This article has been adapted from SAMSHA’s Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During An Infectious Outbreak
These are unprecedented times for everyone, so it’s understandable to be struggling with some stressful feelings. You might have anxiety, worry or fear related to many things, including your own health and that of your loved ones, being isolated for long periods of time, maintaining financial stability, securing groceries and other necessities, and the uncertainty of how long this is going to last before life can return to normal.
Regardless of pre-existing struggles with anxiety or depression, this experience is likely going to be tough for many of us. Here are some tips to increase resilience during the process of social distancing.
Understand the Risk
As easy as it might be to disregard it as a virus over-hyped by the media, COVID-19 is a legitimate threat to the community. So much so, in fact, that UGA has moved to online learning for the remainder of the semester, Athens-Clarke County has issued an order to shelter in place, and everyone in the state of Georgia is strongly encouraged practice social distancing by not gathering in groups and keeping six feet of physical space between yourself and other people. It is important to recognize that these policies were created for our own safety.
It is also very important to be careful of where you get your information. These are great credible sources about COVID-19:
Watching the news can be helpful, but there is no need to check for updates 24/7 – that can be overwhelming.
Be Your Own Advocate
Make sure you have everything you need, including groceries, medication, and toiletries. If you are worried about going out for shopping, check with your local community to see if there are delivery options. It is also important to buy only what you think you need. Panic buying will only increase anxiety for everyone, and there is no indication that the country has a nationwide shortage of food or toiletries.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Having the answers can often ease stress. If you cannot find the answer online, the Health Center staff is here to help with more specific questions. For non-emergencies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply to you as soon as possible.
Work With Your Employer to Reduce Financial Stress
Many students work part-time in addition to attending school, so there can be added stress in losing that source of income for students working both on and off campus. If you are struggling financially, check with your housing, utility, internet, phone and other providers to inquire about payment options if needed.
Connect With Others
Contrary to the name itself, social distancing does not mean you have to feel alone! There are many ways to stay connected, even at a distance:
- Connect with people on social media
- Search the app store for a new video chat option (i.e. Houseparty)
- Have online movie nights with friends – (Have Netflix? Check out this Chrome extension)
- Host a virtual brunch
- Start an online club or blog
Talk To Your Doctor
Even though the Health Center is only open for emergency in-person appointments, your UHC primary care team is still here to help! If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com and provide your clinic information.
Use Practical Ways to Cope and Relax
Check out these great resources for self-care and stress relief provided by CAPS.
There is so much going on in the world that is unknown. This ambiguity can foster fear, a sense of helplessness, and a lower mood. Please know that you are not alone. We are all in this together. It is important for you to be aware of what’s happening, how it is affecting you, and actions you can take to fight against negative thoughts and emotions. Be aware, educated, and connected…this can even happen from a safe social distance. 😊
Do not hesitate to REACH OUT! Use your friends, family, and other supportive connections.
CAPS is here to help! We are available by phone during regular business hours at 706-542-2273 and after business hours by calling UGA PD at 706-542-2200; simply request to speak with a CAPS on-call clinician.
Written by: UHC Communications