We are all likely experiencing some emotional discomfort given the spread of Covid-19 and the disruption to our lives. Here are some clues for recognizing anxiety and tips on how to cope with it.

Worry is normal – anxiety isn’t. Here’s how tell if you’re anxious:

  • You struggle to shift your attention to tasks - anxious thoughts consume you.
  • Mild physical tension becomes lingering symptoms like headaches, tightness in your chest or trembling.
  • You have trouble maintaining perspective and can only think of the worst-case scenario,
  • Unlike normal worry, which ebbs and flows, anxiety sticks around. You can’t shake feelings of discomfort.

Stay Connected
Text, message, video chat or talk with family and friends. This is a great time to reconnect with old friends, and they will be delighted to hear from you too! 

Focus on the Positive
Every day write down three things that you are grateful for in your life. Recognizing what you have to be thankful for helps dispel negative emotions.

Moderate Media Exposure
Take a break from news coverage of the virus. It’s good to have information from reliable sources, but you only need to check in once or twice a day to keep informed.

Look After Your Body
Eat nutritious meals, sleep on a normal schedule and do exercise. When your body feels good, you are less anxious. YouTube has numerous home-exercise ideas.

Take Action
Reduce your risk of exposure by practicing good hygiene and maintaining physical distance from others. Knowing you have control over your risks reduces stress. 

Maintain a Routine
Keeping to relatively normal work, sleep and meal schedules keeps you healthy and calm. You can substitute a new hobby for work. This is your opportunity to read those novels you always meant to get around to or start that gardening project.

Talk to a Therapist
If you feel overwhelmed, you can talk to a mental health professional from your home. Many therapists now offer teletherapy sessions and your health insurance may cover the cost.

Students can receive weekly tips and activities to stay emotionally well by emailing Megan Cavanaugh, the Director of Counseling. The Wilson College Counseling Center also offers further assistance via phone or Zoom meetings. Reach out to your assigned therapist or Megan.

Published: April 3, 2020