Emotional wellness and COVID-19

We're all likely experiencing at least some emotional discomfort - given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives. Grief about the loss experiences, frustration, uncertainty - all are normal reactions at this time. The situation is new and unpredictable. And the University's precautionary change to remote learning represents a major adjustment for all of us. So how do we stay emotionally well during these times, when we're separated from friends and our college "home"?

Know that UTD is committed to you

You’re the reason we exist. So we’re working very hard to plan carefully and ensure your studies, growth and campus connections continue.

Be Careful of COVID-19 Overload

Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. It’s coming at us from all directions and this can be overwhelming. Turn off/stop reading the news. Maybe check in once a day.

Be Careful of COVID-19 Misinformation

Go to reputable sources for correct information. Check out state and local government sites for up-to-date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for correct information about the virus.

Our Emotions Reside in Our Bodies. Take Good Care of Yours

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule — try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time.
  • Work toward maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Limit caffeine intake.
  • Get some exercise.
  • Spend some time outside, in nature, especially.
  • Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, Qigong. Not sure how to do these? Find videos on YouTube.
  • Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break: knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.

Social Connection Is Good for Us Too

Maintain social distance, of course, but stay in touch with friends. You might even try the old-fashioned art of letter-writing.

Maintain a Schedule

Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control.

If you are taking prescription medication, continue to take the medication as prescribed unless directed otherwise by your physician. If you are concerned about your remaining supply, check the bottle for how many refills are remaining, or contact the pharmacy to confirm if refills are available. If you will need refills, contact your physician's office at least several days (preferably longer) before you would otherwise run out, to allow them time to respond.

Keep a Journal

But be sure to end your daily entry with three good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up.

Maintain Perspective

While this is a huge event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important: health, friends, being able to continue working toward your degree, religion and spirituality.

Spend Time with Your Four-Legged Friends.

Some snuggle time with your pets can make a tough day a lot easier.

Do Something Kind for Someone Else

If you can’t visit in person, call them.

Check Out Educational Resources on the Counseling Services Website.

There’s a lot of good information there.

Consider Using Mental Health Apps

You might find this link helpful in finding something that speaks to you. https://www.psycom.net/25-best-mental-health-apps

Here are some additional wellness-related apps:

Platform: Android / Google Play
Music & Sounds
Meditation, Breathing and Yoga
Other
Platform: iOS / Apple
Music & Sounds
Meditation, Breathing and Yoga
Other

If You Need More Assistance

We are able and willing to provide therapy services. Please call us 972-883-2575 or email counselingcenter@utdallas.edu for an appointment.

For students who prefer an outside provider

We are happy to assist you in finding a local provider. So that we can be most helpful, we encourage you to investigate the following before contacting us:

To find a local therapist and/or psychiatrist

  • Contact your insurance provider for a list of local providers who accept your insurance. Look at your insurance card or insurance company website for information about how to do so.
  • Your insurance carrier may have a provision for teletherapy services. Contact your insurance company for information.
  • Your primary-care doctor’s office may be able to provide referral suggestions to you.
  • Psychology Today will allow you to locate local therapists who accept your insurance.
  • You may want to consider online mental health services such as TalkSpace.
  • Students who remain abroad can contact the University’s iSOS program for referral assistance while abroad.
  • 211.org Type in your ZIP code for local information about Essential Needs, Crisis and Emergency, COVID-19, Service Providers, and Disaster Assistance

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis

  • Go to your local hospital emergency department.
  • Use UTD TALK 972-883-8255
  • Use the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Use the crisis text line: 741741

If you need further assistance, we are happy to consult with you.

Please call or email our office to schedule a time for a brief "meeting." We will use Microsoft Teams (HIPAA-compliant version), so please download it to your smartphone. If you do not have access to a smartphone or prefer a phone conversation, we are happy to speak with you by phone, but calls are not HIPAA-compliant. This means your conversation cannot be assured to be confidential. For now, we are maintaining regular business hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Finally, know that we, like you, are monitoring the situation and will adapt to changing circumstances.

Stay well, safe and healthy!
- UT Dallas Student Counseling Center