Managing anxiety and stress during COVID-19

By Student Affairs and Services

1. Avoid information overload

Find and use reliable sources of information. Decide how often you will check for updates rather than continually refreshing your feeds. If social media is increasing your anxiety, reduce the amount of time you spend on it; connect with friends and family through other platforms (such as Facetime, Whatsapp, Skype, etc.) and spend more time on activities that will help you de-stress. 

We’ve collected some reliable sources of information here (look for the “additional information” section on the right side). 

2. Practise Coping

Think about how you’ve managed during difficult times in the past and practise coping strategies and habits that could be helpful now. You might also want to try some new ideas; many communities, companies and organizations are offering free resources right now, such as free meditation apps, online fitness classes, videos, courses, virtual chats and more. 

The World Health Organization has some tips.

3. Connect

Social distancing refers to physical distance only. During this time, use phones and online tools to stay connected with people you care about and who care about you. Check in. Share how you are feeling and ask how others are doing. Plan some virtual time to talk about things that aren’t related to COVID-19 too. Many community supports and services are available online or remain open for essential services. 

Check out a list of local resources here.

4. Plan

New information and changes are happening daily and there is a lot that is not within our control right now. Make plans to help you focus on what is within your control. It may be small decisions about how to stay connected with friends or eat healthy, or bigger decisions like how to manage finances or childcare. Making plans can help you feel more in control and remind you of the resources and resilience you have. 

Try a financial plan, a wellness plan, or studying at home plan.

5. Reach out

If your anxiety is starting to impact your ability to sleep, study or interact with others, reaching out for professional support can help. Even a one-time conversation with a mental health professional can help you manage your stress or other emotions. If you’re already connected with mental health support, reach out to them. 

Try the Crisis Text Line or BC Crisis Center or make an appointment with a counsellor at Douglas

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