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Coping with COVID-19

These are stressful days as we respond to COVID-19 and experience many changes and much uncertainty. In the face of these challenges, our hope is that you will cope well and grow stronger.

Feeling stressed or anxious is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you’re feeling and how you may be reacting to any uncertainties or fears about the future. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Even if your in-person contact is limited, maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system. 

Frequent exposure to alarming news fuels anxiety. Seek accurate information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information. In addition, pay attention to positive news instead of focusing on negative, fear-producing reports.

Follow the protection and prevention tips given by medical professionals and then focus on things within your control. Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening. 

If your day-to-day activities have significantly changed, create a new routine, as that will help to provide a sense of calm and normalcy. Engage in activities that provide a sense of meaning or accomplishment: Pull out your crafting supplies, bake that new recipe, read your textbook, exercise, or write notes to people you care about. Engaging in activities that keep your mind occupied and provide you with a sense of accomplishment can help to boost your mood and reduce anxiety.

Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. At Bethel, we value being World Changers and Reconcilers. In times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we live out these values. Be aware of your behavior or attitude change towards others from another country, avoid generalizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus, and examine any irrational or rigid thoughts that can exist when there is uncertainty.

If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others and seek professional help.

BONUS: For tips on wellbeing in this current context, go to Wellbeing at Bethel.