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COVID-19 & Mental Health

Managing fear and anxiety around covid-19

As more information becomes available about COVID-19, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and emotions. Many people have experienced feelings of stress and anxiety as a result of the spread of the illness and the uncertainty of our current environment. Here is some information we hope you find helpful.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, however there are some common reactions you may experience:

  • Fear and anxiety about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Feeling depressed or down about changes in your environment and our world, especially as we socially distance
  • Feelings of anger or frustration
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased use of substances

There are different ways to help manage fear and anxiety:

  • Get the facts. Stay informed with the latest information about the novel coronavirus. University updates can be found on the UMass Lowell alert page and up to date information about COVID-19 can be found at the Centers for Disease Control.
  • But, also take breaks from the news and social media. Listening to a constant barrage of information about the novel coronavirus can be stressful and upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, get regular exercise and avoid drugs and alcohol. Check out some of the many virtual offerings by the Campus Rec Center to keep you moving.
  • Practice self-care. Meditate, go for walks in nature, listen to music, read a book, take a bath...do whatever brings you peace and happiness.
  • Connect with others. Social distancing doesn't mean emotional distancing. Reach out to your family and friends. Keeping connected to social networks can help maintain a sense of normalcy, and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.
  • Reach out to your healthcare provider or clinician if you need additional support. 

UMass Lowell Counseling Services is currently supporting students and staff using remote platforms. Please call 978-934-6800 to schedule a phone consultation with one of our counselors. To access the crisis counselor please call 855-890-2879. In addition to these offerings, Counseling Services is offering a series of zoom meetings on various topics including tips for managing stress, using mindfulness, and implementing structure in the time of COVID-19.

Please refer to the CDC guidance on Stress and Coping for more information.