Helping Give Away Psychological Science/Coping with Coronavirus and other Epidemics
What is it? This page brings together information and resources for dealing with the recent coronavirus pandemic. The information can be re-used quickly in response to other situations.
What is it NOT? We have a second page that is more general, with information and resources for coping with infectious disease outbreaks in general, such as the flu. This page was curated by Helping Give Away Psychological Science, a non-profit focused on dissemination and connecting people to resources from which they could greatly benefit.
Please help improve the page. If you are comfortable editing, make the changes directly on the page or on the "Discuss" tab. You can also click here to make suggestions and drop links on a GoogleDoc that we will review and use to add more material.
Improving Your Mental Health and Well-BeingEdit
Dealing directly with stress can help improve your health, mindset, quality of life, and overall well being.
- Supporting Your Mental Health During COVID-19
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 from the CDC
- Podcasts, guided meditations, talks, and blog posts on how to cope with stress and anxiety resulting from COVID-19.
Tips to Improve Your Well-BeingEdit
Take care of yourselfEdit
The following tips can make you feel better and reduce your anxiety:
- Exercise. Engage in at home-workouts or go for a 30-minute walk outside. Remember, you can still go outside, just take precaution and maintain a safe distance from others. Getting fresh air is important; it can help clear your mind and refresh you. Additionally, seeing others from your neighborhood can reduce your feelings of loneliness.
- Eat healthy. Learn how to make new and healthy recipes with ingredients you already own; be creative and have fun with your creations.
- Budget Bytes offers step-by-step healthy recipes.
- Get enough sleep. Getting 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal; waking up well-rested and refreshed can set you up for a good day.
- Pick up new hobbies. Reading books you are interested in, learning how to crochet, or baking treats can help occupy your time and allow your mind to relax and focus on these activities.
- Journal. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a notebook can help you relieve your stress. Additionally, it may allow you to identify stress-inducing triggers as well as positive coping methods.
- Help others. Check up on the people in your life and offer them reassurance and support. Volunteering and supporting others can increase your own resilience during stressful times.
- Video-chat with friends and family. Just because you may be advised to practice social distancing does not mean you have to socially isolate yourself. Texting or video-chatting with your friends and loved ones is a great way to stay connected, share moments together, laugh, and improve your mood. Maintaining personal relationships is extremely important.
- Limit your media exposure to COVID-19. Constantly scrolling and reading material from unreliable sources can heighten your anxiety and put you in a state of panic. Setting limits on how much time you spend watching the news of reading new articles can decrease feelings of being overwhelmed. More time spent on social media and viewing more traditional media sources during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with mental distress. Remember to take breaks from media coverage to clear your mind and maintain your mental well-being.
- Celebrate successes and take pride in completing tasks, even if it's as small as completing a household chore or organizing your closet.
Cultivate ways to be calm:Edit
- Understand that it is okay to feel anxious and worried during these trying times and realize that many others are likely experiencing these emotions as well.
- Limit the amount of time you watch the news if you feel like it is making you particularly stressed.
- Try to offset your stress with positive and calming activities such as meditation or yoga. Partake in something you enjoy.
Engage in activities to occupy your free time:Edit
- Tidy up your living space, organize your room or office, or de-clutter your closet
- Read a book you've been eyeing
- Draw, color, or write
- Cook a new recipe or bake a delicious treat
- Learn how to play a new instrument
- Go for walks and hikes outdoors
- Write gratitude letters to your friends and family
Signs Indicating You May Need Additional Help or SupportEdit
Signs to be concerned:
- Your mind is constantly flooded with thoughts of COVID-19 and it is hard to stray away from these negative thoughts.
- You take extreme measures to isolate yourself from others.
- You feel extremely hopeless about the situation and do not feel in control.
- Your appetite has significantly increased or decreased.
- Your sleep patterns have drastically fluctuated and you are having a hard time getting to sleep.
- You are experiencing physical symptoms such as intense headaches or an a frequent upset stomach.
- Your anxiety affects your daily life.
- You are extremely scared to leave your house and go to a supermarket.
- You are having trouble concentrating and getting your schoolwork done.
