Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world. It can be easy to feel anxious or panicked when thinking about the future or what may happen due to COVID19. There are still campus resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services available to students, so reach out if you or a friend is in need.
There are other ways to reduce stress and anxiety during the next few weeks that you can practice at home! Here are a few tips:
- Let go of things that you can’t control
You can’t control whether or not other people follow government guidelines or if they buy Walmart out of rice and pasta. But, you can control your own actions and how you act in this situation, so try to focus on that.
2. Prioritize your physical health
As always, it is crucial to take care of your physical body as well as your mental health. Practicing good self care such as eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, and staying hydrated are more important than ever.
3. Connect with others
Even though we are practicing social distancing, we can still connect with our friends and families in other ways. Take 10 minutes to call a relative you haven’t seen in a while, play Words with Friends with your grandma, or game with the bros online.
4. Avoid excessive caffeine intake or turning to other substances to cope
Sometimes when people are anxious, they may turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with the situation. Instead, focus on relaxing activities that are lower risk and more effective at easing anxiety such as yoga, painting, meditating, reading, etc. Also, be mindful of your caffeine intake. While a small-moderate amount of caffeine can boost your mood and increase focus, excess caffeine can actually make us feel anxious, jittery, and can interfere with sleep
5. Get the facts
There are some great factual resources out there to get information and updates. A few sites include:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int
Montana State University: https://www.montana.edu/health/coronavirus/index.html
6. Set boundaries
With all of this extra free time, it can be easy to get caught up scrolling through social media or panicking at the latest news article. Don’t feel the need to read the newest news articles about Co-vid 19 as soon as you get the notification. A helpful skill to combat this is to set boundaries and time limits with social media and technology. By limiting the time you spend looking at possible anxiety inducing material, you can limit stressful feelings too!
7. Practice relaxing activities, use mindful meditation, or other hobbies
Need ideas of ways to use your free time? Want some tips on activities that can help reduce stress and anxiety? Check out this post: https://oha.health.blog/2020/04/01/10-ways-to-pass-the-time-besides-a-home-workout/
Here is another great article on how to practice mindfulness everyday: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/mindfulness-exercises?utm_source=The+Daily+Good&utm_campaign=d9e7ec2e99-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_03_19_10_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfbed2f865-d9e7ec2e99-146602037
Important: If you or a peer are in need of mental health support, Counseling Services and Psychological Services is still open and serving MSU students, with emphasis on providing tele-mental health services during this time. Visit their website for additional resources at https://www.montana.edu/counseling/ or call their office to make an appointment (406) 994-4531. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance click here: http://www.montana.edu/suicide-prevention/index.html
Check out other current event posts here: https://oha.health.blog/category/current-events/
Image Credit: MSU Counseling and Psychological Services