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Easing COVID-19 anxieties

By now, the news of COVID-19 is inescapable, creating waves of anxiety for much of the public. While there isn’t much one college student can do in a time of crisis to fix the world, there are steps, groups and resources on campus to help ease the anxiety that comes with a time of chaos.

In order to combat and manage the anxiety that we are all feeling about COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these steps:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals; exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep; and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind, and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.

On-campus, our Spiritual and Religious Life (SRL) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) have joined together to create a “Community, Support & Reflection Space” for students to voice their concerns about COVID-19 and get support from peers and staff.

On Monday, March 16, CAPS will begin offering some teletherapy options via phone or videoconferencing. Students can contact CAPS by phone at (510) 430-2111 or visit the Cowell building to schedule an appointment. Same-day urgent appointments continue to be available Monday through Friday and are typically held at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Additionally, the Vera Student Health Center will continue to remain open; if you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to call them first at (510) 671-3985 before heading over.

Mills has also created an online resource page for students to use in managing anxieties. The web page, titled “Emotional & Spiritual Support in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” can be found on the Inside Mills website under the Student Life tab, and under the sub-tab Health & Counseling. The page lists ways in which students can cope, recommending resources such as online guided meditations.

The anxieties around COVID-19 are something many of us share. Ultimately, the most important things are to wash your hands for 20 seconds and continue to have hope.

You can find official Mills updates about COVID-19 here.

To learn more and receive further updates, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus 2019-nCoV and UC Berkeley’s health advisory.