COVID-19 Coping Tips & Resources for Parents & Family
Scroll to the bottom for a list of additional resources, including a video for parents, news, self-care, and tips on supporting your college student.
- Use trusted resources for news rather than relying on social media or sensational sources.
- Take breaks from news and limit the amount you read/watch each day to avoid getting overwhelmed while staying informed.
- Focus on things you can control rather than those you can't and the uncertainty we face currently. For example, focus on day-to-day tasks, adhering to social distancing and hand-washing precautions, planning quality time with your family, and scheduling calls and video chats with others close to you.
- It can be tough adjusting to different living situations and roles if your adult children have moved back home and family members are home together most of the time. It's normal for people to feel more irritable with each other. Good communication and regular discussions of expectations may help, as well as finding ways to balance together time with personal space. Be patient with yourself and each other.
- A recent survey of more than 3000 college students by Active Minds found that the most important thing parents can do for their student during the pandemic is to spend time with them.
- Pay attention to your own wellness and needs while taking care of others. This includes trying to get enough sleep, eating well, getting some exercise (preferably outside), engaging in religious and spiritual practices, enjoying some entertainment, and finding things that relax and soothe you. See the list below for resources for taking care of yourself and your student.
- Seek professional help if you need it. Find mental health care through your primary care provider or insurance company, employer's EAP program, or low-cost local agencies if you don't have insurance. Getting professional help is especially important if you are experiencing some of the following:
- Anxiety-related trouble sleeping or eating
- Inability to work or function day to day
- Thoughts about harming yourself
- The occurrence of physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual violence
Video From CAPS: Parent/family self-care and supporting your USF student
NEWS, SELF-CARE, EDUCATION, COVID-19 INFORMATION
- ABC News Asian America (news about Asia, Asian Americans)
- Aetna Resources (for students with Aetna health insurance)
- Al Jazeera offers an interesting article on COVID-19 and mental health
- Audible (by Amazon) is offering free "Stories" for kids, tweens, and teens
- BET News COVID-19 Article (impact of COVID-19 on black Americans)
- Brené Brown does an interview on vulnerability and courage on 60 Minutes
- Calmness prayers, offered by JesuitResources.com, calm the mind and spirit
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control) COVID-19 updates
- CDC handout on stigma, racism, and resilience
- Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook is a free resource providing science-based information and coping strategies, from The Wellness Society
- Emotional Well-Being and Coping During COVID-19 from UC San Francisco Psychiatry Department
- Fitness classes are offered online through Fitness Blender, a YouTube series providing free workouts for a variety of fitness levels, and PopSugar Fitness (membership is currently free to access more than 500 workouts with celebrity trainers and fitness experts)
- Handout by the CDC provides information and coping tips on mental health and anxiety around COVID-19
- Handout from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides information and coping tips on mental health and social distancing
- Human Rights Campaign (COVID-19 message & civil rights resources for LGBTQIA community)
- Indian Health Service (health resources for American Indians & Alaska Natives)
- Ivy League universities are offering more than 400 free online courses through Class Central
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center
- Mental health and wellness apps can help build your coping tools and self-awareness; Sanvello is adding COVID-19 content and is currently making their premium version free; other popular apps are Headspace (a meditation app with a library of guided meditations) and Ten Percent Happier (offers guided meditations, free coronavirus-focused sessions, and a daily virus-focused livestream and Q&A)
- Mindful Movement Sequences is a series of short YouTube videos, each with a different posture for different purposes, offered by the Niroga Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit that promotes equity through trauma-informed dynamic mindfulness, strengthening resilience and empathy in schools and communities
- Mindfulness resources free from Mindful.org include guided meditations and courses
- Progressive muscle relaxation exercise is a 16-minute video leading you through a mindful exercise to relax your body and mind
- Resilience tools and resources (some general, some COVID-related) from renowned psychologist Donald Meichenbaum, one of the creators of cognitive-behavioral therapy were adapted from Meichenbaum's book Roadmap to Resilience, written for military personnel and families, as well as people who have experienced trauma; these resources are helpful for health care workers and the general public as well
- San Francisco District Attorney's Office: Report COVID-19–related hate crimes, price gouging, and scams so that those who exploit public health emergencies for profit or to justify hate will be held accountable by calling (415) 551-9595; the website has additional information and resources regarding combatting hate crimes, victim services, and more
- TAO, an online mental health service, has created a COVID-19 coping video and made their mindfulness video library available to anyone online, whether a TAO subscriber or not, for FREE (in English or French)
- Univision provides an interesting article on COVID-19 in Central America
- Virus anxiety website has daily mantras, write-in mental health questions, and calming online distractions
- Yoga classes are available online through DoYogaWithMe: Offers a variety of free classes, as well as a free 2-month premium membership during the COVID-19 pandemic
Supporting your student
- NPR article on supporting teens and young adults experiencing school-related loss due to COVID-19
- Talking with children and adolescents about a pandemic fact sheet, from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)