The following information is provided by the TU Counseling Center.
Acknowledge your feelings and emotions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties of the future.
Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and routines. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social connections can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable opportunities for sharing your feelings and relieving stress.
Seek accurate information from credible news sources. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, for example, have webpages dedicated to providing factual information on the novel coronavirus. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies such as the Maryland Department of Health.
Limit exposure to fear-based media by choosing 1-2 trusted news outlets that do not provide any new information and/or sensationalizes the facts. Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.
Follow protection and prevention tips provided by qualified medical professionals, including from TU Health Center.
Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when other parts of your life feel out of control.
Seek out and utilize on-campus resources. Reach out to friends and family, talk to an RA, a campus ministry, a professor, a staff member. Consider coming in to the Counseling Center to speak with a professional counselor if your distress does not seem to be lessening. We are here to help!
Grief is defined as the anguish experienced after significant loss, usually the death of a beloved person. Grief often includes feelings of intense sadness, guilt, shock, confusion, anger, regret, and loneliness. Other symptoms of grief include insomnia, poor appetite, ruminating about the loss, and potential weight loss. The grief process, including the symptoms and concept of grief, is not the same for everyone and may be influenced by culture.
In addition to the death of a loved person, other significant losses can also yield grief. Some examples of these other losses include the loss of a job, a home, a pet, a marriage (i.e. divorce), mobility, and time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a series of losses, including the death of loved ones, our sense of safety, social connections, and even our financial security. College students in particular may feel grief over the loss of their ability to participate in special events such as graduation and the loss of time that was meant for other events. The COVID-19 pandemic may also be impacting the time and energy we have to grieve as well as the circumstances and context for the losses we have experienced, as many people are not able to be with their loved ones who are sick.
Debunking Myths about grief
- Not all loss will result in grief.
- Not all grief will be given public expression.
- There is no time limit for grief.
- You can grieve for as long as you need.
- There is no one correct way to grieve; grieving is different for everyone and may be influenced by culture.
- Alternate between "loss" and "restorative" activities. This idea comes from the dual-process approach to grief which says that people move between loss-related activities (e.g., looking at photos, crying, talking about the person) and restorative exercises (e.g., making plans for the future, spending time on hobbies, working/studying).
- Talking to friends, family members, and counselors about the loss.
- Writing in a journal about the loss.
- Taking the time to comfort yourself:
- Allowing yourself time to be sad
- Taking a hot or cold shower
- Eating a meal that is comforting to you.
- Allowing yourself time to rest
- Taking time to share and remember the positive memories about the person or other form of loss.
- Finding ways to say goodbye if the loss was unexpected (pray; write a letter to the deceased).
- Grief is viewed by many to be a normal reaction after a loss. Therefore, accepting our feelings and giving ourselves permission to experience them, as opposed to suppressing them, appears to be a healthy option.
Additional online resources:
This information comes from the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida and Wells Healing and Research Collective.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, college students all over the nation have experienced sudden changes and disruptions to their living environments. Campuses have closed and many students have returned home. However, families and homes are not always safe havens of love, warmth, and acceptance. We want to acknowledge the challenges students in unsupportive environments face, and have included some tips below on how to cope with these hardships.
- Acknowledge and accept that the environment is not supportive.
- Seek out safe spaces.
- Seek out allies in the home or elsewhere to support you.
- Set boundaries.
- Practice self-care.
We would also like to acknowledge the challenges present for particular groups of students who may be more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine.
Folks with disabilities
- Get in touch with the Disability Resource Center at your college/university and look into additional support.
- Take regular breaks from various news cycles.
Watching the news at this time can be quite upsetting as we notice the vicious impact of ableism and ageism during the pandemic. If possible, turn off the TV and/or tune into affirming media and spaces.
- Panic buying might limit resources that are needed for folks with certain disabilities. If possible, contact your GP to ask for suitable alternatives.
- If you are a person with disabilities with unmet needs, please check out the resource list linked at the end of this drop-down for support funds and further resources.
- The Edquity app can deliver emergency financial support in as little as 48 hours.
- If you are concerned about loss of internet access, Comcast is offering free, high-speed internet through the internet essentials program.
- Check mutual aid programs on Facebook
- Some food pantries and banks are preparing bags of food and leaving them outside for students. Check the list linked at the end for more information about food banks near you. Some students who are losing their jobs and income may become eligible for SNAP.
LGBTQ+ in non-affirming environments
- Know (and use) your resources.
- In the resource list, you can find coming out guides, pronoun-use guides, resources for parents and family members of LGBTQ+ kids, etc!
- Stay connected to queer friends and allies. Make the internet your friend
- Don't overdo negative social media and make good use of affirming spaces, such as Trevor space, online communities, queer Tiktok, live streaming performances, workshops, etc.
- Reach Out to LGBTQ+ Support Organizations for Help
- Check out: COVID-19 LGBTQ COMMUNITY RESOURCES & SUPPORT, and many others in the resource list below!
For additional resources, please see the Unsupportive Environments Resource List.