Coping with COVID-19

We are all likely experiencing some emotional discomfort--given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives. Grief about missing experiences, frustration, and uncertainty are all normal reactions at this time. The situation is new and unpredictable, and Miami’s precautionary change to remote learning represents a major shift for us all. So how do we stay emotionally well during these times when we are separated from friends and our college “home”?

Know that Miami University is committed to you: you are the reason we exist!  So we’re working very hard to plan carefully and ensure your studies, growth, and campus connections continue.

Be careful of COVID-19 overload. Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. It’s coming at us from all directions and this can be downright overwhelming. Turn off/stop reading the news. Maybe check in once a day.

Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation. Rumors abound about what’s open, what’s not, what’s closing, and so on.  Check out rumors for yourself by going to reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites for up to date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for correct information about the virus.

Our emotions reside in our bodies, so take good care of yours!

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule—try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time.
  • Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Get some exercise!
  • Spend some time outside, in nature, especially.
  • Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, Qigong. Not sure how to do these? YouTube!

Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break: knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.

Social connection is really good for us, too! Maintain social distance, of course, but stay in touch with friends. You might even try the old-fashioned art of letter writing!

Maintain a schedule, just as you would if at school. Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time.  Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control. 

Consider keeping a journal about what this experience is like for you.  But be sure to end your daily entry with 3 good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up.

Maintain perspective. While this is a HUGE event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important: health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion, and spirituality.

Spend time with your four-legged friends. Some snuggle time with your pets can make a tough day a lot easier.

Take the focus off of yourself: do something kind for someone else. If you can’t visit in person, call! 

Look through the educational resources on the Counseling Services website.  There’s a lot of good info there, including short videos on mental health concerns.

Consider making use on one of the many mental health apps that are available for free and for pay. You might find this link helpful in finding something that speaks to you.  

Wellness-Related Apps
  Android Apple/iTunes
Row Heading 1Music and Sounds
Meditation, Breathing, and Yoga
Other

If you feel you need more assistance in the form of counseling, read on

  • For students remaining ON-CAMPUS with the Miami’s permission: we are able and willing to provide consultation and case management services. Please phone (513-529-4634) us for support. 
  • For students who are OFF-CAMPUS: We are happy to assist you in finding a local provider. So that we can be most helpful, we encourage you to investigate the following before contacting us:
    • To find a local therapist and/or psychiatrist . . .
      • Contact your insurance provider for a list of local providers who accept your insurance.  Look at your insurance card or insurance-company website for information about how to do so.
      • Your insurance carrier may have a provision for teletherapy services.  Contact your insurance company for information. 
      • Your primary-care doctor’s office may be able to provide referral suggestions to you.
      • Psychology Today will allow you to locate local therapists who accept your insurance.
      • You may want to consider online mental health services such as TalkSpace.
      • 211.org  Type in your zipcode for local information about essential needs, crisis and emergency, COVID-19, service providers, and disaster assistance
  • If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis . . . .
    • Go to your local hospital emergency department
    • Use the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Use the crisis text line: 741741
    • Use the HOPE Line 855-249-5649
  • If you need further assistance, we are happy to consult with you. Please phone our office to schedule a time for a brief phone “meeting.”  For now, we are maintaining business hours: 9am-4pm, M-F.

 Finally, know that we, like you, are monitoring the situation and will adapt to changing circumstances. 

Stay well, safe, and healthy!