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Guest Blog | Here are some tips to calm anxiety during these uncertain times

Dr. Allison From-Tapp, Spalding Director of Counseling and Psychological Services

Dr. Allison From-Tapp is a clinical psychologist and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) at Spalding University. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Spalding Counseling Center will remain open to students. However, instead of coming to campus, email Dr. From-Tapp at afrom@spalding.edu or CaPS@spalding.edu or call (502) 873-4458 to discuss the best way to have your needs met.

The constant news reports regarding the coronavirus crisis can cause anxiety and fear. Our world is going through challenges in a way that most of us have never faced.

The emotional impact this may have on you depends on your personal characteristics and experiences; each of us reacts slightly differently. Mental health professionals, including those at the Spalding Counseling Center, are here to help you figure out how to manage your feelings in the best way possible.

Here are some tips to managing these current challenges:

1. If the news is upsetting you or making you feel anxious, limit the time you consume media and news coverage to only a few minutes a day. Critically read information and updates from accurate sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Spalding students should check the university’s COVID-19 page to get important info.

RELATED | Spalding’s COVID-19 information page

2. Don’t engage in “safety behaviors” that increase anxiety without increasing safety. Don’t buy more toilet paper if it isn’t actually helping you feel better! Learn tools, tips, and info about how to cope with pandemics from American Psychological Association.

3. Focus on what you need each day and stick to your routine as much as possible. Keep going to bed and getting up at the same time and stay engaged as much as possible.

4. Avoid catastrophizing while acknowledging reactions and feelings. Thinking of the worst-case scenario may increase your anxiety. Give yourself a few minutes to feel your feelings and then do something else.

5. Practice calming rituals. Engage in mindfulness meditation, yoga, exercise, take a walk in nature, google baby animals, or find a helpful app. Here are some resources:

6. Get support from those around you, including from a mental health professional, if needed.
Even though face-to-face classes are being suspended and students should stay away from campus in order to promote social distancing, CaPS remains available to students during this time. Our services will be mostly moved to an online or phone platform that is safe and confidential. You may email caps@spalding.edu if you need to connect with someone. They will give you an offer of email check-ins, phone consultations, or video consultations and walk you through that process.

Remember, your Spalding family is here to support you in any way we are able.