Mental Health During COVID-19
With the coronavirus outbreak disrupting academics, travel, housing, and daily life, many people are feeling uneasy, anxious, or stressed. We’d like to give you strategies you can use now to help maintain your health and well-being.
Tips and Resources for Students
Seek help when you need it.
If you are experiencing overwhelming anxiety, lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that are impairing your daily functioning, please consult with a trained mental health professional.
Call the Wellness Exchange 24/7 hotline at (212) 443-9999, chat via the Wellness Exchange app (iPhone or Android) anytime, make an appointment, meet with a counselor in a same-day Urgent Counseling session or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stick to the facts.
For the most accurate information about coronavirus, look to official government or health authorities and mainstream news outlets — don’t depend on social media. The NYU COVID-19 hub is the best source for timely, accurate information.
Limit the time you spend looking for updates.
Checking the news and social media constantly for coronavirus updates will just increase your stress and fear. Limit how often you check for internet updates and how long you stay on those pages.
Shift your attention to other meaningful activities.
Replace the time you usually spend on social media with other meaningful activities in life — focus on your academics or self-care activities such as reading an enjoyable book or watching a movie.
Be responsible for your own health.
Take actions that are known to be effective for prevention — wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, eat well to boost your immune system and lower your stress, get enough sleep, and exercise. If you have medical questions or are feeling sick, please contact the Student Health Center at (212) 443-1000.
Accept what you can’t control.
Don’t hold yourself responsible for factors outside of your control, such as travel restrictions. If your plans change due to factors outside of your control, think about how you will safely cope and respond to these new parameters.
Adopt a strength-based perspective.
Reflect on ways you dealt with previous challenges, and think about how you can apply those same skills now.
Start a daily routine.
Having unstructured time may increase feelings of restlessness or anxiety, so consider sticking to a daily routine that helps maintain the mindset of your school schedule. Adjust your sleep to regular hours and spend some time each day reading or engaging in academic subjects that interest you. Don’t forget to schedule time for exercise, eating, relaxing, and talking to friends — these are all part of your routine during the semester.
Stay connected with others.
Seek out ways to have fun with friends or family around you, and make time to call or chat with friends in other places. Share information and feelings with the ones you trust. If you are worried about the health of your friends or classmates, be sure to reach out to them — this will help both of you feel positive and comforted. For professional support, do not hesitate to reach out to the Wellness Exchange 24/7 hotline at (212) 443-9999 or chat via the app.
Use your existing coping skills.
Anxiety is a common and useful human emotion — most of us have a lot of experience with it. Think about what helped you particularly in the past — maybe it was thinking rationally, engaging in positive self- talk, chatting with someone you trust, or eating your favorite food. Try to do more of the things that have proved effective for you personally.
Mindfulness activities such as meditation are proven to be helpful in stressful situations. If you have tried this before, it’s time to resume. NYU has mindfulness resources available — Learn more about MindfulNYU.