Recent news about COVID-19 has many people feeling scared and confused about where to turn to take care of themselves and their families.

Here are some tips for helping you manage anxiety and worry you may be feeling, and some resources to access if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Follow Trusted Sources of Information

We get a lot of our news from social media these days, and it can be very important to think critically about which sources we can trust. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a website filled with helpful and accurate information about ways to limit the spread of the virus, what to do if you feel ill, and tips for managing your anxiety.

Take News Breaks

Staying on top of news is one way our brains like to feel in control of an out-of-control situation, but it can easily lead to more stress and worry! Consider setting aside 5-10 minutes in the morning and afternoon to check reliable sources for any updates. Turn off push notifications about the news on your phone. And limit your time on places like Twitter and Facebook, where anxiety can spread easily.

Focus on What You Can Control

When things feel scary and unpredictable, it can be helpful to focus on what you can control. Here are some practical things you can do today:

  • Follow proper hand-washing steps
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it
  • Get your flu shot
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay home when you are sick

Use Healthy Coping

Taking a break from school, work, internships and other demands on your time can be essential to feeling balanced and well, especially in a time of high stress. Make sure you are doing at least one thing for yourself each day. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a 10-minute walk outside
  • Go to an online yoga class
  • Listen to a funny podcast
  • FaceTime a friend
  • Treat yourself to a fancy coffee or tea
  • Practice meditation with an app like MindShift or online with calm.com
  • Grab some markers and color or make some art

Get Help If You Need It

Pay attention to yourself! If you tried tips above and your anxiety is still causing problems, come to Student Counseling Services, especially if you are experiencing some of the following:

  • Trouble sleeping or eating
  • Problems with focus and attention
  • Difficulty going to class or completing work due to anxiety
  • Thoughts about harming or killing yourself

Contact Student Counseling Services

Student Counseling Services is currently working remotely in response to recent guidelines regarding COVID-19. During this time, we are available to meet with students for online video teletherapy. To schedule an appointment, please call our main number at (773) 442-4650. We will be responding to voicemails Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For urgent phone calls, you can reach a counselor for emergency intervention by pressing "2" per the outgoing message. If you need to contact us by email, please email counsect@neiu.edu.

After Hours Assistance

For assistance after hours, please call our main number at (773) 442-4650, and press “2” to speak with a counselor on call.