- You are spending a great deal of time disinfecting parts of your living space multiple times a day.
Mindfulness is a technique that can help reduce stress during difficult times. By grounding yourself in the present moment and focusing on your breathing and senses, your stress may dissipate and you may begin to feel at ease. Engaging in mindfulness practices can improve emotion regulation, well-being, and focus, as well as decrease stress, anxiety, and depression.
|Mindfulness Approach, Practices, Apps, and Videos|
|Practicing mindfulness involves directing awareness to what’s happening in the present. The events in your body (breath, heartbeat, pain sensations) and in your mind (thoughts, memories, ideas) can be noticed in the same way that we notice and pay attention to things outside of our bodies like sounds and sights. In being mindful of these events, all you need to do is notice them non-judgmentally. When the mind wanders into thinking about the past and planning for or worrying about the future (which it does all the time), notice what pulled your attention away and gently return to maintaining awareness of your breath or another grounding object of awareness.
Jon Kabat-Zinn identified 7 attitudes that are the pillars of mindfulness practice:
Free Mindfulness/Meditation Apps and VideosEdit
Exercise routines are a great way to maintain a schedule and help reduce anxiety.
- Physical fitness apps that are offering free trials
- CorePower Yoga workout videos
- Planet Fitness offers free in-home workouts each week night on Facebook Live at 7pm ET
- Planet Fitness Mobile App
- Scrib is offering a 30-day free trial (no credit card information required)
- Project Gutenberg has over 60,000 free e-books
- LibriVox free audio books
- Libby provides free audiobooks after registering with a public library card
Streaming and Sports EntertainmentEdit
- Netflix Party is a way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Videos are synchronized, allowing you and your buddies to watch the same things at the same time. Netflix Party is free, but only available on Chrome computer browsers.
- Hulu offers a 30-day free trial
- Tubi TV offers free movies and TV shows
- IMDb TV offers free movies and TV shows
- Seattle Symphony offers a free 7-day trial of their live streaming service
- Virtual arts and culture tours
- Free conference calls with Skype (no sign-up or download required)
Information For High School and College StudentsEdit
COVID-19 can be incredibly difficult for high school and college students, as the loss of routine, time with friends, and being in the home for extended periods of time is tough. Click the dropdown menu to learn more.
|Info for High School and College Students|
Information For ParentsEdit
Includes information on how to help and support your child as well as a resources on a ton of activities and educational content.
|Info For Parents|
Signs Your Child May Be Highly StressedEdit
How to Help and Support Your ChildEdit
Activities and Educational Content For KidsEdit
Information for Mental Health ProfessionalsEdit
This is a compilation of resources to help mental health professionals adapt their work methods, learn more about issues related to coronavirus, and resource to provide additional support to clients.
|Info for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals|
Information for CommunitiesEdit
Coronavirus Response Tool Box includes resources drawn from authoritative sources (such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), tools for taking action from the Community Tool Box, and examples of communities taking action.
|Info for Specific Communities|
Information for Specific Groups and ProfessionsEdit
|Resources for Specific Audiences and Professions|
Women - Global PerspectiveEdit
The social disruption with illness, lockdown, and social distancing affect everyone, but they also often have additional impact on women globally.
The World Health Organization created these infographics to share of of the ways women are often affected.
Older people and people with underlying medical problems, immune-deficit/immune disorders are more likely to develop serious illness from COVID-19.
|Info About High Risk Groups|
1. Older AdultsEdit
2. People Who Have Underlying Health ConditionsEdit
What is COVID-19?Edit
- Coronavirus is part of a large family of viruses that may cause illness in humans and animals. Coronavirus can lead to respiratory infections such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
- COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
- The main symptoms are fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness of breath.
- Some may experience aches and pains all over, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea that are usually mild and starts gradually while others experience extreme levels of these symptoms.
- Some people are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 meaning they are infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell but appear healthy.
- About 80% of people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Approximately 1 out of 6 people who are infected with COVID-19 become seriously ill and develop breathing difficulties.
