During this trying time, Counseling and Psychological Services wants to wish our students and their families safety and health as they navigate the present situation. In this moment, it is important to remember there are lots of changes going on for both your student and you! During this new and confusing experience of physical distancing, we have some simple encouragements that we hope will offer some help and guidance.
- Adjusting to a new routine can require some extra time and emotional energy. Giving your student and yourself designated time for work, schoolwork and study can help everyone to get things done. This can also help establish a routine that fosters work/life balance.
- Remember to support and encourage your student as they do the work of college from home. For some students, changing their study environment can create challenges in staying focused and productive. Acknowledging this and encouraging them can be helpful.
- News and social media outlets can cause anxiety and fear. Take time to acknowledge your feelings and give space for your student to navigate their feelings too. Encourage your student to take breaks from media as needed to help manage these emotions.
- Be mindful of the social losses your student suffered. College is not just an educational experience, but a social one. They will likely miss their friends, their favorite coffee shop and spring events they were looking forward to. Being empathetic about this can help them cope with these losses.
- Keep in mind that your student was and is figuring out how to function as an adult. This continues for them even during this very difficult time and may require giving them some space. Be present, but don’t feel pressured to fix things for them or “make it all better.” Give them the opportunity to use you as a sounding board more than as a source of advice. However, this doesn’t mean you have to avoid advice altogether, especially if they ask for it.
- Don’t shy away from checking on how your student is doing if they seem to be struggling. Don’t pry, but don’t avoid talking about how they’re feeling, either.
For more information about your student’s mental health resources, visit the Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services website or call 740-593-1616.