Stress and Coping
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.
People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:
- Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
- Children and teens
- People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
- People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use
Watch for the following signs of distress:
- Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear.
- Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images.
- Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Anger or short-temper.
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
What Can I Do to Support Myself?
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- 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. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others virtually. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
How to Reduce stress in yourself and others
Sharing the facts about COVID-19 and understanding the actual risk to yourself and people you care about can make an outbreak less stressful.
When you share accurate information about COVID-19 you can help make people feel less stressed and allow you to connect with them.
Augustana Counseling Resources
Q: What counseling resources are available?
A: Both in-person and virtual counseling sessions are available for students. Call 605.334.2696 to set up an appointment, or visit the Counseling website for more information.
Q: What are virtual counseling sessions?
A: Virtual (online) sessions include a video chat option with your therapist. You will be able to see and talk to your therapist via online technology that is secure and confidential. This is a great option for students who are not on campus but also a great way to practice social distancing while still being able to talk with your counselor.
Q: Does virtual counseling cost extra?
A: Both in-person and virtual counseling are provided to students at no additional cost. Both services are covered under the student activity fee with no co-pays or billing towards insurance.
Q: Is there a limit on the number of sessions I can do?
A: No; there are no limits on the number of sessions per student.
Q: What are some off-campus resources available?
- Helpline Center — Call 211
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- SAMHSA — Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health
- SAMHSA — Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- CDC — Taking Care of Your Emotional Health