And breath graphic

Tips to Keep Calm During Unsettling Times

March 20, 2020

If you’re feeling emotional over the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming, causing strong emotions in adults and children. The good news is sometimes simple things offer great benefits for our wellbeing. Below are tips you and your loved ones can use to keep calm during unsettling times.

Follow a Routine

You may be feeling like everything is out of your control. Sticking to a schedule will help normalize daily life. That could look like waking up at the same time each day, taking a walk, getting dressed, clocking in, and clocking out at the end of the day. Research shows that sticking to a routine benefits mental health by alleviating anxiety and stress and maximizing productivity.


We live in a world of technology—and that’s good news when we are experiencing social isolation. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and other video chatting software allow us to virtually connect with our peers. And thanks to video conferencing options, we are able to see and talk to groups of people.

Picking up the phone and calling someone is also a great way to connect. Sometimes we get so caught up in the bustle of everyday life that we forget to connect with extended family and friends. More downtime allows for more conversation with loved ones.

Switch Up Your Behaviors

Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting, the CDC says. It’s important to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. The CDC also recommends taking care of your body—take deep breaths, eat well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep—doing activities you enjoy, connecting with others, and talking to people you trust about your concerns and feelings.

Turn off the TV and get lost in a book. Reading can be a good distraction from the media.

Need something to read? We have you covered with four happy novels. Read more.

Reach Out For Help

If you need additional support, there’s a wealth of resources online. One in particular is geared specifically toward CU Denver students, faculty, and staff. You@CUDenver offers quizzes to assess your physical and mental wellbeing, as well as articles on reducing anxiety and stigma related to coronavirus, hand washing, working out from home, and more. To log in, all you need is your CU Denver ID.

You@CUDenver health and wellness resource
YOU@CU Denver

Another online resource offering free services right now is HeadSpace. The service offers exercises to “strengthen your mental and physical well-being,” including guided meditations, workouts, and audio for a restful night’s sleep.