Receiving a diagnosis of COVID-19, or being told you have to quarantine are both disruptive, stressful events. It’s important to do everything you can to stay mentally healthy while coping with these events, and we have some suggestions to help you cope effectively if you’ve been diagnosed.
Common reactions to a COVID-19 diagnosis
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Stress related to monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have fears of contracting the disease from you
- Guilt about not being able to perform normal school, work, or parenting duties during quarantine
- Experiencing depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and even trauma reactions
Reactions to being quarantined
- Increased worry, fearfulness, or feeling overwhelmed
- Feelings of fatigue or exhaustion
- Problems focusing or concentrating
- Feelings of hopelessness or fear for the future
- Sudden anger, sadness, irritability, or noticeable changes in personality
- Sleep problems
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
- Unhealthy, risky, or impulsive efforts to cope
Staying Emotionally Healthy
- Remind yourself that your emotions are valid. There’s no right or wrong way to respond to these challenges.
- Stay connected. Even though you have to stay physically distant, find other ways to stay in touch with your social supports (a phone call, video chat, or text).
- Limit media exposure around COVID-19. Stay informed, but don’t spend so much time with COVID-19 media that you feel overwhelmed.
- Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation. Get accurate information from reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites--including your school--for up-to-date information regarding closings. The World HealthOrganization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the best places to check for correct information about the virus.
- Maintain your typical schedule as best as you can. Maintain a sense of normalcy by sticking to your routine. Keep regular meal times, classes, study time, relaxation time, etc.
- Maintain perspective. Even though this is a serious issue, keep in mind that it is time-limited and that life will eventually return to normal. Practicing gratitude for the good things in life
- also helps.
- Take care of yourself. Get regular sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Make time every day to be active and to do things you enjoy. You might meditate, do yoga, play music, paint, or play virtual games with friends. Set activities that you can look forward to
- Consider making use of one of the many mental health resources that are available in the community whether online or via phone.
- Sanvello One of the most widely used mental health apps worldwide, Sanvello has a range of
- activities that can help you manage anxiety, control your mood, and connect with others online. Sanvello is also free for BYU students, and it can be downloaded from the Google Play store or the App store.
- CAPS Stress Management (https://caps.byu.edu/biofeedback) CAPS stress management website has a number of resources that to help control stress. These include breathing training, meditation recordings, TED talks, and others!
- Silvercloud (https://caps.byu.edu/silvercloud-online-self-help) Silvercloud is a guided online therapy program that helps those struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, or body image.
- BYU Counseling and PsychologicalServices (CAPS) (caps.byu.edu) If you try the above resources and are still experiencing distress, contact CAPS to see how our clinical services can help. We offer brief individual, group, and couples counseling to enrolled students, all via Zoom. Check out our website for more information about our services!