Coping with COVID-19 and Quarantine


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This first step in coping with distress is recognizing the potential signs that you are experiencing it. Below are some common signs of distress in response to COVID-19.

Recognizing distress after a COVID-19 diagnosis
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have fears of contracting the disease from having contact with you
- Guilt about not being able to perform normal school, work, or parenting duties during quarantine
- Other emotional or mental health changes, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and traumatic distress.

Recognizing distress while in quarantine
- Increased worry, fearfulness, or feelings of being overwhelmed
- Feelings of fatigue or exhaustion that persist and/or intensify
- Inability to focus or concentrate that may be accompanied by decreased academic performance
- A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
- Sudden anger, sadness, irritability, or noticeable changes in personality
- Sleep difficulties
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
- Increased unhealthy coping behaviors (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)

Emotional Wellness and COVID-19
Remind yourself that your emotions are valid. There’s no right way to respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19. This situation is novel, evolving, and unpredictable.

Stay connected. During this period, it’s important to maintain appropriate social distance. Make sure to find other ways to stay in touch with your social supports (a phone call, video chat, or text).

Reduce media exposure if overwhelmed. Limit the time you spend taking in COVID-19 news. We’re inundated with information regarding it and are often receiving information through multiple channels. This can be overwhelming.

Be careful of COVID-19 misinformation. Prevent yourself from being caught up in potential rumors by getting information from reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites -- including your school -- for up-to-date information regarding closings. The World Health Organization(opens in a new window) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(opens in a new window) are the best places to check for correct information about the virus.

Maintain your typical schedule as best as you can. Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time, etc. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control during a time of uncertainty.

Maintain perspective. While this is a significant event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important to you: health, friends, goals, religion, or spirituality.

Engage in self-care. Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day. Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals, which includes limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and getting some exercise. When the weather is nice, go for a walk or spend time outside. Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, or Qigong. 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.

Consider making use of one of the many mental health resources that are available in your community whether online or via phone.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, is a 24/7national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor

Crisis Text Line ( in a new window)) serves anyone in any type of crisis, providing them access to free, 24/7 emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust. Text “HOME” to 741-741