COVID-19 Resources

Counseling Center

Emotional wellness and COVID-19

We’re all likely experiencing some emotional discomfort (or worse!)--given the spread of COVID-19 and the disruption to our lives. Grief at losing out on experiences, frustration, uncertainty—all are normal reactions at this time. The situation is ongoing and unpredictable! So how do we stay emotionally well during these times? Know that the College is committed to you: you’re the reason we exist! So we’re working very hard to plan carefully and ensure your studies, growth, and campus connections continue.

Connect with a therapist. We are closed for individual therapy appointments during the summer months but will be open again mid-August for telemental health therapy appointments. For information on connecting with a therapist at our center, follow this link. Note that our licenses can limit the services we are able to offer individuals who are not within Minnesota state lines. If you are outside of Minnesota at this time, we are still happy to support you in locating mental health services in your area. Feel free to call us at 507-933-7027 for support. We have also found this NPR article to be a useful guide to connecting with a therapist at this unique point in time.

Plan to manage external sources of stress. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education has compiled a list of resources to find assistance in a number of areas--finance, student loan payment assistance, food access, healthcare and insurance, legal support, employment, housing, child care, internet/technology support, mental/psychological first aid, domestic violence support, transportation, utilities, and support with current scams/price gouging. For adjusting to studying online, see this resource the Academic Support Center created.

Be careful of Covid-19 overload. Limit the time you spend taking in Covid-19 news. It’s coming at us from all directions and this can be downright overwhelming. Turn off/stop reading the news. Maybe check in once a day.

Be careful of Covid-19 misinformation. Rumors abound about what’s open, what’s not, what’s closing, and so on. Check out rumors for yourself by going to reputable sources. Check out state and local government sites for up to date information about closings. Go to the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for correct information about the virus.

Our emotions reside in our bodies, so take good care of yours! 

  •  Maintain a regular sleep schedule—try to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time.
  •  Work towards maintaining good nutrition and regular meals.
  •  Limit alcohol intake.
  •  Limit caffeine intake.
  •  Get some exercise!
  •  Spend some time outside, in nature, especially.
  •  Practice deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, Qigong. Not sure how to do these? YouTube!!
  •  Try taking up an activity that requires use of your body and mind, which can give you an emotional break: knitting, art, playing an instrument, etc.
  • For access to wellness resources, see this Healthy at Home guide.

Social distance does not mean social isolation. Maintain safe physical distance to keep yourself and others healthy, but stay in touch with friends and loved ones. You might even try the old-fashioned art of letter writing! If you're struggling to connect with peers, try QBuddy. This is a useful resource that allows people to connect with new friends and virtual social experiences while being socially distant. We also like this aricle on coping with loneliness during this pandemic.

Maintain a schedule. Meals, classes, study time, relaxation time. Having a schedule helps us contain emotions and feel a sense of control. Use this template or a daily planner to create a weekly schedule for yourself. A lack of structure leaves us vulerable to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Consider keeping a journal about what this experience is like for you. But be sure to end your daily entry with 3 good things about the day, however small, to help keep your spirits up.

Maintain perspective. While this is a HUGE event for all of us, remind yourself of what’s good in your life and what’s important: health, friends, being able to continue towards your degree, religion, and spirituality.

Take the focus off of yourself. Do something kind for someone else. If you can’t visit in person, call!

Try yoga. YouTube can be your friend for finding guided yoga, regardless of what your level of yoga experience is. Here is a YouTube playlist with "Yoga for Uncertain Times".

Be resilient. Care for your coronavirus anxiety and build resilence at www.coronavirus.com. The JED Foundation also provides support and wellness tips for this unique time in history. The JED Foundation has also created the Love is Louder project, which provides ideas on how young adults can staying engaged and creative during this time. Larry Long, Jr. PhD, LP from the University of Kansas Medical Center created a helpful presentation on this topic, Coping with COVID-19: Resiliency while socially distant. 

Look through our "Helpful Handouts" at the bottom of the "Resources" section on our menu on the left margin. There’s a lot of good info here. Don’t forget about Learn to Live (code: Gustavus), which is free for all students. This program is full of very applicable tips and information during times of stress and uncertainty.

Consider making use on one of the many mental health apps that are available for free and for pay. Here is a list of some of our favorites. You might also find this link helpful in finding something that speaks to you.

Other Helpful Resources:

Futures Without Violence
 Support for surviors of domestic violence during COVID-19

Vector Solutions Coronavirus (COVID-19) 103: Managing Stress and Anxiety

Mental Health Crisis Response Numbers Across Minnesota

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
 Coronavirus Resource Library

American Psychological Association (APA)
 Pandemic Resource Page

American Psychiatric Association (APA)
 Coronavirus Information Hub

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 Stress and Coping

American Public Health Association

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

NAACP: COVID-19 and Impact on Communities of Color

Teaching Tolerance: How to Respond to Coronavirus Racism

Brené Brown Podcasts