“How to Practice Self-Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic” from Everyday Health
These self-care tips are designed to help you relieve stress, sleep better, and feel more resilient at this difficult time.
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For Students: Self-Care & Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge changes and challenges in all our lives. California Community College campuses are closed. Your classes might be canceled or moving online, and you may have plans for completing your course of study or transferring that were disrupted. You may have lost your job; if you’re still employed, you might be worried about your safety at work. You’re probably worried for the health of your loved ones or yourself.
All of these are understandably stressful, and it’s totally normal to feel sad, anxious, frightened, angry, or whatever other emotions you’re experiencing right now. The stress of the pandemic makes it extra important to practice self-care, and the tips and resources below can help you with this.
- Don’t underestimate your own resilience. People often overestimate how much negative events will impact their lives, and underestimate how well they can cope (source: 7 Science-Based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety). Just to get where you are today, you’ve probably overcome many difficult situations that seemed insurmountable at the time. Have confidence in your ability to get through this.
- Keep to your routines as much as possible. When we’re stressed, it’s easy to fall out of our regular routines and develop less-healthy habits, like staying up late or streaming Netflix all day. Think about your normal routine, and hold yourself to it if you can. For example, wake up and go to bed around the same time, swap your gym routine for at-home workouts, and keep up your study schedule.
- Try to create a new healthy habit for yourself. For example, if you’ve been meaning to start exercising or doing yoga, now might be the right time to create a new habit that will get your endorphins flowing. There are tons of workout videos online, and many companies are offering free resources right now – visit this Good Housekeeping article for a list of lots of great options.
- Stay informed, but monitor your media intake. It’s important to keep up-to-date about health and safety news. But constantly consuming media can make us feel more anxious, less in control, and less safe. Try limiting your media intake to certain times during the day (e.g., after breakfast), a specific length of time (e.g., 30 minutes twice a day), or certain days (e.g., weekdays only).
- Seek support and stay social. Maybe now more than ever, it’s important to take care of our social wellness, even as we practice physical distancing. Call, FaceTime, or Snapchat a friend or family member every day. Start a group text or Google Hangout with your study partners. Message your friends on Facebook instead of just scrolling through your feed.
- Adopt mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Practicing meditation, deep breathing, and being present can help with worries and anxiety. Find free meditation and mindfulness resources at Calm.com, Headspace, and Ten Percent Happier.
- Get out without leaving your house. Visit a museum, go to a zoo or aquarium, attend a concert, visit a national park – virtually.
- Look for meaning in your life. We all have something that gives us meaning, fulfillment, and purpose in our lives. It might be creating art or music, connecting with our religious or spiritual practices [Wellness Central link], caring for our families, giving back to our community, or something else. Use this time to reflect on what makes life meaningful for you, and find ways to connect with your purpose.
- Maintain your Financial Wellness [Wellness Central link]. If you are struggling financially, there are resources that can help you. You may be able to file for unemployment if you were laid off because of COVID-19. You may be able to apply for CalFresh and/or get groceries through your campus or local food pantry. Find many tips in the Surviving COVID-19: A #RealCollege Guide for Students.
- Access professional help if you need it. If you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness or anxiety, are harming or at risk of harming yourself, or feel that you can’t cope with what you’re experiencing, there are mental health services that can help. Many colleges offer remote counseling services or referral to outside mental health providers. Call your health insurance company or visit their website to find clinicians who are in your network. If you’re experiencing immediate crisis, call 911, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), or text “COURAGE” to 741741 (Crisis Text Line).
Emotional Wellness+ COVID-19 Resources for Students from California Community Colleges Health & Wellness
A College Student’s 7 Tips for Transitioning to Online Classes from Mental Health America
Love Is Louder Action Center a project of The JED Foundation