How to React During A Time of Crisis – COVID-19

The current global COVID-19 pandemic is a rather peculiar and unique situation for students and people worldwide. There are not too many instances in life where we are asked to slow down and stay in. For many of us over the last few weeks, we went from being busy humans on a schedule to being home-bound with minimal to no human interaction. During a crisis, things are out of our control and can change without any warning and we must adjust accordingly. These are uncertain times. What kind of effect can this have on us? Often without a sense of control, we naturally tend to panic, stress, and worry, but it is completely normal.

Health experts recommend these strategies to react appropriately during a time of crisis:

Stay informed during a crisis

Use reliable sources such as official health and government websites to stay informed with what is happening in your local community. Contradictory information is always being circulated on social media and social media is certainly not an accurate source for COVID-19 updates. While it is important to stay up to date with news, remember to keep it at a limit. Overloading with negative information can lead to increased stress and anxiety. Stay informed when necessary and stay calm.

Focus on yourself and your health

Feel your feelings and be aware of them. Vocalize and explain your feelings to someone you trust, write them down, or even express them through activities. Mental health awareness is key in times of crisis. Focus on your health by being attentive and taking necessary precautions. Practice healthy habits and limit your contact with stress-inducing factors. There are many great practices for mental health available online.

Create a plan with strategy

One of the positive outcomes of the current COVID-19 pandemic is the increased time we have. Use this time to create a plan if you haven’t yet! Keep yourself occupied by writing down tasks, activities, jobs, exercises, and things you generally enjoy doing, then do it. Take the time to explore a hobby that you have always wanted to try, or simply enjoy the outdoors with attention to social distancing. Plan what you will do now and then make an action plan of what the future will hold after we overcome the pandemic. Focus on “the now” and worry about this rest when the time comes.

Take action when necessary

Listen to your body if you think you are not feeling well both physically and mentally. Be aware of the COVID-19 symptoms and monitor yourself accordingly. Seeking help if symptoms occur is necessary. The same is necessary if you are feeling mentally unwell or express feelings of hopelessness.

Here are some signs you might benefit from extra help and support:

  • You can’t think about anything other than coronavirus or the COVID-19 illness
  • Your anxiety interferes in your daily life—for example, you have a hard time doing daily tasks
  • You isolate yourself from others when it isn’t necessary
  • Feeling hopeless or angry about the situation
  • Having a hard time eating or sleeping well
  • Experiencing physical symptoms like constant headaches or stomach pains

We recognize this can be a stressful time and it’s normal to feel worried and anxious. It’s also very common for people to display great resilience during times of crisis! After all, pressure is how diamonds are made. This is a time to come together as a society and stay close emotionally if not physically. As the pandemic continues to unfold, let’s act responsibly and reach out when we need support.