COVID-19 Coping Tips & Resources for Staff & Faculty

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 Resources Page for the latest information about University actions, guidance, and resources to keep our community safe and informed. Critical information is also posted on Twitter at @usfca (the USF account).

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.
  • Designate 10 minutes once or twice a day to check reliable sources for updates. Turn off push notifications about the 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

When things feel scary and unpredictable, it can be helpful to focus on what you can control.  Here are some practical things you can do today:

  • Follow local, USF, and state guidelines and rules around sheltering in place and social distancing
  • Follow proper hand-washing steps (20 seconds) and use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not possible
  • Get your flu shot (doesn't prevent COVID-19, but does prevent flu)
  • 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

Make sure doing things to relax and stay in touch with your support network don't fall off your to-do list. Here are some ideas:

  • Take a walk, outside! Getting outside is good for your mental and physical health; just be sure to follow your state and community safety/social distancing guidelines.
  • Take an online 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. Staying connected is especially important to avoid getting isolated.
  • 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, or use the Pandemic Project website, a writing aid developed by a psychology professor with expertise in helping people cope with difficult situations; the site contains prompts for exploring your feelings related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • See the resources list below for online education and entertainment, self-care tools, and more.

Tip #5: Get Additional Help If You Need It

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