Because your mental health is just as important as your physical heath, below are some tips and resources that may help:
- Know that it is okay to not be OK.
It is normal during this time to experience feelings of loss, sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, or all of the above. Give yourself permission to feel these emotions and to communicate with others about how you are feeling. Of course, If you don’t feel like talking, that is OK too. But it is important to note that if these feelings worsen to the point that you are not able to function like your normal self, reach out to one of the resources listed below for additional support.
- Keep a daily routine.
Start each day at about the same time and set a goal for coursework or projects to be completed each morning and afternoon. Maintain adequate nutrition by eating three healthy meals and try to get in at least one physical activity per day. Getting outside for walk, run or bike ride can be a great boost to your mental health.
- Appropriately using “No”.
Recognize that your capacity to produce has been impacted by the current context. The work load that you might be able to manage under normal circumstances is going to be different than it is now. If you know that you are unable to do what you normally do, make those asking you aware of what you can do, up to and including saying no.
- Practice good sleep habits.
Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Limiting screen time in the evening and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon can help. Set a goal to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Connect with others.
It is easy to quickly feel lonely and secluded from others during this stay-at-home period. Make an effort to stay socially connected by engaging in regular video or phone calls with friends and family.
- Take a break.
It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Step away from the news and your work to do something you enjoy and find relaxing or rejuvenating.
- Make a gratitude list.
What have you been able to accomplish? What are you grateful for? Making a list and focusing the good things that have happened can have great benefits.
- Remind yourself that this period will not last forever.
This time has been very hard, and we still have hurdles to overcome, but we are making progress.
- If you see someone struggling, reach out.
It can be very helpful to just check in, and ask, “how are you doing?” Showing our concern for others can help them and us. There are four steps to recognizing students in distress. They can be found here: https://students.wustl.edu/assisting-students-distress/
- Mental Health Services (MHS) at WashU: 314-935-6695
- After-Hours support: 314-935-6666, follow the prompts
- Students in isolation or quarantine housing can also contact Provident, a mental health provider with which WashU has partnered, 24 hours a day for any mental health needs. Students are provided this phone number in their check-in email and on a flier in their quarantine or isolation housing room on campus.
- Crisis Text Line: text “HOME” to 741741, if you are a POC (person of color), you can text “STEVE” to 741741 to get connected to a counselor
- Uncle Joe’s Peer Counselors: 314-935-5099
- Let’s Talk: free, brief, drop-in virtual consultations with MHS counselors