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Tips for Managing Stress

News reports about the coronavirus, and the virus becoming more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people anxious. Here are some tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your anxiety, and maintain a positive outlook.

Seek accurate information:

Limit exposure to social media and news reports. Most reliable sources will have daily updates, so try to limit and monitor your own updates to once a day. There is a balance of managing your need for information vs. feeling overwhelmed and anxious by the news.

Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the number of confirmed infections in the U.S. is low. The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents a threat to you or your family. Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.

Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.

Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.

Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals. As listed above and national medical authorities and your own medical doctor.

Stay Healthy. Remember to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hand before and after eating meals. Do not share food or drinks. Always sneeze and cough into your arm or tissue, washing your hands afterwards. Avoid touching your face with your hands. Get the flu shot if you have not. Stay home if you’re sick. Maintain good sleep and self-care practice.

Practice calming rituals: Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.

Don’t make assumptions about others. Avoid making assumptions about anyone who is sick. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community.

Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about campus resources available. If you or someone you know, needs support, contact Counseling Services or the Student Affairs Office. Your campus community is here to help!

Adapted from: University of Indianapolis: Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns, American Psychological Association: Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus and Boston University Helpful Tips to Manage Anxiety.