At CAPS, we wanted to send you a note to let you know we are thinking of you during this unique and challenging time. We acknowledge that your world has likely been turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that many students are now taking on additional responsibilities such as taking care of family members, feeling lonely and isolated due to physical distancing, feeling overwhelmed about finances/job loss/other losses, feeling stressed about the transition to distance learning, and may be living in toxic or unsafe environments. We wanted to provide you with some resources that we hope may help to address some of your concerns.
Virtual Care Package- Coping with COVID-19
Concerned about your grades, scholarships or have other academic/financial aid questions? Here are some campus resources that may be able to assist you in finding the answers you’re looking for:
Mental Health Resources
According to a new survey by Active Minds on COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health, one-in-five say their mental health has significantly worsened under COVID-19. Also of note, more than half of students say they would not know where to go if they or someone they knew needed professional mental health services right away. We want to make it easier for you to locate mental health services for you and your loved ones.
Mental Health Apps and Websites:
Additional Self-Help Thoughts:
Borrowed from Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Manual
During a global pandemic, and honestly at most other times in our lives, things can be truly difficult to accept. We may not want to accept things that are out of our control, we may want to over-control, or go completely out of control. DBT uses acronyms (a lot) to help give us easy ways to remember ways to tolerate distress, regulate our emotions, and radically accept what is happening to us, while doing what we can.
"A" is for Activities. Find activities you can engage in, rather than focusing on all the things we are missing out on due to the pandemic. Maybe you could try a new hobby (knitting is so hot right now) or go for a walk, jog or bike ride (maintaining physical distance of course). Activities can be as simple as reading a book or listening to music or they can be as extra as what this family did.
"C" i" is for Contributing. If you’re experiencing feelings of guilt, are overwhelmed or feel a lack of control, you might be feeling a bit helpless. Helplessness can lead to feeling pretty depressed pretty fast. One way to combat helplessness is contributing to your community in some way. Maybe you could give a person experiencing homelessness some spare change. Maybe you could volunteer at a local food bank. Maybe you could join the heroes who are making masks for the heroes on the front lines. There are many ways to contribute and they almost always make us feel better.
"C" is for Comparisons. Comparisons can give us perspective and allow us to look at the “big picture.” While our lives have drastically changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, we can use comparisons to think about other difficult times we’ve weathered and how we have come through these tough times, grown personally, and learned something from the challenges. We can also remember those who have it worse than we do and practice gratitude and acceptance of our own personal experience.
"E" is for Emotions. During the pandemic, your emotions may be all over the place. One moment you may feel angry that things have changed, the next disappointed about the things you’re missing out on, the next afraid of you or your family members getting sick, and the next grateful for the opportunity to slow down. Whatever you’re feeling is valid! Take time to name your emotions, accept them, validate yourself, and sit with them rather than trying to fight your emotional experience. Emotions are simply information, data, not good or bad. What are your emotions trying to tell you right now about what you might need?
"P" is for Push Away. One of my personal favorites, pushing away means taking a time out from whatever is bothering you. Fighting with your roommates, parents or partner? Push away by asking for some time to gather your thoughts, calm yourself down and then return to the conversation. Having negative or worry thoughts? Push them away for a bit by distracting yourself or going for a walk, then return to them when you’re feeling more able to cope. Pushing away is different from avoidance in that the idea is to return to whatever was feeling overwhelming once you are in a more calm, centered, relaxed and grounded state.
"T" is for Thoughts. Let’s try an experiment. Grab your favorite writing utensil and some paper. Close your eyes, take a few slow deep breaths, and notice what thoughts are coming up for you. Write down the thoughts that come to mind. Set that aside for a few minutes while you do an activity, go for a walk, etc. Come back to your thoughts and ask yourself some questions. Do my thoughts make sense? Are they rational? Are they extreme? Can you challenge your thoughts and come up with alternative, more balanced thoughts?
"S" is for Sensations. Sensations can help to awaken your mind and bring you back to the here-and-now. During this pandemic, you may find yourself yearning for times of the past or worried about what the future holds. Bringing your awareness to the present moment can bring some relief from overwhelming feelings. When feeling especially distressed or upset, try holding an ice cube, splashing cold water on your face, listening to loud music, creating art with bold colors, or eating something with a strong taste or smell (sweet, spicy, bitter, sour). Engage all your senses in a mindful, brisk walk.
If you would like access to additional self-help resources, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.