Limit access to social media
It is important to find a healthy balance between staying informed and becoming overly preoccupied with COVID-19. Frequent checking can increase anxiety and create unnecessary feelings of panic. Tips for creating balance include limiting time on social media (e.g.,checking once in the morning) and seeking reputable sources for updates (e.g., AHS website).
Make Self-Care a priority
Eat healthy and regularly, get rest and adequate sleep, exercise, and get sunshine. Go outside for a bit each day, even if it’s just for a walk around the block.
Stay connected with others
Connect with others even if you must do so virtually. Isolation can enhance feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and anxiety. Social support is a huge protective factor for all mental health struggles, including depression and anxiety. Reach out to your supports often and regularly. Share your thoughts and feelings with others; it’s likely they are experiencing many of the same emotions and concerns as you are.
Remember anxiety is a normal response
Anxiety helps to keep us safe. Use your feelings of anxiety in constructive ways such as to fuel connection with others and care for yourself.
Tap into spiritual supports
At times like this, many of us will have existential concerns, such as fear of death, and a feeling that the world is random and beyond one's control. Try connecting to your life’s purpose and sources of meaning, be it spirituality, relationships, or pursuit of a cause.
Create structure and new routines.
Now that your classes have moved to an online format, your regular routine has been disrupted. With so much unpredictability, it helps to know what your day will look like (e.g., when you will study which class and when you will wake up in the morning). Make task lists and set goals for yourself each day.
Engage in activities that bring you joy and a sense of mastery
Be creative with your time now that many of your “go-to” activities have been cancelled, like sporting events and concerts. Perhaps it’s time to dust off the board games, pick up the musical instrument you forgot about, or reread your favorite novel.
Find a healthy outlet for your emotions.
It’s easy to turn to things like drugs or alcohol to numb or escape your feelings. Instead, try connecting with others and engaging in more healthy coping such as mindfulness, journaling, yoga and self-care.
Know you are not alone.
There are many resources available if you feel like you need more support at this time:
- Counselling & Career Services is offering tele-counselling services as an alternative to in-person sessions in the form of Zoom and phone sessions (for those who are ill, quarantined, out of town, or who have recently returned from travel);
- TAO (Therapy Assist Online) https://www.uleth.ca/counselling/therapy-assist-online-tao211
- Alberta - post-secondary students across Alberta can text STUDENT to 211 or visit www.ab.211.ca and click “live chat” anytime 24/7 to reach a live person – a community resource specialist – who will listen and connect them with the most appropriate on-campus and community resources;
- 7 Cups of Tea - support program that offers free, anonymous and confidential online text chats with peers who are trained listeners https://www.7cups.com/p/uleth/Spiritual resources on campus include:
- Spiritual resources on campus include: Chaplain services (M4054, 403-382-0294, email@example.com) and Indigenous Elders (A430, 403-329-2369 firstname.lastname@example.org)