Care for Your Emotional Wellbeing


The following tips describe feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. They also suggest ways to care for your emotional health during these experiences.


Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that requires social distancing, quarantine, or isolation. You may feel:

  1. Anxious, worried or fearful about: a) your own health status, b) the health status of others whom you may have exposed to the disease, c) the resentment that your friends and family may feel if they need to go into quarantine as a result of contact with you, d) the experience of monitoring yourself, or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of the disease, e) completing your academic program on schedule and moving forward with the pursuit of your personal and professional goals, f) time taken off from work and the potential loss of income and job security, g) the challenges of securing things you need, such as groceries and personal care items, or h) caring for children or others in your care, i) what other changes will occur that you will be required to make adjustments to/for in order to cope, stay safe, and survive.
  2. Uncertainty, frustration or ambivalence about the situation, how long you will need to remain in this situation, and uncertainty about the future.
  3. Loneliness associated with feeling cut off from the world and from your friends and loved ones.
  4. Anger if you think you were exposed to the disease because of others’ negligence.
  5. Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to engage in your regular day-to-day activities.
  6. A desire to use gaming, food, drugs, alcohol or other substances, and other unhealthy strategies to cope.
  7. A sense of grief and loss if you personally know of someone who died from complications of COVID-19 or as you hear about the thousands who are in hospitals or have lost their lives within the past few weeks.
  8. Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, or sleeping too little or too much.
  9. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, nightmares, changes in thoughts and mood, and being easily startled.


  1. Connect with others. Reach out to others via telephone, text messaging, email or social media. Talk “face-to-face” via Facetime, Skype or other virtual means.
  2. Talk about your experiences and feelings to loved ones and friends, when you find it helpful.
  3. Relax your body often by doing things that work for you—take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or pray, or engage in activities you enjoy.
  4. STOP, BREATHE, then THINK. Slowing your breathing helps to slow the stress cycle and re-engages your frontal lobes. This helps you to think more clearly and rationally.
  5. Pace yourself between stressful activities, and do something fun after a hard task.
  6. Know your limits. It might take you longer to think through and make sense of some things, so be intentional about how much information you consume. Practice tuning out from social media or the constant flow of information so you can focus on completing your school requirements.
  7. Take care of your basic physical needs. Get at least 7–8 hours of sleep each night; eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables; drink plenty of water; and engage in physical activity (the Andreasen Center for Wellness offers online exercise classes on their Facebook and Instagram pages!)
  8. Manage your tendency to worry and become anxious by asking yourself whether the things you are worried or concerned about are real or hypothetical. If they are real, ask what it is that you can do about the problem, do what you can, then let the worry go and change your focus of attention. If your concern is hypothetical and there is nothing you can do, then let go of the worry and shift your focus of attention. 
  9. Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Embrace uncertainty with a sense of calm and quiet resolve that you will use healthy coping strategies to cope during these difficult times and that you will seek help when needed.
  10. If you are experiencing grief, it’s okay to feel the pain of loss. Acknowledge any feelings of grief, sadness or distress that you might be experiencing as you give yourself permission to process the loss. Those feelings of sadness and distress can eventually progress to feelings of acceptance and resolution. Be gentle with yourself.
  11. Some people find prayer and meditation to be extremely useful, especially during times of distress.
  12. Maintain hope and positive thinking; consider keeping a journal where you write down things you are grateful for or that are going well. Remember that your thoughts strongly influence how you feel and behave. Negative thoughts yield negative feelings and behaviors while positive, optimistic thoughts yield positive feelings and behaviors.
  13. If you are quarantined at home, and you’re worried about physical symptoms you or your loved ones may be experiencing, call your doctor or other healthcare provider. Ask your provider whether it would be possible to schedule remote appointments. In the event that your doctor is unavailable and you are feeling stressed or are in crisis, call the hotline numbers listed on this page for support.
  14. Do not hesitate to seek out a behavioral health professional or counselor to help you work through your emotional concerns (see some resources below). 
  15. If you are feeling suicidal call 911, or the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Adapted from:

Accessing the Counseling & Testing Center

If you are experiencing any of the reactions listed and/or you are having difficulty coping, please contact the Counseling & Testing Center at 269-471-3470 or email us at Our counselors are ready and available to talk with you virtually (via telephone or video) to help you work through your feelings during this difficult time. Services are confidential.

Counseling and consultation services are available to all registered Andrews University students and their spouses.

Not Yet a Client and Need to Register for Counseling Services? (non-emergency cases)

Andrews University students and spouses who are not existing clients can register here.

  1. Click on “Registration Packet.”
  2. Complete the “New Client Registration” demographics page then click the “Complete From and Continue” green button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Complete all pages of the registration packet then click submit (without a witness signature from a staff at the Counseling & Testing Center since the registration packet is being completed remotely).
  4. Then, call the Center at 269-471-3470 to schedule an appointment.

If you are having an emergency, call the University Office of Campus Safety at 269-471-3321, which has 24-hour coverage, or dial 911. Also, please see additional helplines below.

Other Emotional Wellbeing Resources

The Family Lockdown Guide: How to Emotionally Prepare for Coronavirus Quarantine (The Guardian)
What can parents and children do to survive self-isolation, and each other?
Taking Care of Your Emotional Health (CDC)
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family.
A toolkit containing resources for anxiety and your mental health in a global climate of uncertainty.
Seven Tips to Manage Your Mental Health and Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Nature)
Feeling overwhelmed by a lockdown and the need to suddenly adopt e-learning? Keep connected and compassionate, says clinical psychologist Desiree Dickerson.
Protect Your Family's Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic (U.S. News)
This is an unprecedented time for all of us. Take these steps to help yourself and your kids cope.
Unemployment During Coronavirus: The Psychology of Job Loss (BBC WorkLife)
Millions of people around the world have lost their jobs amid the current Covid-19 crisis. How should you handle your emotional reaction?
Living with Worry and Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (PsychologyTools)
Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing. This guide will help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.
Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, especially if you’re already living with an anxiety disorder. But you’re not powerless. These tips can help you get through this stressful time.
Other HelpGuides (HelpGuide)
Access trusted HelpGuides to mental health, wellness, relationships, family and aging.
Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How a child reacts and the common signs of distress can vary according to the child’s age, previous experiences, and how the child typically copes with stress.

Relaxation Videos

Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that will help you reduce stress and anxiety. This video provides a brief description of deep breathing followed by guided practice.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a relaxation technique that reduces stress and anxiety in your body by having you slowly tense and then relax each muscle.

Some Free Relaxation Apps

Note: Recommendation does not indicate endorsement.

Quick Links

Call: 269-471-3470
Call: 1-800-985-5990, if you feel lonely or need support
Text: "TalkWithUs" to 66746
Text 741741 anytime, anywhere in the US to text with a trained, volunteer Crisis Counselor.
Call: 1-800-273-8255
Cora Lamping Center for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Abuse
Sexual Assault Hotline—Call: 1-855-779-6495
Domestic Violence Hotline—Call: 269-925-9500