Tips for Coping with COVID-19

By: Ryan Barker

Coping with CovidLike all colleges in our region, the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital has transitioned to synchronous online learning. We’ve been communicating with our students regularly through college email and website updates.

Besides supporting them with academic endeavors, we’re concerned about their overall welfare — how they’re feeling and how they are coping. Today we shared tips with the students about how they can navigate the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic — and we’ve adapted some of the suggestions in the hope you may find them helpful as well.

Take Advantage of Your Resources – In the college setting, resources means faculty advisors. In our personal lives, it can mean those close to us… family, neighbors, friends and colleagues. If you’re at home, maybe you can shop or do errands for people you know who have to be on the job. And they, in turn, can help you with to do’s when your time allows. Resources means pulling together to help each other out.

Prepare, but Understand That Changes are Likely – Our current situation is definitely fluid. Factors and consequences of this pandemic change daily. It’s important to understand that adjustments of all kinds will be necessary as response to the virus evolves. Get in the mindset to expect future changes.

Don’t Underestimate the Time Commitment – As we find new ways of living our daily lives (think grocery shopping, socializing, going to the gym), we may find that some things aren’t as “instantaneous” to accomplish. We may need to practice better time management… or just cut ourselves some slack when tasks take longer. Accepting that our schedules and routines are requiring adjustments is half the battle.

Know Your Strengths, Limitations and Motivators – Developing emotional intelligence is the key to a productive, successful life — coronavirus or not. We constantly try to instill in our students this message: The key is to know yourself well enough to create a routine that enables you to do your best. We also encourage them to consider what motivates them to keep on going. In these uncertain times, try to reflect upon what will sustain you in the days and weeks to come.

Find a Time for Quiet – In our uber-connected world, especially during an unprecedented situation being faced around the globe, it’s only natural to want to know what’s happening. But the 24/7 news and social media cycle can become unhealthy in extended doses. Find some time to unplug from all devices and enjoy some moments of silence, either alone or with those you live with. Quiet is calming, and we all need a does tranquility right about now.

Sustain Your Relationships – Social distancing is about physical proximity, not about retreating from the relationships that enhance your life. We’re fortunate to be able to keep in touch through technology, such as FaceTime. Make time to reach out and stay in touch. Knowing that you’ve made time to spend with the important people in your life — even if only through electronic devices — can make periods of intensity more bearable for both you and the people you love.

Develop Grit – Having grit can mean different things in varying circumstances, but what it really boils down to is being able to persevere and overcome difficult situations. Stick with your plan, day in and day out, while adjusting to changes as necessary. Cultivating a resilient spirit will carry you through a lifetime.

Stay Active and Engaged – There’s no question life is changing for many of us in ways we never expected. Although it seems at the moment we can’t get out there and enjoy life, practice perspective and gratitude. Life is, indeed, what we choose to make it.

At Crouse Health and our college of nursing, we remain confident that — together — we will get through these challenging times.

Ryan Barker

Ryan Barker is currently Assistant Dean for Students at the Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital. At PCON he is responsible for the entire student services portfolio and serves as a member of the college’s leadership team. He joined the Crouse family in June 2016, having previously served for 12 years as an administrator at Syracuse University working in the divisions of student affairs and business, finance and administrative services. Ryan began his career in Cazenovia College’s division of student development. He holds a master’s in higher education administration from S.U. and a bachelor’s in biology from Le Moyne College. Ryan currently resides in the greater Syracuse area and enjoys staying active, spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Syracuse Orange and NY Giants.

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