Dear Campus Community -
We recognize that the recent changes in campus operations, along with media coverage of Covid-19, can be overwhelming. The Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center staff encourages you to remain calm, support one another, and reach out for support as needed. Below is a link from the American Psychological Association, highlighting ways to digest the extensive media coverage.
Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, and the Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that they have teamed up to offer free meditation and mindfulness content for all New Yorkers as a mental health resource for residents coping with the unprecedented public health crisis facing the state and the nation. New Yorkers across the state can access a specially curated collection of science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home mindful workouts, sleep and kids content to help address rising stress and anxiety. Available at www.headspace.com/ny.
FREE ONLINE COURSE
This free online course offered through Yale is called "The Science of Well-Being" and focuses on learning about and putting into practice the science of happiness, including meditation and gratitude.
MANAGING CONCERNS AND EMOTIONS ABOUT COVID-19
News reports about the coronavirus, together with concerns that the virus could become more widespread, is raising a number of concerns and making some people worry. Learn more about taking care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty here.
Take a look at the corona virus anxiety workbook for tips on how to build resilience during difficult times.
Here are some additional tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your worry, and maintain a positive outlook.
- Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on what the situation actually is, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.
- Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.
- Re-create your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected with others. 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 worry. Attempt to create structure in your day by: scheduling a normal wake up and bedtime; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family
- Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as the Wicker Wellness Health Services, national medical authorities, and your own medical doctor.
- 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.
- Seek supports & use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about on-campus and off-campus resources that are available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center or the Dean of Students Office. Your campus community is here to help!
- Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another at all times as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change towards others from another country, and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become less compassionate and more fear-based.
RECOGNIZING DISTRESS - A SELF-CHECK LIST
- Increased worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
- Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
- Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
- Sleep difficulties
- Excessive crying
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
- Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
- A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
- Sudden anger or irritability, or noticeable changes in personality
It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainty and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support, and engage in your usual healthy coping strategies (e.g. moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation, or other mindfulness activities; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc.). Check out how to understand grief you may be experiencing during this time.
If your distress continues or gets to the point that you are having difficulty managing your day-to-day activities, then seek professional help. The Counseling Center is continuing to offer therapy sessions to all students who remain in New York State and can assist in referrals for students out of state. To make an appointment, call (518) 388-6161. Additionally, NYS has a hotline for those in distress to connect with a mental health volunteer.
Free Guide To Living With Worry And Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty
International Association for Suicide Prevention
National Database of Psychotherapists & Psychiatrists in China who can provide services both in person and on-line.
Free psychological support provided by Beijing Normal University
*Adapted from University of Massachusetts at Amherst with permission.