COVID-19 Resource Guide

What to Expect

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. Some of these may include anxiety or fear about our own health status or the health status of loved ones, concern about our ability to care for others, uncertainty or frustration about the future, loneliness or boredom as a result of isolation, and increase in mental health symptoms. Therefore, it is important we keep the following
in mind:

  • Reduce anxiety by reducing risk.
    • Practicing good hygiene
    • Create a plan in case your regular routine is disrupted, such as setting up remote work and alternative childcare arrangements.
    • Making a plan can help reduce anxiety by taking charge of the
      things you can control.

 

  • Manage your information flow.
    • Getting regular, factual information is important. However, continuously scrolling through social media or constantly refreshing the news is likely to lead to increased anxiety.
    • Pick a few trusted news outlets – such as the state and local
      health authorities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization – and commit to checking once or twice a day for updates.

 

  • Monitor your mental health.
    • Anxiety and fear are normal responses to stressful situations.
    • A typical stress reaction may include: temporary difficulty concentrating; irritability and anger; fatigue; stomach ache; and
      difficulty sleeping.
    • An atypical stress reaction may include: a persistent and/or excessive worry that doesn’t lift and keeps you from carrying out your daily tasks.

 Practice Good Self-Care

  • Virtually reach out to different types of support networks, such as family, friends, colleagues, faith-based communities, and social organizations to strengthen your overall feeling of connection.
    • Isolation and loneliness feed anxiety!

 

  • Find meaningful tasks and roles within your support network that will give you a sense of purpose.
    • Supporting others is beneficial to the supporter as well.

 

  • Find or create spaces that are not focused on COVID-19.
    • Start a social media thread about other topics, ask friends to discuss other topics, or watch your favorite TV or movie.

 

  • Savor small positive moments, amplify positive stories, and stay optimistic.

 

  • Try to cultivate a mental wellness practice, such as writing in a gratitude journal, or talking nightly with your family about moments during the day that were fun or enjoyable.

 

  • Take an opportunity to practice mindfulness when managing anxiety. Mindfulness tools like grounding exercises, sensory modulation, and deep breathing may be helpful.

 

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.

 

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy or
    explore new hobbies.

If you experience significant changes in your energy level, eating patterns, or sleeping patterns, difficulty concentrating on normal tasks, prolonged and overwhelming worry and hopelessness, or thoughts of self-injury or suicide, seek out immediate help at MCAT (315) 732 – 6228.