Wellbeing amid COVID-19
Activity day:2020-06-30 
Published At:2020-05-01 
Views:211  2020-05-01 updated
Dear members of the NTU community,

As the numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus increase globally, we have strengthened the campus access control, and shifted the large-class teaching to online instruction after Tomb Sweeping Day. In a time like this, the anxiety and stress ensuing from the epidemic prevention measures taken can be inescapable. 

The spread of COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, especially when it brings changes to our work and life, as well as provokes anxiety over not only health but also the potential damage to the socio-economic system. The best way to alleivate mental anugish is to avoid overloading yourself with negative information. It is equally important to refer to the trustworthy sources for the latest updates on the situation, such as the NTU Health Center’s NTU Website for Disease Contol (https://my.ntu.edu.tw/ntuwdc/) and Taiwan Center for Disease Control’s official LINE chatbox, Disease Control Butler (https://page.line.me/vqv2007o).

During the outbreak of pandamic, it is normal to feel the emotional distress. You may experience fear, anger, sadness, and guilt in the midst of the public health crisis. Therefore, it is essential to beware of and improve your mental health in a difficult time like this. To achieve this, a good starting point would be checking out the SCC’s Coronavirus Section for the latest healthcare knowledge on the following website (https://scc_osa.ntu.edu.tw/DC). For further assistance, students can book a session on SCC Intake Registration (https://my.ntu.edu.tw/Counsel/notice.aspx); and the faculty and staff member can consult the Personnel Department’s counselling service program (http://www.personnel.ntu.edu.tw/cp_n_12244.html). For more options, please visit the website of  Wellbeing and Mental Health Learning Platform of Ministry of Health and Welfare (https://wellbeing.mohw.gov.tw/nor/elearn/8/999/77). In solidarity, we can ride out the storm.

Mental health professional organizations such as Mental Health Association in Taiwan and Taiwan Association Against Depression recommend the five principles below for self-soothing and peace of body and mind.
6. Safety: Safety is of the paramount importance for both home quarantine and hospital isolation. Protecting yourself is protecting others. This can be done by wearing a mask and frequently washing your hands, as well as monitoring your health condition and being vigilant. 
7. Calming: To calm yourself down, you can try the followings: take deep breaths, relax, rest, and sleep. Whenever you can, you should stay calm and and practice positive thinking.
8. Efficacy: You are in charge of the efficiency of your life even in quarantine. For example, you can regain self-efficacy by scrolling on the phone, reading a book, exercising, journaling, and arranging your schedule to take your mind off the coronavirus.
9. Connectedness: “Isolation” or “quarantine” does not mean cutting off the connection with the world. Thanks to the internet and online media, people in isolation or quarantine can stay informed about the pandemic, as well as keep in touch with the outside world through video-chat and voice-call. Reaching out can ease loneliness and help you feel more supported rather than abandoned. 
10. Instilling hope: You should remain optimistic without being dragged down into the spiral of negative thoughts. This can be achieved by shifting the focus away from the negative information and reports, having faith in yourself and the medical staff, cheering yourself up and never giving up on hope.

We and people around us may worry about contagion due to our contact or travel history. As a result, we may unconsciously treat others differently or receive the same discrimination. Such a test to humanity is inevitable even when we are joining hands to combat the virus. During this challenging time, we call for everyone to continue putting into practice the “safety culture” and “caring culture”, and keeping social distancing while standing together. In face of this massive upheaval, we should pay more attention to the health of our body and mind, and be more empathetic towards our near and dear ones. Once the pandemic is over, we will be sure to value our relationship with family and friends even more, and come out of this stronger, wiser, and more unified than ever.  
Student Counseling Center, Office of Student Affairs, NTU

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