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Practicing Mental Healthcare during COVID-19

Dear Bronco Family,

As we continue to navigate these unprecedented circumstances regarding the COVID-19, we wanted to reach out to offer our support. Times such as these can lead to increased stress and anxiety. For students that have been working through ongoing barriers to mental health, managing this stress can be even more challenging.

During times of crisis like this, many things are outside of our control. But focusing on things within our control can help both you and your student manage stress related to this pandemic. Here are some tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on managing fear, stress, and anxiety during these times:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories (including social media)
  • Take care of your body as much as possible–eat well-balanced meals, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, get fresh air, get 7.5-9 hours of sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs, take deep breaths
  • Do some activities that you enjoy and help distract you from events outside of your control
  • Connect with others via phone call or video chat to maintain social connection while keeping yourself safe
  • Stay informed- check your sources to ensure they are reliable

When practicing social distancing, it can feel as though we are isolated and missing out on the happenings of the world. Staying connected to others is an important part of our wellness. For many of our students, maintaining social connection while practicing social distancing will mean increased time and reliance of social media. We encourage all of our Broncos and their families to monitor their reactions to social media and the news. If you or your student notices an increase in stress and anxiety related to COVID-19, we encourage you to take the following steps:

Try to focus on the things that are within your control

Write out your worries and decide if you can take steps to address them.

Try to avoid obsessively looking things up on the internet or social media.

When you do look things up, scan for information that comes from credible source that is factual.

Watch out for unhealthy thinking styles.

Catastrophic: Blowing your current situation out of proportion to an unrealistic level.
Future Predicting: Worrying excessively about imagined outcomes and futures not based on the facts of the situation.

Increase the ways you take care of yourself

Practice mindfulness, notice your breathing patterns, list things you are grateful for, and practice body scans to identify areas of tension.

If you have medical concerns, consult your doctor or the nearest medical advice instead of searching the internet.

As we continue to work through this uncharted territory, please know we are here to support you. Our staff will remain accessible by email and offices will open when leadership determine it is safe for staff. Keep up to date with the latest information from the CDC and don’t hesitate if you or your student have questions we can help with.

With care,
Boise State University