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Take care of yourself during these tough times

11 Tips From SMU Counseling Services

Take care of yourself during these tough times

11 tips from SMU Counseling Services

We’re all likely to be experiencing some emotional discomfort, given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives. Grief at losing out on experiences, frustration and uncertainty all are normal reactions. The situation is new and unpredictable!

How do we stay emotionally well during these times?

1. Be careful of COVID-19 overload

Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. It’s coming at us from all directions, and this can be downright overwhelming. Turn off or stop reading the news. Maybe check the news once a day.

2. Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation.

Rumors abound about what’s open, what’s not, what’s closing and so on. Check out rumors for yourself by going to reputable sources like state and local government sites for up-to-date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for correct information about the virus. Check SMU’s website for its latest information.

3. Our emotions reside in our bodies, so take good care of yours!

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule – try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time as you usually do.
  • Work toward maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga or qi gong. Not sure how to do these? YouTube!
  • Try taking up an activity that requires the use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break – knitting, art, playing an instrument.
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4. Social connection is really good for us, too!

Maintain social distance, of course, but stay in touch with friends. You might even try the old-fashioned art of letter-writing!

5. Maintain a schedule, just as you would if you were at school.

Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control.

6. Consider keeping a journal about what this experience is like for you.

But be sure to end your daily entry with three good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up.

7. Maintain perspective.

While this is a HUGE event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important – health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion and spirituality.

9. Take the focus off of yourself – do something kind for someone else.

If you can’t visit in person, call!

10. Access WellTrack.

WellTrack is a free app available to all SMU students with a valid SMU email address. It allows you to track your mood and suggests activities that will assist you in dealing with whatever situation might be present.

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11. Download one of these mental-health apps.

Some are free and some are not. This article may help you find the best app for you.