Mental Health during COVID-19
With the recent switch to online learning, students might encounter additional challenges centered around loneliness, anxiety, or depression as they practice social distancing. Knowing that many college-aged students already note this as a challenge for them without event cancellations, online learning, and limited interactions, we felt that it was essential to provide some suggestions and resources to help your student.
- Utilize technology for connection – Encourage your student to seek out opportunities for connection via technology. Whether it is friends from FSU or family members across the country, technology gives us the chance to catch up while being socially responsible and distancing ourselves from others. A regularly scheduled FaceTime call or Google Hangout can be a good option to help your student get the social interaction they may need. They can even schedule a digital book club or gaming session if they’re unsure of what to do/talk about.
- Pace yourself in consuming news regarding COVID-19 – If your student is experiencing stress/anxiety related to COVID-19, it might be helpful for them to limit themselves or to take intentional breaks from watching/reading/listening to the news/social media. Consistent coverage can cause stress and anxiety.
- Practice self-care – Self-care looks differently for everyone. For some, it could be working out or going for a walk, while others need time to relax, enjoy a good book, or take a bath. Encourage your student to take care of themselves and continue as much of their set routine as they can. Regular eating and sleeping, as well as exercise, can help process feelings that your student may not even know they’re experiencing.
- Talk about how you’re feeling – It is helpful to check-in on your student, whether they stayed in Tallahassee or left for home. Consider asking them about how they’re adjusting to online classes or what their sleep schedule has been like. Knowing that someone cares is especially helpful during times of heightened uncertainty. Listen to them and be patient. If your student is adjusting well, encourage them to check in on their friends.
- Utilize Campus Resources –
- University Counseling Center - The University Counseling Center is hosting a variety of virtual workshops focused on mental health throughout the remainder of the semester. For a full schedule of events, visit https://counseling.fsu.edu/highlighted-trainings-and-events.
- Academic Advisors - Advising has since transitioned to a remote work environment, so students can email directly with their advisor to set up an advising session through phone, e-mail, or Zoom.