As coronavirus (COVID-19) news spreads, it has created stress for many of us. For others, it has added to existing anxieties. Sensationalized stories add to our angst and panic. The stock market has responded with a downturn, and many are unsure whether to travel or attend social gatherings.

It is healthy to have a respect for the COVID-19, the flu and other communicable diseases, but we need not panic. Accurate information, preparation and evidence-based practice are powerful tools. 

decoration Keep Perspective: Find information about COVID-19 from reliable sources: he CDC website and the UNL webpage dedicated to COVID-19. Learning what is known about this virus is helpful in combating anxiety, speculation and the media frenzy.

decoration Be Prepared:  Arm yourself with the facts and review protocols in place that apply to infectious diseases. Get your annual flu shot. Wash your hands, frequently, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

decoration Limit News Overexposure: Limit the time you listen to news about the virus. Sensational news stories can perpetuate unnecessary anxiety.

decoration Schedule time to participate in healthy activities with the following examples:

  • Engage in a lifestyle that encourages resilience and a healthy balance as a strategy to combat anxiety.
  • Facilitate resiliency with flexibility, humor, a positive view of the future, spirituality, creativity, and a view of life returning to our regular activities and schedules in the future.
  • View any crisis as difficult but not insurmountable
  • Believe in your ability to solve problems
  • Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise
  • Get enough rest
  • Seek enjoyment (stop and appreciate the things that are important to you: family, nature, music, etc.)
  • Enjoy moments of mindfulness (a smile, the smell of a flower, a cup of coffee, reading a good book, petting your dog, a movie, time with friends and family, etc.)

The coronavirus is a reality. It is in the news and on our minds. We do not have control over it, but we do have control over how we respond emotionally. If you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed about this, psychological support is available. The EAP is available for counseling and consulting by Zoom and phone during the remote work structure. Schedule a Zoom or phone session with an EAP counselor by calling or emailing our office at 402-472-3107 | Toll Free: 888-445-9881 | eap@unl.edu.