Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns

The following information, adapted from the University of Indianapolis, contains tips and resources to help you cope with stress stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. Here's a printable version of these tips. Also see resources for managing coronavirus concerns. Your campus community is here to help!

Recognizing Distress: Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Increased anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
  • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic performance
  • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
  • Sudden anger and disruptive behaviors or noticeable changes in personality
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Crying more than typical
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going to public situations
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g. increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)

Tips for Psychological Health

  • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling, and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties about the future. Give yourself time and be patient with any changes in your emotional state. Consider keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Maintain your day-to-day normal activities and connect with supportive friends and family. Prioritize sleep, healthy eating, enjoyable physical activities and hobbies. Avoid alcohol and drugs as a way to self-medicate. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself from the support that others can provide. Consider seeking social support through phone or technology.
  • Limit exposure to social media and news reports providing no new information. Instead, pay attention to positive news and shift your focus away from negative, fear-producing social media and reporting. The following websites provide updated information on the coronavirus:
  • Follow the protection and prevention tips given by medical professionals, with your own physician, or the Student Health Center
  • Practice calming rituals: yoga, stretching, walking, have a cup of herbal tea, enjoy a comedy or pick up a good book.
    • Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening. Recall what has helped you cope with any previous stressful situations, make a list of these things and make time to do them.
    • Here are some example guided meditations from Calm.com
    • For other self-care tips, please see our Self-Care Checklist

Seek Support and Use Campus & Community Resources

Avoid Stigmatizing or Generalizing

  • Be aware of your behavior or attitude change towards others from another country
  • Avoid generalizing anyone who is sick as potentially having COVID-19
  • Examine any irrational or rigid thought that can exist when there is uncertainty

Resources for Managing Coronavirus Concerns

Basic Needs, Including Financial Resources and Free Books

Guided Meditations Narrated by Our Very Own CAPS Staff!

  • Dr. Isa Avila Saiter
    • 54321 Grounding: A short grounding exercise that engages the senses to help when emotions or stress become overwhelming.
    • The Container: This practice can be a useful to help you contain challenging experiences that may make it difficult for you to regulate your emotions, thoughts, or sensations.The recording is about 12 minutes long. Please feel free to come out of or pause the visualization at any time you feel discomfort, but especially if you experience an increase in distress or feel emotionally overwhelmed
  • Dr. Courtney Avvampato
  • Dr. Rociel Martinez
    • Leaves on a Stream: This guided meditation is just over 10 minutes long and offers visual imagery to develop an awareness of the transient nature of our thoughts and feelings.
  • Dr. Ashley Murphy
  • Dr. Elisa Vasquez
    • Safe Place Guided Meditation:This is a 6-minute guided imagery meditation that uses your imagination to create your own safe and peaceful place to help relax and calm your mind.
  • Dr. Irene Wise

Boosting Mental Health and Coping Skills


On Campus & Community Resources

On Campus Personal & Academic Support

Academic Advising

Academic planning for undeclared students.

Career Services

Career exploration and employment opportunities.

Disability Services for Students

Disability management, advising, and accommodations.

SSU Diversity

Sonoma State University supports an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment for all staff, faculty and students. The Office of Employee Relations and Compliance, located in the Department of Human Resources, provides thorough and timely investigations of all complaints of discrimination at the University. Please visit the Diversity page for specific information.

The HUB

The HUB Cultural Center promotes the academic and personal growth of SSU's diverse and traditionally underserved student populations by embracing diversity, promoting social justice, and fostering academic success.
Location: Student Center, 2nd Floor
Phone: 664-4247

Center for International Education

Services for international students and SSU students wishing to study abroad or on National Student Exchange.
Location: International Hall, 1st floor
Phone: 664-2582

Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA)

The Queer-Straight Alliance strives to provide a supportive atmosphere for queer identified students, faculty, staff, and their allies, as well as to increase awareness and visibility of the queer community and their allies on Sonoma State campus.

Safe Zone

Lesbian/ Gay/ Bisexual/ Transgender/ Questioning support people and allies

Student Health Center

Medical care, pharmacy, health education, anonymous HIV testing.


Off-Campus Links

Alcoholics Anonymous

Fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them.

