Managing mental health during COVID-19

SE Clinical Counselor and Wellness Coordinator offers four ways to feel better during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Wellness Wheel provides insight on activities which help in enhancing your physical, intellectual, spiritual, financial, social, emotional, occupational and environmental wellness.

Debra Fulenchek M.A., MA., LPC, Contributor

Change is hard. Over the last month, the world has slowed down, but that does not mean our minds have. Let’s look at four ways to take care of our mental health, adapt to the new normal and feel better.

1) Practice keeping your anxiety in perspective. Our brains are hard-wired to push away uncomfortable emotions, but when we wrestle with fear or anxiety, it tends to escalate. To decrease anxiety, learn to identify your feelings. Ask yourself, “how am I feeling right now?” Once you put a name to it, the anxiety becomes easier to address, and takes away some of its power.

2) Start planning for your new normal. By establishing routines, our days become a little more predictable. This calms our fears and gives us a sense of control. Each day, schedule things that are attainable and will provide you with a sense productivity. Incorporate playful moments as part of your day—every day!

  •  Sing, dance and create!
  • Connect with people you miss through social media, texting, Zooming, playing multiplayer games, group movies (Netflix party), etc.
  • Spend time outside. Go for a walk, work in the yard or exercise. Keep social distancing regulations in mind.
  • Practice self-compassion and be gentle with yourself. Practice yoga, mindfulness, meditation, religious activities or spiritual practices.
  • Show kindness to others. Run errands, help with yard work or pick up groceries—while practicing social distancing.

Having regular routines that also include things we enjoy will help us feel less anxious and possibly improve our immune system.

3) Limiting the amount of news you watch. This keeps our minds from obsessing over the situation. Anxiety escalates fears, and fantasies can flourish by obsessively watching the news for updates.

4) Do not be afraid to ask for help. Seeking help is a strength—not a weakness! Student Health & Counseling Services at SE are always here to help you! Please see mental health resources listed below.

  • Let’s Talk: free counseling service with 24/7 access. To use, download the TimelyMD app. Use coupon code: SOSU2020 at checkout.
  • Campus Well E: open the link or download and click on the feel, overcome, relate and empower tabs.
  • Sanvello app: FREE during COVID-19!

Text 741741 to talk with a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line—it’s free, confidential and available all hours.