COVID-19 Creates Challenges for Everyone, and What to Do about It

For the past few weeks, we have, perhaps for the first time in our life, been faced with anticipating and coping with a very real and present danger, the potentially ominous and invisible threat of COVID-19 which could strike anyone. We are faced with the challenge of managing a formidable danger. So much is still unknown and changing daily, catastrophic actions are being instituted across the nation and world.

Our daily lives have been significantly impacted, either by the imperative to stay at home or for healthcare workers by risking their own safety to serve others. We are being told that the worst is yet to come and in a worst case scenario that we are not prepared for the expected “surge.” How frightening. This situation leads us to experience anticipatory anxiety. Uncertainty, vulnerability, loss of control, major disruption of life to which we were accustomed. Understandably, we are feeling off-kilter, and worried about the safety of ourselves and others and what to expect over the next months, regarding our health, finances, jobs, schooling, parenting and routines/activities.

How do we navigate through these uncertain, surreal, restrictive, potentially morally distressing and scary times?

Five overarching factors that have been identified as important to cope with adversity and stress can guide us as we move forward. 

We need to develop a:

  • Sense of Safety
  • Sense of Calm
  • Sense of Connection
  • Sense of Self-efficacy
  • Sense of Hope

This time of adversity is a time to connect with and support each other, even if it is remotely. It is an opportunity to search for a broader perspective of ourselves and the world. It is a time to practice self-care. It is a time to find tools and strategies to adapt to the “new normal.” It is a time to help others. It is a time to reach out for emotional support and the UCLA Staff & Faculty Counseling Center (SFCC) would be honored to be of assistance. The SFCC is scheduling telephonic sessions for UCLA employees and their immediate family members/significant others.  Please call 310-794-0245 to arrange for a telephone call.