The California Department of Mental Health (DMH)

The California Department of Mental Health (DMH), entrusted with leadership of the California mental health system, ensures the availability and accessibility of effective, efficient, culturally competent services. This is accomplished by advocacy, education, innovation, outreach, understanding, oversight, monitoring, quality improvement, and the provision of direct services.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA offers information on depression and bipolar disorder, as well as listings to patient support groups across the USA. (800) 826-3632

Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA)

A 12-step program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. FA offers help and recovery to those whose relationship with food can be understood as a form of addiction. FA is not a medical group, or connected with hospitals or surgical clinics. FA does not charge dues or fees, and meetings are open to all and include no weigh-ins. The sole purpose is to help others recover from the disease of food addiction.

Grief Support for College Students, Actively Moving Forward

Offers a national network of supportive peers for young adults in grief ages of 18 to 25.

Human Rights Campaign: Transgender

Large information database

The Jed Foundation

The Jed Foundation is the nation's leading organization working to prevent suicide and promote mental health among college students. We are guided by an expert board of mental health professionals in our efforts to identify the underlying causes of suicide and produce effective prevention, awareness and intervention programs.

Men Evolving Non-Violently (MEN) of Sonoma County

Supporting men committed to changing their abusive behaviors.

Mental Health America

Mental Health America (MHA) - founded in 1909 - is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

Narcotics Anonymous

An international community-based association of recovering drug addicts.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

The nation's largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. (866) 615-6464

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

Assists individuals and their families to find resources and provide referrals to professionals. (847) 831-3438

National Eating Disorders Association

Dedicated to providing education, resources and support to those affected by eating disorders.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. (800) 662-HELP

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

A 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. (800) 273-TALK

Overeaters Anonymous

Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

Positive Images

Positive Images is a grassroots organization whose mission is to provide support, advocacy and education to Sonoma County's LGBTQIA+ community. We nurture positive self-image through creating an affirming environment where everyone can explore their identities, develop leadership skills and participate in building a just and equitable society. They offer support groups for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults (ages 12 to 24), a LGBTQ+ leadership development program, and social events.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at rainn.org, and publicizes the hotline's free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual assault; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual assault, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

Self Abuse Finally Ends (SAFE)

A nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network, and educational resource base, which is committed to helping you and others achieve an end to self-injurious behavior. (800) DONT CUT(366-8288)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Government's National Mental Health Information Center, providing information about mental health via a toll-free telephone number (800-789-2647), this website, and more than 600 publications.

Suicide Prevention Action Network

Dedicated to preventing suicide through public education and awareness, community action and federal, state and local grassroots advocacy.

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline is a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Operators are available 8:00 am - 2:00 am Pacific time. Call 877-565-8860.

Transgender Law Center

870 Market Street, Room 823
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-865-0176

Transgender Vocabulary Resource Guide

Includes the most recently updated definitions of LGBTQ+ terms.

The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization LGBTQ) young people offering a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs.

VERITY

Working in partnership with the community Verity strives to eliminate all forms of violence, with a special focus on sexual assault and abuse. Sexual assault is an unacceptable and unconscionable form of oppression, which is destructive to the lives of survivors, their families, and friends. Verity facilitates healing and promotes the prevention of violence by providing counseling, advocacy, intervention, and education, in our communities.

Women's Justice Center of Sonoma County

Provides advocacy, free of charge, for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse, particularly in the Latina and other under served communities of Sonoma County. To provide advocacy training and community education. To coordinate the Task Force on Women in Policing with the goal of increasing the number of women and minorities in our law enforcement agencies. To commit to equal justice for all women and girls.

YWCA of Sonoma County

Services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault have since expanded to include support groups, therapeutic and legal services, family advocacy, community education and professional development training. Through our Outreach program we are able to serve men, women and children in our community who are struggling with the difficult issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, assisting them in creating lives free from violence. The Safe House still serves as the core of the YWCA Sonoma County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Program, offering safe haven for women and children with supportive services aimed towards healing and recovery. The Adobe Program extends these supportive services for an additional two years for families in transition, helping them to establish their own homes and become self sufficient and productive members of the community.