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Staying Well in Uncertain Times

Spring 2020 will be a semester none of us will ever forget. If you are feeling stressed and anxious about the COVID-19 outbreak, you are not alone – many students are experiencing higher than normal stress and anxiety levels right now. However, there are things you can do and people you can talk with in order to help mitigate those feelings. 

Below are a few things you can do to manage your mental health and wellbeing during this time. 

  • Take care of your body. The good news is the weather is getting nicer. Get outside and take a walk or go for a jog. Do yoga. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours per night). These things will boost your immunity as well as your resilience. 
  • Consider relaxation techniques. Mindful practices can reduce symptoms related to anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia and stress. The OSU Wexner Medical Center provides Online Mindfulness Practices.
  • Practice physical distancing, but stay social. For many of us, it’s very difficult to not be with our friends and family. While we can’t give them hugs right now, we CAN stay in touch thanks to technology. Schedule group chats via zoom, google hangouts, or even facebook messenger. Call your loved ones. Connect with a friend you haven’t spoken to in years. Now more than ever, it’s important to maintain relationships. 
  • Practice positive affirmations. I watched a webinar recently and loved this suggestion. Write down 2-3 positive affirmations on a sticky note, and put somewhere you will see daily. I put mine on my bathroom mirror. Things such as: “This will not last forever”,  “I am calm”, “I am healthy and strong.” Repeat these words 10 times in the morning and 10 times before bed.  
  • Set boundaries for social media. While it’s important to stay informed, set limits: know the facts but avoid all-or-nothing or catastrophic thinking.
  • Breathe deeply. See JustBreathe for tips on how to relieve stress through slow, deep breathing. Take five slow, deep breaths right now and feel yourself calm down. 

Although you are not on campus, please know that you still have access to many Ohio State resources for mental health and wellbeing.  

Resources at OSU: 

  • Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Services: This office is available to meet with students remotely during this challenging time. They are offering free and confidential one-on-one appointments and virtual workshops on self-care and managing mental health. 
  • Ohio State Wellness app: This app provides a streamlined way for students to navigate the range of resources available across the university and in the community, helping you or someone you care about access the support they need. The app is available for download on iOS devices on the App Store or for Android devices on Google Play.
  • Student Wellness Center: The following appointment types will be available virtually via CarmenZoom: BASICS/CASICS, Diversion, Financial Coaching, Nutrition Coaching, Student Civility, and Wellness Coaching.
  • Financial wellness supported by Together as Buckeyes: An emergency grant program for undergraduates, graduates, and professional students. Financial support varies based on individual student circumstances.

Remember, we are all in this together. Take care of yourself, and reach out if you need help. 

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” ― Gregory S. Williams

Categories: Miscellaneous

About the author

Katy Arenschield

Katy Arenschield is the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager.