not a bill!
Maintain a schedule, just as you would if at school. Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control.
Consider keeping a journal about what this experience is like for you. But be sure to end your daily entry with 3 good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up.
Maintain perspective. While this is a HUGE event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important: health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion, and spirituality.
Spend time with your four-legged friends. Some snuggle time with your pets can make a tough day a lot easier.
Take the focus off of yourself by doing something kind for someone else. If you can’t visit in person, call!
Look through the educational resources on the CAPS website. There’s a lot of good info there.
Consider making use on one of the many mental health apps that are available for free and for pay. You might find this link helpful in finding something that speaks to you. https://www.psycom.net/25-best-mental-health-apps
Here are some additional wellness-related apps:
Music and Sounds
Meditation, Breathing and Yoga
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis...
- Go to your local hospital emergency department.
- Use the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Use the crisis text line: 741741
- AFTER-HOURS: Call 402-472-7450 after 5 p.m. and follow the prompts to speak with a counselor who is on call.
Finally, know that we, like you, are monitoring the situation and will adapt to changing circumstances.
Stay well, safe, and healthy!
--Counseling and Psychological Services