Each person has a different reaction to unpredictable circumstances and stressful situations. The effects of COVID-19 is a perfect example.

Some are reacting by rejecting to comprehend that the virus is real and dangerous, which ends up being a common scapegoat method to ignore the consequences of our actions.

Others may react through fear and constant worry for their own health and for those they care about causing an increase in stress levels.

Our unprecedented situation leads many to remind themselves of the things we do not currently have. You have the right to be upset about graduation, missing your friends, adjusting to your academics going online, etc.

According to an article by Heathline, Patricia Thornton, PhD, a licensed psychologist in New York City, “advises to only allow yourself 15 minutes of anger per day, and then move on.”

Thornton continued by stating, “Don’t think of it as doomsday. Look at it as finding a new normal. Ask yourself, ‘How do I want to live my life right now with these constraints?’ And limit talking to family if they are getting worked up. Say, ‘We’ll talk about it for 15 minutes and then [move on].'”

Digging yourself into a hole is not an effective method to care for your mental health. Unfortunately, many counseling and therapy centers have either gone online or closed, which has already begun to impact those who are in treatment or need to be.

Instead of placing extra stress on your body and mind, try these following coping skills.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to only search for updates only once or twice a day because a paranoid hunt for new information will lead to increased stress and fear.

Also, when obtaining new information, look at credible sources such as the WHO website and refrain from blindly believing rumors. Facts above rumors!

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking “deep breaths, stretch, meditate…eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.”

Even in a small apartment or bedroom, you can prioritize time for exercise. If that means doing a five-minute ab workout on your bed, so be it!

Many of us students are finding that our minds are constantly questioning whether classwork is mandatory and are not motivated. Especially for me, transitioning home to only a bed, no desk, and noise from family, it has been difficult to complete homework assignments and stay on track.

Being home feels like spring break never ended. However, the best way to not fail your online classes is to stick to a schedule.

An effective daily routine includes designated time for homework for each class. Yes, this means get out that planner that you have not been using and map out all your assignments in advance.

Do not hesitate to include activities such as working out, reading a book, watching a movie, showering, and reaching out to friends and family into your routine.

We are social beings, so complete isolation, even for introverts, may not be healthy. Even socializing with your pet helps your mental health.

Call or video chat old friends and family! Also, if you have not heard of Zoom, you are living under a rock. Try it!

Netflix party allows you to watch your favorite television shows and movies at the same time with your friends while maintaining distance. Personally, watching childhood movies or television shows has dramatically reduced my stress.

Please take care of yourself now and share this information with others who may be in the same boat as you.