Coping with emotional responses during COVID-19

March 26, 2020

A photo of a person holding a piece of paper that says "phone a friend"During times of uncertainty such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is healthy to have an emotional reaction. Sudden changes in our lives can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Fortunately, most of our student body is young and healthy people.

To help navigate this time of transition and to manage emotional responses, Director of Detroit Mercy’s Wellness Center Annamaria Silveri has provided these action steps for you. It is important to pay attention to our feelings and those of the people we are living with to support each other. Share your own tips with


  • It is important to stay and feel connected to loved ones, peers, and classmates. Even though social distancing is recommended to minimize the spread of the virus, you can continue to stay connected with phone calls, video chat apps, and social media.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings with others. It is helpful to talk about what is going on in our lives. When sharing, it is helpful to identify what you are feeling and thinking.
  • It is important to stay well informed and to make sure you are fact-checking stories. Misinformation leads to unnecessary panic. Be careful with information spread through social media. For updates, see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( and Detroit Mercy COVID-19 update page.
  • Similarly, it is also important to take breaks from media coverage. It is very healthy to turn off electronics and engage in other activities.

Click here for some science-based strategies for coping with this coronavirus pandemic.

Family Care: Being with family

By now many of young people are used to living autonomously. As a result, there may be a bit of adjustment to being home with family for an extended period of time.

  • Communication with your family members is essential.
  • Discuss and develop a plan for living together.
  • In any relationship, it is important to express what you would like as well as listen to what the needs of others are.
  • Often, when negotiating we seek a compromise where everyone feels a little unsatisfied. Before compromising, try to seek a third solution that may satisfy everyone. If one is discovered, everyone is happy. If one isn’t, you can at least agree that good effort was made which is a great starting point when seeking a solution.

Photo credit: Dustin Belt on Unsplash.