Right now you’re probably feeling a lot of things—frustrated, frightened, unsure. So what can you do?
They’ll come and go, crest and fall, like waves. They can feel really intense, but remember that there are also times that you’ve felt different. Know that this won't last forever.
OK, so you can’t meet friends or go out for brunch —but you can call, text, FaceTime, email, Zoom, WhatsApp... you get the picture. Try to make contact with at least one other human being every day.
Try enjoyable, absorbing activities (coloring books, knitting, drawing, doodling, playing Animal Crossing, spending time on social media). Try distracting yourself with sensations: take a hot or cold shower or watch a YouTube video of a place where you'd love to travel.
Smooth some scented lotion on your skin, and really feel the lotion on your hands and on your arms and legs. Breathe deeply and appreciate the smell. Make yourself some peppermint tea. Breathe in the fragrance and feel the warmth of the cup between your hands. Lie in bed and listen to soothing music. In the moment, be completely mindful of those sensations, and let any worries that pop up float out of your consciousness like clouds.
If you’re feeling well enough, get some movement into your day. Put on some music and dance or get your calm on with some yoga. You can choose a workout that matches your energy level or choose one to alter it (energizing if you’re feeling blah, relaxing if you’re tense). Shoot for 30 minutes a day.
Avoid distractions and soothing strategies that can ultimately make emotions harder to regulate! Staying up late (up all night on Insta?), too much caffeine or alcohol can all set the stage for moodiness and increased anxiety—even if they seem to help in the moment.
When so much feels uncertain, having some structure can help hold things together. As much as you can, try to stick to a given sleep and wake time, meal times and times for things like movement, meditation, studying and connecting with loved ones.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out—to friends and family, to your advisor, or students may call Counseling Services, who are available to talk you through the stresses of quarantine, classes and COVID. Employees may contact Health Advocate at https://members.healthadvocate.com/Home or (866) 799-2728.