COVID-19 Coping Tips & Resources for Staff & Faculty

This information was updated in July 2021 to reflect changes in the COVID-19 pandemic's status and changes to safety guidelines. Scroll to the bottom for a list of lots of additional resources on news, self-care, and remote instruction/working from home.

Tip #1: Use Trusted Resources

  • Limit social media exposure and seek out reputable news sources. (See the resources list below.)
  • Visit the USF Together page for the latest information about University actions, guidance, and resources to keep our community safe and informed. You can also check the USF Twitter account at @usfca.

Tip #2: Take Breaks From News

  • “Staying on top of the news” is one way our brains try to feel in control of an out-of-control situation, but news overload can lead to more anxiety.
  • If you find yourself overloaded with news, turn off push notifications about news on your phone. Put limits on how much time you spend and what sort of interactions you have on social media.

Tip #3: Focus on What You Can Control

Much has felt scary and unpredictable during the pandemic; one way to cope with these feelings is to focus on what you can control.  Here are some practical things you can do today:

  • Follow local, USF, state, and CDC guidelines around safety as more and more businesses and institutions return to fully or partially operating in person
  • Follow proper hand-washing steps (20 seconds) and use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not possible
  • Get your flu shot and a COVID vaccination
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it out, or cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hand
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Get enough sleep and eat well to stay healthy
  • Contact your doctor's office for advice if you begin to feel sick

Tip #4: Use Healthy Coping and Connect with Others

Prioritize your own self-care and staying connected with other people. Here are some ideas:

  • Take a walk or hike outside! Getting outside is good for your mental and physical health.
  • Take an online or in-person yoga or fitness class.
  • Take Yale's popular online class "The Science of Well-Being" for free!
  • Listen to a funny podcast or watch a comedy video.
  • Talk to friends and family by phone, video chat, or messaging.  Plan in-person time with others as you feel ready, being mindful of guidelines for vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated people.
  • Make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee (try herbal tea if caffeine makes you anxious).
  • Meditate or just sit quietly, taking deep breaths, for 10 minutes.
  • Color, draw, or scribble.
  • Listen to your favorite songs. Make a playlist of uplifting music.
  • Play with a pet or watch animal videos.
  • Write in a journal..
  • See the resources list below for online education and entertainment, self-care tools, and more.

Tip #5: Get Additional Help If You Need It

If you will continue to work remotely full or part time, be sure to take advantage of USF resources such as IT support and trainings on using online technologies. There are additional resources on remote instruction and working from home listed below.

If you tried tips 1 through 4 and your anxiety or mood feels unmanageable, contact Concern, USF's Employee Assistance Program, especially if you or a family member is experiencing some of the following:

  • Significant changes in sleeping or eating/appetite
  • Deterioration in focus and attention
  • Difficulty completing work or doing other important things
  • Thoughts about harming yourself
  • Problems with substance use
  • The occurrence of physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual violence

Concern has expanded its services to include more remote resources, such as texting and messaging. Employees still have two easy ways to initiate getting help, the 24/7 call center at (800) 344-4222 and Luma, their mobile app

Additional Resources

USF REsources

News, Self-Care, Education, COVID-19 Information

Remote Instruction/REMOTE WORK

coronavirus updates and resources