C.O.V.I.D. Connect provides resources for coping during COVID-19.
Call it what it is

Notice your difficult experiences and don’t overlook positive ones.  Both are important.  Find balance.

We’ve all experienced a number of emotions including loss, disappointment, fear, worry and anger to name a few. It’s okay sit with your negative emotions a minute. Just try not to get stuck there.

Name all the things you’ve missed or lost because of this pandemic. Jot down a list. Name the emotions attached to it. And then, release your hold on it if possible. Let it go when you can.

These experiences have landed differently based on our life situations, families, identities, circumstances etc. We can simultaneously experience losses and also recognize our own blessings, strengths and perseverance through hard things.

Now might also be a great time practice gratitude. Cultivating more joy and intentionally focusing on the positives is pretty much guaranteed to boost your mood.

Observe your habits

Moderation is key.  Too much or too little of anything interferes with your well-being.

Now might be the time to evaluate our habits. With the change to online learning and many of our healthy routines pre-COVID thrown out the window, maybe we need to take a look at some of the lifestyle changes that have creeped in (or out) from our quarantine times.

Too much alcohol, overeating, napping, vaping, caffeine is never a good thing. A bit of self-soothing is one thing, but anytime we go overboard in one direction it’s not usually so good. So take a moment to interrogate your habits.

Have you stopped working out even though you know it makes you feel good? Or have you swung your pendulum the other way and obsessively workout to control something (anything!!!!) in your life? Be mindful that the happy middle should be the sweet spot we are aiming for.

Set baby goals for yourself if you need to make some small changes.


Vacate

Press pause.  Take intentional breaks from social media, news, studying- all of it.  Make time to reset, reboot, and refresh.

We can easily get overloaded from our exposure from news and social media especially when there is so much bad news in our world. Recognize the impacts that maybe be having on your mood. Learn when to lean in and when to take an intentional break from all of it.

Same with studying and school work. Especially with odd schedules and remote learning, we may blur the lines and not have much of a school routine. Asynchronous learning takes pacing. And synchronous classes require you to show up at your best. Make a schedule, stick to a routine when you can and make sure that you pencil in time to relax!

You can also use your technology to your advantage. Set reminders on your phone, set conscious screen time limits for the apps that suck up the most of your time. Give yourself permission to take a couple of hours day or one day a week where you sign off and detox from all of it!

Identify your self-care needs

Sleep, eat, move, repeat!  Keep it simple but don’t underestimate the benefits of a good night sleep, a healthy dinner, or stretch- preferably all three!

Ask yourself the following questions. And be honest with yourself – otherwise what’s the point?

  • Are you hydrated?
  • Have you eaten something nutritious in the last 3-6 hours?
  • Have you stretched or moved your body lately?
  • Did you sleep for at least 7-8 hours last night?
  • Have you had a shower in the last 24 hours?
  • Have you said something nice or done something for someone else this week?
  • Have you made time to do things you enjoy?
  • Have you spent time in nature in the last 3 days?

If you are answering no to any of these questions, then you know you have a little work to do to up your self-care game.

Is there anything you can attend to right this moment? Can you stop what you’re doing to get yourself a tall glass of water? Or stand up and do two minutes of stretching? When it comes to self-care, sometimes there is no time like the present to make a small change that can make a big difference.

So while you’re crunching on that healthy apple you just grabbed, take some time to think about small goals you can set for yourself to make some needed changes.

  • Ask a question like, How can I get more movement into my life?
  • Make a list of all the ways you can think of. Choose one of those to do and set a time to do it.
  • Write it down!  At 5pm on Mondays and Wednesday I am going to shoot baskets at the Rec.
  • After a week, reflect on the benefits and challenges.
  • Then revise your plan for the next week.
  • Repeat!
  • Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t happen right away. This is just one example of small steps.
  • You could partner up with someone to check in about your small steps.
  • Small steps lead to change!  Start small and go from there.
Do it in alignment with your values and priorities

Remember your “why”.  Focus on your priorities and what you value- do something towards them every day.

Maybe now more than ever we might feel like we are drifting from our bigger why. Sure, you never planned to do online school alone in your dorm room, while social distancing from your friends and hallmates. And it’s possible that wearing a mask all the time is not your idea of fun… but remind yourself why you’re doing all of this in the first place!

What brought you to college in the first place? No really – why? Take two minutes to write down your bigger why. What motivates you? What goal are you striving for? It’s important to step back and stay in touch with the big picture.

And if you’re a bit blurry about “what you want to do with your life” maybe now’s a great time to visit the Career Center to make sure you’re on the right vocational and career path.

And unpack your goals – maybe the elusive “graduation” is a bit far off to cling on to. Make smaller goals to celebrate momentum building “wins”.

What are some of your other priorities and values? When was the last time you volunteered? Created art or music? Binged on your favorite fiction author? Maybe getting in touch with those things and building them into your daily life will help fill your bucket and get you over the next hurdle.

Connect

Check-in with yourself and your people in distant and healthy ways.  Spending time on your own or doing something kind or others could also be nourishing.

Introvert or extrovert, this time of social distancing has for sure taught you something about yourself. Lean into that! Do you need more socializing time than you thought? Are you more comfortable with being alone than you even realized? But even introverts need some connection – don’t isolate, especially if you’re stressed or depressed.

There are many ways to stay connected even while socially distanced. Write a list of all the fun distance ideas you’ve seen over the past many months. (don’t have any? The internet if full of them!) Are there a couple you’d like to try? Maybe start planning your next drive-by birthday party.

Visit You@CSU for more coping resources!