How is COVID-19 spread?Edit
- The main way COVID-19 spreads is through direct contact with someone who has the virus. Droplets from someone who has coronavirus (through coughing or sneezing) can enter your system and infect you. The best way to prevent yourself from getting the virus is to avoid coming into contact with those who have it.
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation produced these projections of infection rates and health care system burden from COVID-19 based on several scenarios of preventative action.
Is there a cure or vaccine to prevent COVID-19?Edit
- As of March 2021, COVID-19 vaccines have been developed by several pharmaceutical companies and are being distributed to the general population, starting with at-risk individuals and essential workers.
- For American residents, consult your state Department of Public Health to receive updated information on who can get vaccinated and how to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. The Wall Street Journal maintains a list of state-by-state information on COVID-19 vaccination guidelines.
- As of April 2021, all Americans above the age of 16 are eligible to receive a vaccine against COVID-19
Can the virus live on surfaces?Edit
- Research suggests that the virus could potentially be found on surfaces but the risk of contracting the virus via touch is low
- It is still recommended to wash your hands and sanitize surfaces as a general precaution
Are children at an increased risk for getting the virus?Edit
- According to the CDC, children are not at a higher risk for contracting the virus but can spread the virus effectively
- How to Prep and Protect Your Home for COVID-19
- Things to do if you are sick or have COVID-19 and how to care for yourself
- Coronavirus FAQ
- Travel - If you are traveling from the USA, here is a link to check whether the US Department of State has issued a travel advisory.
- COVID-19 Informational Videos
Preventative Measures to TakeEdit
- Social distancing (but make sure to find ways to stay socially connected)
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also be used to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue and immediately throw it in the trash. Additionally, wash your hands right after.
- Clean and disinfect commonly-touched surfaces and objects throughout your house.
- If you show symptoms of COVID-19, wear a face mask to prevent possible spreading of the disease.
- If you have a fever, are coughing, or have difficulty breathing, call your doctor and seek medical help.
- More Protective Measures
Current Cases/Live MapsEdit
- Interactive Map
- Live statistics, including number of cases, recoveries, and deaths by region.
- Cases - United States of America
- World Health Organization (WHO) situation reports
- COVID world map
- Projections for the USA (updated in real time)
- Coronavirus Restrictions and Mask Mandates in Each US State
Additional Mental Health ResourcesEdit
- If you are in emotional distress and may be in danger, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or contact your local crisis lifeline. Additionally, you may contact HOME to 741741 to receive help and text with a trained Crisis Counselor from the Crisis Text Line.
- The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is a free hotline operating 10am-6pm EST that provides information, resources, and referrals to those who need mental health services. Please call 800-950-NAMI or 800-950-6264.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates a 24-hour helpline for those who are dealing with mental health issues. Please call 800-662-HELP or 800-662-6264.
- The Trevor Project offers 24/7 support for LGBTQ+ youth who are feeling suicidal or need a safe place to talk. Please call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 to speak to a trained counselor or text START to 678678 to text with a trained specialist.
- Association for Psychological Science COVID-19 Resources
- Brown, S. L., & Okun, M. A. (2014). Using the caregiver system model to explain the resilience-related benefits older adults derive from volunteering. In M. Kent, M. C. Davis, & J. W. Reich (Eds.), The resilience handbook: Approaches to stress and trauma. (pp. 169–182). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
- Riehm, Kira E.; Holingue, Calliope; Kalb, Luther G.; Bennett, Daniel; Kapteyn, Arie; Jiang, Qin; Veldhuis, Cindy B.; Johnson, Renee M. et al. (2020-11-XX). "Associations Between Media Exposure and Mental Distress Among U.S. Adults at the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic". American Journal of Preventive Medicine 59 (5): 630–638. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2020.06.008. PMID 33011008. PMC PMC7351429. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0749379720302749.
- "Relaxation Techniques for Health". NCCIH. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
- "ADHD and LD Support". Learning Center. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
- Board, ADHD Editorial. "Working From Home with ADHD: Telecommuting in Trying Times". Retrieved 2020-06-08.
- "Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)". www.who.int. Retrieved 2020-04-14.