Recognizing Common Reactions and Feelings

Common Reactions

There can be a wide range of reactions and emotions that you experience with everything going on related to COVID‑19. At any given time, you might experience periods of:

  • Anxiety, worry, or panic
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Feeling helpless or confused
  • Anger
  • Skepticism
  • Social withdrawal
  • Overexposure to media
  • Hyper-vigilance about your health
  • Excitement, relief, curiosity

Feelings of Grief and Loss

Grief and loss are common feelings right now and may continue as this public health pandemic continues. There are many things we might be grieving at the moment:

  • Cancellation of trips and celebrations
  • Loss of academic or professional momentum
  • Early termination of an athletic season or leadership position
  • Lack of physical contact
  • Inability to be close to loved ones
  • Loss of autonomy and personal freedom
  • Personal expectations
  • Loss of a job or income
  • Sense of normalcy, safety, stability, and routine

Tips to Manage Common Reactions and Feelings

  • Practice mindfulness and acceptance. Focus on asking “what now” rather than “why." Practice patience with yourself and others. Let things unfold and assume others are trying to do the right thing.
  • Find activities that give you a sense of mastery, even simple tasks such as making your bed, doing your laundry, going for a walk, checking in on a friend,or practicing a new skill or hobby. Purposefully engage in activities that are the opposite of focusing on worry.
  • Practice a mindset of gratitude. Spend time each day thinking about three things you are grateful for. Picture holding these things in your open hands.
  • Stay connected. Maintaining social networks can help maintain a sense of normalcy and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Keep a sense of humor.