Skip to main content

Emotional Wellness & COVID-19

Effects of COVID-19 on Mental Health

It is important to consider the potential impact of COVID-19 on the physical and the mental health of all members of our society. If you’re experiencing a level of distress that is difficult for you to manage, please use the information below to learn ways to take care of your mental health. 

Additionally, we highlight the ways that public health crises can lead to acts of discrimination, such as the COVID-related racism and xenophobia experienced by Asians and Asian Americans, and emphasize issues of health and mental health equity connected to the intersecting identities one may hold.

Recognizing Elevated Distress About the Coronavirus

The following signs may indicate that you are experiencing increased distress:

  • Worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Hopelessness and fear about the future
  • Changes in personality such as disruptive behavior or outbursts of irritability/anger
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Isolating, withdrawing, or avoiding social situations
  • Fear or anxiety about being in public spaces
  • Maladaptive coping, such as substance use

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there are healthy ways to cope.  See the next section for some information on managing your emotional wellness.

Acknowledging Grief
Coronavirus and Identity

Intersecting identities such as race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, financial resources, and more are important to consider as we navigate the short- and long-term implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Consider the information below for inclusive resources and options for support.

Challenging Discrimination & Bias During the Pandemic

Although many are approaching a new normal, the United States occupies a place of privilege and our layered experience as intersectional beings (across race, SES, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability) also impacts our ongoing interactions with COVID. Please consider the following suggestions for all of us to consider:

  • Be aware of engaging in any racist or xenophobic stereotyping, even if it is unintentional. For instance, do not assume that because someone is of Asian descent that they have the coronavirus.
  • Hold in mind the lasting and ongoing impact of COVID on our communities. If you are navigating the impact of long COVID or a visible/invisible disability in the midst of the pandemic/endemic, please keep Disability and Accessibility Services in mind as a resource for support.
  • Note when you might be using accusatory language about an entire group of people:
    • Stigmatizing those who are sick can affect not only their mental health but also their physical health. People in scapegoated groups can be more reluctant to seek out medical care when they are symptomatic.
    • Be aware of using stigmatizing language, such as referring to people who are not sick as “clean,” which implies that people who are sick are “dirty.”
    • Honor the choice of continued mask use and hold in mind the layered health experiences of everyone in our community.

When you’re mindful of the effects of your actions and views on the coronavirus and other public health concerns, you can help stop the spread of harmful stereotypes and other issues of xenophobia, racism, and ableism.


It's important to consider ways that we can care for our mind, body, and spirit. Check-out this helpful self-care resource PDF for ideas.

Cyclical chart reading: The Basics; Connection; Coping Skills; Dealing with Loss & Uncertainty; Meaning & Motivation

Consider this video to learn more about ways you can engage in self-care.

Self-Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic from Loyola Counseling on Vimeo.

Techniques to Manage Anxiety
  • Distinguish between productive and unproductive worry 
Productive Worry Non-Productive Worry

Lightbulb icon

Productive worry occurs when there is a question that has an answer.

Magnifying glass icon

Non-productive worry is worrying about unanswerable questions.

You are focused on a single event, not a chain reaction. You worry about a chain reaction of events.
You are willing to accept imperfect solutions. You reject a solution because it is not a perfect solution.
You do not use your anxiety as a guide. You think you should worry until you feel less anxious.
You recognize what you can control and what you cannot control. You think you should worry until you control everything.
  • Recognize that your concern is a valid reaction.  Be present and mindful of your emotions and observe when they escalate.
  • Seek accurate information from reliable sources and limit exposure to constant news updates.
  • Distinguish possibility from probability.  For example, it might be possible that you will get infected, but what is the probability? How likely is that to happen?
  • Challenge the need for certainty.  

Send a Virtual Care Package!

Contact Us

Humanities, Room 150
One flight up the turret entrance
Phone: 410-617-CARE (2273)

Call to schedule an appointment
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


REACT Online

REACT is an online video that explains how to help yourself or someone you care about cope in healthy ways after a distressing life event (such as a trauma, assault, or loss).