Recommendations for Managing Distress Related to the Novel Coronavirus
Recent news reports about the novel coronavirus, travel restrictions, and concerns for our own and our loved ones’ health may contribute to increased mental and emotional health distress. Please reach out to our office or other campus resources if you (or another student you know) are experiencing any of the following:
- Excessive worry, fear, and/or feelings of being “stressed” or overwhelmed.
- Persistent sadness, tearfulness, and/or loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or dread about the future.
- Unexplained physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach, increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue, etc.
- Increased anger, irritability, agitation and/or disruptive behaviors.
- Inability to concentrate or focus.
- Significant changes in sleep, appetite and/or self-care.
- Social isolation or withdrawal.
- Fear or avoidance of public spaces.
- Thoughts about death, dying and/or suicide.
- Impulsive, reckless or risky behaviors (substance abuse, self-injury, etc.)
Tips for Managing Emotional/Psychological Distress
- Acknowledge your feelings and emotions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to or coping with these feelings.
- Try to maintain your normal day-to-day activities and routines.
- Stay connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself from your family and friends. Maintaining social connections can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable opportunities for sharing your feelings and relieving stress.
- Seek accurate information from credible news sources. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, has a webpage dedicated to providing factual information on the novel coronavirus. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies.
- Limit exposure to social media and news outlets that do not provide any new information and/or sensationalizes the facts. Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.
- Follow protection and prevention tips provided by qualified medical professionals, including from Fordham’s University Health Services.
- Seek out and utilize on-campus resources. In addition to CPS, you can also reach out to an RA, a commuter assistant, campus ministry, a Global Transition Assistant, the Office for International Services, a professor, your academic dean/advisor, or another student to share and talk about your concerns and experiences.
Mutual Trust, Respect, Civility, and Dignity
CPS is aware that fear and anxiety can lead to mistrust, bias, prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping and micro-aggressions, which we are committed to proactively combating. In an effort to maintain and promote mutual trust, respect, civility, and dignity in our community, please consider practicing the following:
- Be mindful of your behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, and/or biases about Chinese international students, faculty and staff.
- Avoid making generalizations about students, faculty or staff who may be sick, protecting themselves from getting sick, and/or from abroad.
- It is not necessary to avoid contact with Chinese international students, faculty or staff.
- Practice and seek good healthcare if you believe you are sick.
- Listen and attend to each other with empathy, kindness, and compassion.