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Emotional Wellness and COVID-19

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Given the spread of COVID-19, the disruption to our daily lives, and extensive coverage on media and social media outlets, we're all likely experiencing some level of emotional discomfort these days.  Grief at losing out on experiences, frustration, uncertainty, fear - these are all normal reactions to the current situation, which is new and unpredictable.  So how do we stay emotionally well during times of uncertainty and change?  Here are some wellness tips adapted from the UTD Student Counseling Center:

Know that UTD is committed to you
You're the reason we exist!  So we're working very hard to plan carefully, respond to new challenges, and ensure your studies, growth, and campus connections continue.

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 can be downright overwhelming.  Consider turning off the news or adjusting your notification settings.  Check in with a reliable news source once a day to make sure you stay up-to-date on developments without becoming overloaded.

Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation
There are widespread rumors about what's open, what's not, what's closing, and so on.  Monitor the UT Dallas dedicated webpage for campus updates: https://www.utdallas.edu/coronavirus/. Check if statements or claims are true by referring to reputable sources, like the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can also visit state and local government websites for up-to-date information about closings.

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.
  • Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Get some exercise!
  • Spend some time outside, in nature, especially.
  • Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, Qigong. Not sure how to do these? Check out YouTube videos to learn.
  • Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break. Examples include knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.
Social connection is really good for us too!
Maintain physical distance, of course, but stay in touch with friends.  There are plenty of apps and ideas out there to help you stay connected with friends both here and abroad (Netflix Party, video chatting apps, etc.).

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

Maintain perspective
While this is a new challenge for all of us, remind yourself of what's good in your life and what's important: health, family and friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion/spirituality, etc.

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