BYU CAPS recommends self-care during quarantine

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BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) hosted a Zoom conference for students on Thursday, April 9. The meeting’s purpose was to give advice on dealing with stress and increasing motivation during times of uncertainty.

Lesli Allen and Marshall Schroeder, two interns working at CAPS, hosted the event. Allen said she and many others have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

“(COVID-19) has produced an almost global grieving process,” Allen said. “Everyone expresses grief differently, and no matter how you’re feeling — tired, unmotivated, withdrawn — you are normal.”

She outlined the stages of grief and explained how the body is reacting physically and emotionally to world events. She then discussed stress management.

Schroeder said that in 2012, the top four reasons students felt unmotivated were time management issues, poor study habits, emotions and financial concerns.

“We might start to speculate that these (problems) may be a little more intense right now,” he said.

Based on a QR code survey of 100 students, around 75 said they were facing increased or constant stress. Schroeder said stress isn’t a problem at a normal rate, but when it becomes overwhelming for students, it creates negative effects on performance.

In a second QR survey, 80 of the 100 students noticed they were procrastinating homework assignments more often since the COVID-19 pandemic. Schroeder encouraged students to establish and write down specific goals in order to increase motivation for their assignments.

“Writing goals is reflective of committed action,” Schroeder said. “If you don’t write down a goal or commit, the goal is basically a wish, and wishes change or can be easily forgotten.”

After Schroeder finished his explanation of specific, time-bound goals, Allen discussed ways students can manage their stress.

She recommended students find ways to take control of their environment by doing things like establishing a daily schedule or avoiding talking to stressful people. She said staying off social media may also be helpful for some students. If students are excessively stressed, they should take a step back from their problems and reflect.

“Much of my job as a therapist comes from helping people see their problems differently,” Allen said. “Looking at the larger picture of what’s going on and adjusting your life accordingly is a great way to reduce stress. You don’t need to be perfect today, you don’t have to be perfect tomorrow.”

Allen said people should focus on self-care. Students should be getting a good amount of sleep every day, eating nutritious food and exercising when possible.

BYU is still offering group and individual therapy through Zoom. Allen said the Sanvello app is available with free premium for BYU students and that SilverCloud, another self-care app, is also a good resource for students.

“I hope that we helped you recognize that even if you are struggling with motivation and stress that you are normal,” Allen said. “Please be gentle with yourself. In a world where you can be anything, be kind. That includes being kind to yourself, too.”

CAPS is hosting another Zoom panel next week titled “Keep Six Feet Away from Me!” on April 16 at noon.

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