Five tips to manage your well-being

By April 12, 2020Public Well-being tips

Here are some tips that have resonated from discussions held with academic leaders and students about responding to COVID-19:

 

Know your red flags

One way to manage moments of distress is to identify key thoughts or physical sensations that tend to contribute to your cycle of distress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Our thoughts (“Why can’t I concentrate?”), feelings (frustration, worry, sadness), physical sensations (tension, upset stomach, jitters) and actions (such as compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics) each feed into and amplify these negative emotional spirals.

Manage your expectations

This is unlikely to be the writer’s retreat that you have long dreamt of. The suggestion that periods of quarantine might bring unprecedented productivity implies we should raise the bar, rather than lower it. Do not underestimate the cognitive and emotional load that this pandemic brings, or the impact it will have on your productivity, at least in the short term.

Know your red flags

One way to manage moments of distress is to identify key thoughts or physical sensations that tend to contribute to your cycle of distress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Our thoughts (“Why can’t I concentrate?”), feelings (frustration, worry, sadness), physical sensations (tension, upset stomach, jitters) and actions (such as compulsively checking the latest COVID statistics) each feed into and amplify these negative emotional spirals.

Be compassionate with yourself and with others

There is much that we cannot control right now, but how we talk to ourselves during these challenging times can either provide a powerful buffer to these difficult circumstances or amplify our distress.

Maintain connections

Even the most introverted of us need some sense of connection to others for our mental as well as our physical health. Many working groups have created virtual forums where you can contribute or just sit back and enjoy the chatter.