A Short Guide to Non-anxious Presence amidst a Pandemic
“Do not fear, I am with you.” Jesus to disciples (paraphrase of Matt. 14:27)
When my mind races with tumultuous thoughts, I find it helpful to ask: “Is this a WORRY item, or an ACTION item?” If an action item, then I have something specific to do. If a worry item, then I have something to release. You might imagine a flowing stream and toss your worry in the stream. Watch it float away. Breath deeply. Do some light stretches. Notice your life in your body in this present moment. Feel yourself surrounded by God’s love and care. Name with gratitude all of the good things in life. We have this moment to live love and even to know joy.
Stay connected. Each of us need to know that we are important, that we belong, and that we are not alone. Reach out to others with words, prayers, phone calls, and listening. Share positive and life giving stories of how persons are stepping out and caring for one another. We are in this together.
Check in to the CDC as well as your local officials updates, but limit the amount of time you watch or listen to the constant news cycle. The constant news cycle often activates our sympathetic nervous system releasing stress hormones through our bodies that are not healthy for us to keep in our system in a continuous basis. Do things that keep you engaged in healthy living practices and clear focus even when routines are changed in major ways.
Contact your Dean of Students, Janet Stauffer as needed. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are additional sites with helpful information on keeping mentally and emotionally healthy in this time:
- Coping with Stress during this outbreak
- Mental Health Considerations
- WHO on handling mental health toll caused by coronavirus
- Psychological first aid
Your Dean of Students:
Your Dean of Students, Janet Stauffer, is available to chat with you about stressors, decisions, struggles, balancing life’s competing needs, spiritual or mental health concerns. She also has a list of spiritual directors and therapists who can be resources to students. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
The links and information on these pages are intended as a resource, not a substitute for medical evaluation and treatment. When you or someone you know is in an emergency situation call your Crisis Intervention Agency or go to the nearest hospital emergency room for evaluation and treatment.