COVID-19 and Mental Health Resources
Over the last year, COVID-19 dominated our headlines and the information feels difficult to escape. Counseling Center staff want to assure you that it is normal to experience worry in the face of uncertainty.
Additionally, we ask members of our community to reflect on their behaviors associated with these circumstances. Xenophobic jokes and remarks can inflict real harm and stigmatize different groups represented in our community. Please remember to be kind, caring and compassionate community members who contribute to the collective mental health of this campus.
Visit SUNY Cortland's COVID-19 page and Restart page for more information. Read our tips on managing the stress of living with COVID-19 (PDF).
For our SUNY Cortland Wellness Days, the Counseling Center has added some new Self-Care resources. Please take advantage of the free time to review our "Mind and Body Compassion Handout (PDF)" and try some of the exercises to increase relaxation and a sense of well-being. We also have developed a Rest, Recharge and Re-energize through Mindfulness Meditation (PDF) resource that contains multiple links to various meditation options to help you throughout your day.
Additional resources for managing stress
During this trying and unique time, it is crucial to practice self-care to promote overall wellness and prevent the cumulative effects of stress. Below are some resources to aid in thinking about and implementing self-care strategies and routines:
- When stress strikes, self-care often goes by the wayside. Here is some information on the benefits of self-care and ideas for developing your own self-care practices.
- This blog addresses how to think about and approach life to promote flexibility and resilience in order to find the opportunities, not just the stressors, associated with physical distancing.
- A review of various areas of wellness and self-care, along with worksheets you can use to enhance your own personal wellness.
- Active Minds has created a special online hub for students to support their mental health during COVID-19.
- The Counseling Center has put together some materials that you can work through at your own pace called “Assess and Address Your Stress: A Stress Management Module (PDF)” to help you better understand and manage your stress and enhance your self-care.
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Counseling Center's Sankofa Black Student Outreach Team talks motivation—what it is and why it can often be hard to find.
Mental health resources
With growing concerns related to our physical health, it is important to pay attention to our mental health as well. During this time of change and uncertainty, it is normal to experience an increase in stress and anxiety. Below are a few resources to help recognize and understand the impacts of stress and anxiety, and some strategies to aid in coping during this time:
- Coping with stress, fear and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic through self-awareness and self-care.
- How to identify, recognize and cope with stress with some quick and easy tips and techniques that can be implemented anywhere and at any time.
- Headspace NY has mindfulness and self-care resources that you may find helpful to sleep better, relax more effectively and be more mindful during this difficult time.
- Expressive writing has been shown to improve mental health. Here is a site that provides some information and instructions on how to engage in this practice.
- For those who are struggling with addiction or substance abuse, virtual recovery resources may be of assistance. Kennesaw State University Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery has virtual meetings that are open to anyone right now. The In the Rooms App also provides multiple support group meetings across different times of the week. The meetings are free for individuals and can be selected according to various treatment approaches and needs.
Grief and loss
Given the magnitude of this pandemic, many of us will know someone who falls ill or we may become ill ourselves. We also will experience the changes that physical distancing engenders, including loss of routine, missed or postponed special events, or just plain socializing with family and friends. These resources can help explain our reactions to loss and help us come to terms with grief and loss during this time.
- Understanding the grief process can help you make sense of some of your or your social circle’s varied reactions to the virus.
- Grieving the loss of a loved one from COVID-19 can be complicated by the physical distance we are asked to experience for the sake of health and safety. This is one author’s reflection on this process.
- Finding meaning through grief during this pandemic is explored in this interview with David Kessler, a renowned writer and speaker on grief and loss. He discusses the stages of grief as well as the healing power of allowing yourself to experience the emotions engendered by loss.
- The Dinner Party is building a worldwide community of 20- and 30-somethings who have each experienced the loss of a parent, partner, child, sibling, other close family member or close friend.
Diversity, equity and inclusion during COVID-19
- Asian-American students may find themselves the target of blame during this time. Here is some information on some students' experiences.
- Stigma can negatively affect our mental health. It occurs when people associate a risk with a specific people, place, or thing — like a minority population group — and there is no evidence that the risk is greater in that group than in the general population. Here are some thoughts about how to reduce stigma and address ignorance during this stressful time, from the Center for Disease Control.
- Dr. Candice Nicole has shared her Black Lives Matter Meditation for Healing Racial Trauma as well as Ally and Accomplice mindfulness meditations. Racial trauma exacts a psychological and physiological toll on people of color. Guided meditation is one way to assist in calming a heightened state of distress, affirming one’s value and humanity, and recentering with love for Black people.
Addressing your family and relationship connections while stuck at home
Relationship dynamics can get especially challenging during these stressful times. Here are some suggestions on how to address those dynamics healthfully.
- Staying connected at home is not always simple. Read What does social distance mean within a family about finding ways to meet the challenge to physically — but not emotionally — distance ourselves from others.
- How to survive isolation with your roommates, your family — and yourself: a brief article with some ideas to help make social distancing less arduous, and increase connection to others.
- How to curb family and roommate tension during the coronavirus pandemic, according to therapists. This article provides some tips and techniques for improving communication with your cohabitators while physical distancing.
- The Steve Fund has a link to a recorded webinar on Parents and Students Together: Coping with a Full House During Crisis and Reflections on Current National Climate, specifically for families of color.
Managing your social life and relationships
During these times of physical distancing, you may feel lonely and your relationships might have taken a hit. Here are some tips that can help you to address these concerns:
- Some Tips on Dating While Social Distancing to help make new connections from afar.
- The extrovert's guide to social distancing for those who anticipate challenges ahead. Suggestions on how to leverage technology to weather this storm while finding other ways to emotionally connect to self and others.
- How to not practice emotional distancing during physical distancing and remain connected emotionally to others.
Resources for the LGBTQ+ community
Being at home and away from your support group can be challenging. Here are links that can be helpful:
- Information on LGBTQ students’ experiences when campuses are closed, and how they are coping.
- The Trevor Project: “We are here for you, 24/7, regardless of what’s happening in the world” 866-488-7386
- The mission of the Cortland LGBTQ Center is to create a visible and empowered community through education, advocacy, resource enhancement, and linkages to essential services for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people, as well as their families and other supportive community members.