Psychological Tips for Coronavirus Concerns

Recognizing Distress: A Self-Check List

  • Increased anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of overwhelm
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
  • Inability to focus or concentrate and decreased academic performance
  • Feelings of hopelessness or dread and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
  • Sudden anger and disruptive behaviors or noticeable changes in personality
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Increased tearfulness
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others and fear of going into public settings
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)


It’s not unusual to experience some — or even several — of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainly and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support,engage in your usual healthy coping strategies, or contact CAPS at 925-631-4364 or

Psychological Health Tips

  • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties regarding the future.
  • Maintain your day-to-day normal activities and social outlets. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself from the support and caring that others can provide.
  • Seek accurate information from The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and limit exposure to social media and news reports that don’t provide any new information.
  • Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports.
  • Follow the protection and prevention tips given by medical professionals such as the Saint Mary’s College Health and Wellness Center, the CDC, and your own medical doctor.
  • Practice calming rituals: Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening. Meditation exercises and yoga can be particularly beneficial. UCLA has a great meditation website:
  • Seek supports and use campus resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about campus resources. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others or come to CAPS. Your campus community is here to help!

Avoid Stigmatizing or Generalizing

  • Be aware of your behavior or attitude changes towards others from another country.
  • Avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick and assuming they have the Coronavirus.
  • Examine any irrational or rigid thoughts that can come up when there is uncertainty.